Zeenat Moorad Associate editor: Financial Mail

It’s fair to say that Kraft Heinz sits perfectly and uncomfortably in an existential crisis. The global consumer group, one of billionaire Warren Buffett’s largest investments, last week released a barrage of news — all of it bad. Kraft Heinz, in a fourth-quarter earnings update, said it had been subpoenaed by the US Securities & Exchange Commission over an investigation into its accounting policies. It slashed its dividend by more than a third and announced a $15.4bn write-down of goodwill, pushing it into a $12.6bn loss for the period. Oh, and it warned that profits in 2019 would be well below expectations. About $16bn was wiped from the company’s market value after that disastrous trading update. Kraft Heinz typically operates in the centre of a store, selling things like boxed mac & cheese, mayonnaise, ketchup (what we call tomato sauce) and tinned soup. Consumers, in particular millennials, are shunning packaged foods for natural, fresh or organic options — mostly found in the ...

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