Heinz’s new direct-to-consumer site went from contract to launch in 7 days
Food and beverage
Speed to launch
For over 150 years, Heinz has been celebrated for its wide range of food and condiments, which have long been available to consumers around the world through department stores and other retail outlets.
With the onset of COVID-19 in 2020, Heinz U.K. quickly realised that many of its consumers, including older and more vulnerable groups, were finding it difficult to access products as they were self-isolating or unable to get to physical stores. Heinz decided to act. With Shopify Plus, it was able to:
- Launch a direct-to-consumer offering in one week
- Lay the foundations of a new business model
- Make food products available to vulnerable populations and essential workers
In March 2020, as the impact of COVID-19 became apparent, Heinz found that consumers were struggling to access its products as getting to physical stores became more difficult for some.
Of particular concern for its U.K. business were certain vulnerable populations following a mandate from the British government that residents over 70, or those with health conditions, should remain quarantined at home. Other groups also faced pressure, such as essential and frontline health workers who did not have time to go into stores.
In the context of COVID-19, we wanted to support the people who were finding it difficult to access our brands: Self-isolated people, frontline workers, and many others. We came up with the idea of Heinz to Home to support these customers and get our essential products delivered to their doors.
Heinz worked with ecommerce consultants Good Growth to develop a simple concept, making a limited selection of essential products available online.
Shopify Plus was next identified as the platform of choice, meeting key criteria in terms of stability, simplicity, and ease of use, while also meeting important conditions for privacy and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance.
Just seven days after Heinz signed its contract with Shopify Plus, Heinz to Home launched on 9th April. The service offered a limited selection of the popular Heinz Beanz, Tomato Soup, and Spaghetti Hoops packaged as a bundle. Products were delivered within 2-3 days across the U.K.
In keeping with COVID-19 safety best practices, deliveries were left door side. Because the products are non-perishable and can be effectively packed, they were practical for delivery, whether a person was home or not.
Heinz also wished to remain close to a pledge to support its community, so it partnered with the U.K.’s Blue Light Card program to enable fast and free delivery for frontline workers.
The key challenge in ecommerce is not just speed but also reliability and affordability. Shopify Plus offered an out of the box solution that could be tailored to our needs, as well as proven reliability which is critical for establishing customer confidence.
Immediately, shoppers were loving the ability to buy their favourites directly from Heinz. The company was praised for its efforts, even celebrated in the media, including a feature post in the Daily Mail newspaper.
In the weeks following its launch, Heinz to Home introduced two new product categories, providing also a selection of sauces and baby foods.
After 150 years, Heinz continues to build itself outward with its new digital channel. The company regards its first direct-to-consumer launch as a success, providing insights into its consumers’ preferences and needs, which can be used as it continues to innovate for the future.
This platform was created in the context of Covid 19 with a purpose to support consumers that could not access our brands. In the future, this channel will be incredibly powerful to get closer to our consumers, get insight, and take learnings to the rest of our business.