Merger Of Kraft, Heinz Will Be Closely Watched By Madison Workers

Food Analyst Says Jobs Should Be Secure If Merged Company Pursues Right Strategy

Maxwell GS (CC-BY)

About 1,200 people who work at Oscar Mayer in Madison are among those who will be closely watching the merger between parent company Kraft and the H.J. Heinz company.

Food industry analyst Burt Flickinger said their jobs should be safe, so long as the merged company pursues the right strategy. He said Oscar Mayer has lost market share because its competitors are beating it on price at the supermarket.

If the merged company can strike promotional price deals with big supermarket chains like Woodman’s, Flickinger said sales could go up, and Madison jobs would be secure.

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“In our studies across the United States and Canada, Oscar Mayer tended not to be as price competitive outside of Wal-Mart and Costco, but tended not to be as competitive in the supermarket sector as it should,” said Flickinger.

Both companies’ boards have approved the deal, which still needs the blessing of Kraft stockholders. It’s expected to be finalized sometime in the second half of this year.