New Zealand 60, Canada 1, the final score

John Watt

This isn't the under-the-earths-crust online news article I was referring to,
being a YouTube video about the same thing.


John Watt

This thread began with some big numbers and I've got some even bigger ones.
This is also going to be the biggest click I have ever attempted, an entire article with a photo.
That didn't work out, so I'm changing that to just the font.

Kraft Heinz share plunge loses Warren Buffett $4bn in one day

Shares in the food and beverage giant Kraft Heinz fell nearly 25% in Friday trading,
a day after the company wrote down by $15.4bn the value of its Kraft and Oscar Mayer brands.

The company, which has disclosed that in October it received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC),
has been battling pressure on the value of its brands since it came into existence via a $49bn merger in 2015.
Consumers, seeking healthier fare, have flocked away from famous products such as Heinz Tomato Ketchup,
Jell-O and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.

“We were overly optimistic on delivering savings that did not materialize,”
the Kraft Heinz chief executive Bernardo Hees conceded on a conference call with investors,
after the company announced it would slash its dividend.

Investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has been particularly hard hit,
losing more than $4bn in a day as shares in Kraft Heinz plunged.
Kraft Heinz is one of Buffett’s largest positions, with 325m shares at the end of 2018.

Buffett’s faith may be seen as a rare misstep. Despite consumers’ shift away from pre-packaged food,
as recently as last May the 88-year-old investor was still extolling the company’s virtues.

“It’s very, very, very hard to take share away from Heinz Ketchup,” he told CNBC.
“It’s hard to take share away from Philadelphia Cream Cheese. They’re still very, very good businesses.”

That no longer appears true. The Kraft Heinz chief financial officer David Knopf said on Thursday
the company was considering selling some brands that have “no clear path to competitive advantage”.
Doing so could position Kraft Heinz to merge with another food-maker, Knopf said.

On Friday, Kraft shares were trading at about $36.30, far below a 52-week low of $41.60 set in late December.
Overall, the stock has fallen nearly 29% over the past year.

Kraft Heinz said the impairment charge was related primarily to its US refrigerated foods and Canadian retail divisions,
as well as trademarks for its Kraft and Oscar Mayer brands.

Kraft Heinz management, which said the company was cooperating fully with the SEC,
claimed to be making progress reforming its product lines and taking the right strategic steps.
But analysts have largely declined to put an optimistic spin on the company’s prospects.

“With respect to the depth, duration and general profitability effects … customer- and consumer-building into 2019
is less clear and lowers our conviction on the name,” analyst Rob Dickerson said in a research note.

Seeing what this articles says, let me comment on what I see here in the Niagara Peninsula.
Heintz ketchup, Jello and Kraft macaroni and cheese dinners are staples for many people.
I only buy Heintz ketchup myself, liking it's thickness and garlic and spicy flavour.
I certainly have eaten enough Kraft dinners, beginning in 1970 when they were 10 cents each.

I haven't bought one for over three years. They changed the noodles and they are too soggy.
And then they went back to the original, only it wasn't the original packaging and prices.
A single Kraft dinner at a supermarket could be almost $2, almost $3 in a convenience store.
But you could buy twelve for almost $4, with a heavy use of cardboard and thick plastic.
Getting twelve at that price is American business dumping product with never-before cardboard and plastic.
I'm not going to buy twelve for $4, and that's a sale price, sometimes more.
Four years ago a single Kraft dinner at the same supermarket would be 79 cents.

Heintz did the same thing, always on sale, mega-tubs going for far less than other smaller products,
and that brought down ketchup manufacturing in Ontario.
Aylmer comes to mind first, what was a ketchup city surrounded by fields of tomatoes.

This article puts the emphasis on consumer trends such as wanting to eat healthy,
but this stock market manipulation is more about the falling financials of the United States,
and the predatory policies of the new American White House, all about their money and their friends.
How did I like my Kraft dinner?
I only use salt and butter for popcorn, always a treat, but I used salt and pepper for Kraft dinners.
That's Club House black pepper, the only processed black pepper that tastes like it for this Scottish man.
I have to have some cheddar cheese to dice up to make it cheesy,
and I like to leave some pieces chunky to get an extra cheese chew.
And yes, it takes butter to make it really nice.
I have never bought Jello or made it myself, always putting that down,
but they have a really nice pistachio pudding I really like.
My mother used Philadelphia cream cheese to make her cheesecakes, and they were the best.
I'm glad I asked her to leave me her recipe book.

It doesn't mention Kraft jam, another staple, and what I grew up with.
It's what my mother used for cooking, being thick and sticky, using her own canning for deserts.
Now, as far as my chunky Kraft peanut butter and jam sandwiches,
it's a choice between Kraft and Smuckers, and now, usually you only see Smuckers as the large jars.

When it's Americans dumping products here in the Niagara Peninsula, just over that border,
I don't mind being dumped on. At least it's not food from China. I get enough of that already.
The last cannery in Canada closed over ten years ago.
I can be eating apples alongside the road when I'm out on long distance bike-hikes,
but if I buy apple juice it's made from Chinese apple concentrate.
I was at an annual SYSCO food convention in St. Catharines, going along with a sign customer,
when the closing of the St. Davids' Cannery was announced, and people started crying.
It looks like a lot of Americans who get this new news are going to do the same thing.
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