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Kraft Heinz Company Reviews

Updated February 18, 2018
2,524 reviews

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2.4
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Bernardo Hees
560 Ratings

2,524 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Poor work-life balance for finance functions (in 221 reviews)

  • No work life balance (11 hour days have become the norm) (in 63 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Working with Kraft Heinz"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Financial Analyst in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Financial Analyst in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kraft Heinz Company full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Fast Paced environment; Management by Objectives; 100% Meritocracy

    Cons

    Work Life balance ; Long hours

    Advice to Management

    Invest in Employees


  2. Helpful (10)

    "Come for the challenge and experience, leave for the diminished headache"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Kraft Heinz Company full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Pros at Kraft Heinz can be divided in tangible and experiential buckets.

    Tangible pros include:

    Ample PTO
    Company car and/or car allowance
    Solid benefits (including 401k and most types of medical insurance)
    Remote work/work from home flexibility (at least in field sales)
    Competitive pay (though this DOES have an asterisk, which is detailed below)

    Experiential pros include:

    People - By far the most significant pro to Kraft Heinz is having the opportunity to work with ambitious, knowledgeable, hardworking, and friendly people. In spite of the myriad cons below, there is camaraderie and a willingness to collaborate and work through issues together. There may be a lot of pain, but nearly everyone is experiencing it.

    Brand reputation - billion-dollar brands speak for themselves, and it’s fun to be able to work with products most consumers are familiar with

    Extensive learning opportunities - again, like pay, this comes with an asterisk; however, you really do learn a lot in whichever role you’re in, and you learn FAST. If and when you decide to leave, you will be HIGHLY marketable.

    Professional development opportunities -- while these opportunities are most salient for those coming out of company training programs and those recruited by 3G Capital-alum, it is nonetheless possible to be promoted/moved laterally into a role you’re passionate about, and to do so expediently, allowing you to cover and touch as many aspects of the business as possible.

    Cons

    Many people attribute most cons at Kraft Heinz to the management styles and organizational culture fostered by the executives, nearly all of whom are connected through 3G Capital, a Brazilian private equity firm. Those familiar with 3G’s culture through their other investment companies (AB InBev, RBI) will not be surprised by the cons below, but they are nonetheless important considerations for any potential new hires.

    Two key things to note is that KHC, much like other 3G companies, values both EXTREMELY lean operations, particularly in the form of aggressive cost cutting and Zero Based Budgeting (ZBB), and results-oriented measurements (MBOs and KPIs). While having that cultural exposure provides a leg up on how to navigate a company where literally everything needs to provide value, it creates significant headwinds in the following ways:

    Large Workloads, Large Turnover (Layoffs or Otherwise), and Large Experience Gaps - While employees are challenged and learn extensively about KHC’s business, in many cases this results in strong employee burnout from long hours and increasingly difficult expectations/MBO objectives. This burnout results in either layoffs or in resignations, as the workload involved becomes incongruous with the pay/target bonus allotted. This constant swirl of people results in experienced and intellectually valuable individuals to leave in favor of those willing to just work hard. In many cases, new hires may not always have the most relevant experience necessary for their current roles. In some cases, this is acceptable, but in many cases, it isn’t, creating low morale across the board.

    Perceived Personnel and Promotion Biases - In addition to being leanly staffed, KHC, much like other 3G companies, demonstrates some preference towards promoting those who are loyal and (pun intended) drink the Kool Aid, but those who have been previously affiliated with 3G, either through the firm itself or through its investment companies. As a result, the glass ceiling starts and ends with Brazilian men, followed by men who’ve demonstrated the most alignment towards the 3G doctrine. This can exacerbate low morale.

    Limited Resources -- As expected with ZBB, everyone at KHC learns to “do more with less.” In sales, this results in two significant problems towards business development: an inability to stimulate the business with appropriate promotional activity (since there is insufficient trade to spend on making the deal sweeter for customers and consumers) and an inability to get innovation in (again, partially related to trade, but innovation is also its own beast below). This puts employees in a position where targets are no longer feasible or reachable without additional resources, which is certainly frustrating.

