- Kraft Heinz is getting into the seasonings business, expanding its European brand Just Spices to the United States.
- Kraft Heinz purchased an 85% stake in Just Spices last year. The brand, which features more than 170 seasoning blends for different meal occasions and diverse flavors, is mainly a direct-to-consumer brand in Europe. The initial U.S. launch includes 10 favorite products from the European lineup, and the company said the brand will begin in the direct-to-consumer channel.
- Just Spices is part of Kraft Heinz’s Taste Elevation platform, which the company sees as one of its primary growth engines. According to the company’s presentation at the Consumer Analysts Group of New York conference in February, Kraft Heinz expects 25% growth in that platform by 2027.
When Kraft Heinz acquired the majority stake in trendy Germany-based Just Spices, officials praised the company’s strong connection with younger consumers, innovative positioning and its advanced analytics used to forecast future trends.
At the time that Kraft Heinz announced its pending acquisition of the brand, Just Spices had 1.6 million social media followers. The direct-to-consumer model and the brand’s relevance to Gen Z consumers helped the company collect useful data about what consumers wanted and innovate accordingly.
Just over a year later, Kraft Heinz is bringing the Just Spices product and business model to the United States.
“Bringing together Just Spices’ high-quality product, data and direct-to-consumer capabilities with Kraft Heinz’s scale and brand loyalty creates the perfect storm to disrupt the U.S. spice category as we know it,” Carlos Abrams-Rivera, the company’s executive vice president and president of North America said in a written statement.
Just Spices, founded in 2014 by a group of friends in Germany who wanted to improve on the offerings in the grocery store spice section, is not like most other seasoning companies. Just Spices specializes in customized blends that can be used to improve flavors for a wide variety of products or cuisines. In Europe, the company also sells recipe and seasonings kits to create flavorful dishes. Just Spices are available in some grocery stores, but about 70% of the company’s products are sold online.
The blends launching in the U.S. include Chicken Allrounder, Vegetable Allrounder, Pasta Allrounder, BBQ Allrounder, Salmon Allrounder and Caprese Allrounder — blends that can be used on any recipe using those base materials; Egg Topping and Avocado Topping — designed for any presentation of the protein staple and the green fruit; and Fajita Seasoning and Enchilada Seasoning — which can be used to create the popular Mexican dishes.
This is Kraft Heinz’s first foray into the North American seasonings market, which Statista estimates is worth $6 billion. Just Spices is similar enough to the options that consumers are familiar with to attract attention, but different enough to capture a different type of customer. Most seasonings are not sold direct-to-consumer, nor are there many large blended brands. Kraft Heinz’s press release about the launch says that Just Spices is “geared towards the needs of younger, flavor-forward families.”
If Kraft Heinz can transplant the success of Just Spices to the United States, the implications for the company could be farther reaching than just getting into a new category. The consumer data collected through Just Spices sales could help inform Kraft Heinz’s wider R&D team about new flavors and innovations to bring to some of its classic products in a new way. But Kraft Heinz could also use lessons learned through Just Spices to develop more of a direct-to-consumer presence for some of its more niche, premium or targeted products.