    Short-term Innovation - In the CPG world, long-term innovation and an ability to have a strong pulse on disruptive trends is imperative to stay relevant and grow the business. While this is an industry-wide problem, many companies (including private equity firms!) have made significant acquisitions in smaller companies that have that pulse and innovation. KHC, however, is focused on acquisitions of larger companies in order to consolidate the industry and allow access to larger, already established brands that don’t need to be cultivated with significant “non-ZBB compliant” investment (ex: the infamous failed takeover of Unilever). In turn, most new items in the market are line/brand extensions that attempt to squeeze as much value out of the brand as possible without necessarily considering what that value would ultimately be. Additionally, a lot of the short-term innovation puts KHC in the strategic position of being a market lagger, not a market leader, as the company is usually coming out with products that are seen as feeble attempts to attack more innovative players.

    Complicated Bonus Structures - Bonuses are paid out as a multiplier of the performance of one’s geographic zone, as well as one’s personal performance (both tied into MBOs). This year, the company was informed that the US geographic zone did not meet their bonus this year, and would only be able to receive a fraction of their target based on their personal performance. This is somewhat convoluted, as it dilutes how much $$$ goes back to the employees and decays overall morale and company loyalty. This news becomes more difficult to swallow, as (in an unsurprising twist) most executives do receive bonuses due to their involvement in 3G and other 3G-backed business that may be performing well.

    Limited Employee Engagement - Field Sales engagement opportunities are limited to what employees can contribute out of pocket (ex: only HQ gets a holiday party). Opportunities to network, both within the company or within industry, have been limited to executives or have been phased out entirely.

    Advice to Management

    Overall, while I have been immeasurably grateful for the professional opportunities given to me, I can only really recommend KHC to those who are very early in their careers, as well as those who are simply looking to see how far up the ladder they can go. This is a great place to start, but once you begin to plateau, leave. For those who are more established, if you want a real challenge, go for it, but caveat emptor.

    The CEO has expressed a goal to reduce turnover in 2018, but to do so, there needs to be a fundamental understanding of how the current culture influences company loyalty. There is so much that can be done to unify the company beyond conceptualizing a “battle cry” and holding endless employee satisfaction surveys. Recognize that the company had a bad year, but pay out an appropriate bonus to make employees feel valued. Show that you care about your brands and your products by investing in them and the teams that make the magic happen. There are other ways to grow the bottom line beyond the cost number. Otherwise, let the declining share price (now down below its 2015 post-merger price) speak for itself.

  3. "Good company, growth opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing in Northbrook, IL
    Former Employee - Marketing in Northbrook, IL

    I worked at Kraft Heinz Company full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    If you do good work, there's a real opportunity to advance in the company. A growth-oriented culture.

    Cons

    Lots of hours; sometimes hard to find good work/life balance


  4. "Good place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Kraft Heinz Company full-time

    Pros

    Collaborative work environmwnt, great pay, great vacation time

    Cons

    Lots of change always


  5. Helpful (24)

    "Beware"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Lead in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Kraft Heinz Company full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Quick decision making and driven individuals

    Cons

    -Bias towards Brazilian employees, regardless of experience.
    -Employees achieve 100% of their personal KPIs, yet are not awarded bonuses because of a convoluted bonus structure that is impossible to audit or understand.
    -Although we like to believe that upper management has a higher percentage at stake on bonuses than the rest of the company, much of upper management is a parter in 3G where they are already receiving yearly bonuses.
    -Employee turnover in key functions where experience is invaluable continues to set back the business.
    -Have heard that in other 3G managed companies, some bonuses have not been paid for 3+ years.
    -"Convenient Meritocracy" - Management preaches meritocracy, however there have been multiple instances where management has blocked individuals from taking a promotion simply to keep that employee on their team.
    -HR is either blind or scared to affect changes that are desperately needed.
    -Portuguese spoken throughout the office between management. Seems like it should be an easy fix for HR, apparently not.
    -Brazilian management continues to be promoted on the backs of their teams, with little recognition for the employees who have actually done the work.
    -Legacy management, and their essential knowledge, keep getting pushed out and replaced by managers with no historical context for the business.

    Advice to Management

    If one of management's goals for 2018 is "to do a better job on Employee Turnover" they should consider not cheating their employees out of yearly bonuses. It is extremely difficult to get the most out of a team when they realize that their 50-60 hour work weeks and 100% personal goal achievements, is all for nothing when no bonuses are paid out. It is also unfair to recruit employees with the lure of high bonus payouts, which is simply not true.

    It is widely understood that the company had a tough year but employees who have lived up to their goals should not be cheated out of their well-deserved bonuses. Make MBO targets truly individual/team dependent.


  6. "Manager, Communications"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Kraft Heinz Company full-time

    Pros

    Work life balance, great benefits

    Cons

    slow moving projects, hard to get approval


  7. Helpful (7)

    "Caveat Emptor!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - CCM in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - CCM in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Kraft Heinz Company full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    * Good base pay (w/ reasons below).

    * Large TARGETED Sales Bonus

    * Good support from direct manager (my experience).

    * Company car or monthly stipend.

    * Great co-workers.

    * Great resume builder.

    Cons

    * Targeted Sales Bonus is too good to be true and almost impossible to reach.

    * No Pay Raises. This is due to the generous (yet impossible to reach) Targeted Bonus.

    * Incredible overload of responsibility due to staffing cuts (offsets good pay!).

    * Lack of analytical support due to staffing cuts.

    * Decision-making HQ resources out of touch with marketplace/consumer.

    *Non focused and excessive new item launches.

    * Very limited opportunities outside HQ. (Like most conglomerates)

    Advice to Management

    Like most conglomerates, honest feedback is not really entertained.

    So the advice to potential applicants below can be taken by management as a review of what a typical Kraft employee may feel or experience.

    * Take the job and do the job well.
    * Know that you will be overworked with little training or support.
    * HQ support are working on their career growth (and bonus), not yours.
    * Get the experience and people network.
    * Know that if you're not promoted within 2-3 years: you are probably not getting promoted here.
    * Make career/lifestyles decisions that are best for yourself, not the company.
    * Kraft will do what's best for the company, not you.
    * The company's best interests may include downsizing you for any reason, especially if you don't produce results or fall out of favor with a Team Lead.

  8. Helpful (4)

    "In-Store Sales Partner"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Kraft Heinz Company full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good Company Name to put on your Resume. Nice Corporate Office in Chicago. Decent company benefits and retirement program. You get a new iPad to do all of your sales data and reporting.

    Cons

    If you are currently employed, Stay Away!

    Work-Life Balance is horrible for outside sales people. Redundant and unnecessary duplicate reporting requested by Sales Managers (who are not qualified to be managers), taking away from valuable time in field and growing the business. Sales Data & Reporting is not transparent. Management can’t explain their own variables and inaccurate sales data, which lags in 2 week increments at the very least. Territory assignments are not what is applied for.

    Ask for your specific territory before wasting your time. It will not be for the area you apply for, then it’s too late. Drive-time to/from territory is not considered part of work day, even though you are tracked from the time you start your day until you finish.

    Bonuses & KPI’s are skewed so Bonuses are not achievable. Bonuses are changed prior to payouts and often paid over a month late.

    Micromanagement and Tracking is what is done best, not Sales and Service to their customers.

    Advice to Management

    Stop creating more and more trackers and reports for your Sales People to complete after an already long work day and work week. Your tablets already capture this detailed data, so the trackers are redundant. Trust your seasoned sales personnel and ask for feedback. Promote individuals to management that show leadership or have previous management experience. Multiple weekly Trackers and Reports are for managers who don’t know how to manage.


  9. Helpful (52)

    "Best place for young & hungry to start your career, but maybe not worth sticking around"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Kraft Heinz Company full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The 5 stars is for the rotational programs for those fresh in their career, to reflect from a pure career standpoint the benefits of joining KHC. However, the company itself, other job functions, and the long-term outlooks aren't as standout.

    - Amazing Corporate Management Trainee / Sales Trainee / Ops Trainee programs, where you basically get paid to learn a lot, own millions / billions of dollars of real impact, and fast track your career growth. No where else do you get the same level of responsibility, and real exposure and relationships with senior management and even the C-suite, as a fresh-out-of-college kid.

    - Job flexibility & career growth - adding to the above, there is VERY rapid vertical and horizontal opportunities for you within the company. Due to the company culture (young, lean, meritocratic) and to the rotational component of the Corporate Trainee program, you get exposure to almost every part of the business, and work in two completely different job functions, within the first 6 months alone. Movement between Finance and Marketing especially is quite common. Finally, most trainees see movement every ~3-9 months, and most of the time that movement is a promotion. This velocity of movement is unmatched at any firm of competing size & prestige, and feels more like a startup. However, unlike a startup, you get the resources and good name of a big company to back your risk-taking, learning, growth, and ownership.

    - Open access to amazing people - each individual is driven and ambitious - we've all bought into this culture of quantified meritocracy. But collectively, the people at KHC are eager to help each other out, especially thanks to the open office culture (no cubicles! no specified hours! free reign & flexibility with where & how you spend your office time) and the constant movement of people to new functions and teams. Somehow, KHC manages to be the best of both worlds - provides a very collaborative and supportive community of peers, while also rewarding extreme individual ambition.

    - ZBB - exposure to ZBB looks great on your business resume, and it is an important efficiency mindset to apply to any business and to your life.

    - Ownership and meritocracy. Your career growth here is (mostly) up to you*

    Cons

    - Job flexibility also means job insecurity -- those who get the most out of KHC and move up the fastest are willing and eager to take every opportunity, but that often means common job & team changes, which isn't for everyone. Layoffs and pressure to perform can also be stressful.

    - Poor work-life balance for finance functions

    - ZBB takes a toll on company morale - it's great that we save money from going to waste and see it pay out as higher bonuses, but paying for plastic forks during lunch and not having many company bonding events really sucks

    - Minority representation in the company as a whole, but especially as you move up, is subpar, much like at many peer companies.

    - Career growth is best for Brazilians, then males, then Caucasians, with everyone else still able to grow quickly but clearly limited by their minority status...

    - The company is more focused on cost-cutting (which is a temporary way to improve returns) than innovation (which is the long-term vision needed to improve our viability in the market vs. competitors). Lack of real innovation is pretty standard at such large companies, though.

    - The above mentioned short-term focus manifests because of the very young teams and high turnover -- there's no incentive for the long term, when your bonuses and performance are measured by monthly & quarterly & 1-year goals, and when you leave your current project / team / company in mere months / very few years.

    - The company seems pretty hit or miss. Those who are young, flexible, hungry, and willing to tough it out really come across amazing opportunities and unparalleled career growth vs. anywhere else you can kick start your career. But that's more due to the youth, inexperience, and lack of structure in the company, than it is due to actual development efforts or actual company growth. I would highly recommend any young person to come to KHC, but would not recommend to anyone to stay too long, for two reasons. One, the entire industry and this company too will probably struggle to keep up with changing food trends. Two, because of the stress on meritocracy, high turnover and young managers makes development and real leadership lacking.

    Advice to Management

    - Give real answers to difficult questions, i.e. "lack of females in upper management" --> HR spits back the typical PR phrase "we are being thoughtful and taking action to combat this" without quantifying how.

    - More company events to create sense of community & joint culture, in addition to the purely individualistic "meritocracy / ownership" culture

    - Work more cross-functionally to align incentives, and work to reduce communication frictions across the company

    - Be more upfront, honest, transparent, and approachable with UR communications with university hires

    - Train managers to be proper managers and team leads. Likewise, make sure the high velocity movement of people throughout the company does not wear down on team cohesion and efficiency.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Help Desk Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Help Desk Analyst in Northfield, IL
    Current Employee - Help Desk Analyst in Northfield, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Kraft Heinz Company full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    great company when you are a permanent employee

    Cons

    they sold the IT department to India

    Advice to Management

    keep the talented staff. look at quality not quantity.


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