Food & Beverage

Kraft Heinz factories are working three shifts a day to keep up with demand

Key Points
  • Some Kraft Heinz factories are working three shifts a day to meet increased demand for its products, CEO Miguel Patricio said.
  • Stockpiling for the coronavirus pandemic has left many grocery store shelves bare.
  • Patricio said that the company drew down its $4 billion revolving credit line as a precautionary measure.
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Kraft Heinz CEO Miguel Patricio on demand amid the coronavirus outbreak

Some Kraft Heinz factories are working three shifts a day to meet increased demand for its products as stockpiling for the coronavirus pandemic has left many grocery store shelves bare.

"I have to say that our teams in our factories, in our distribution systems, are incredibly proud and understanding of the duty they have ahead of them," CEO Miguel Patricio told CNBC's Sara Eisen on "Squawk Alley."

Patricio said that he visited an Oscar Mayer factory in Davenport, Iowa yesterday. The team there told him that morale has never been so high, he said. 

In recent years, Americans have avoided buying shelf-stable foods found in the center of the grocery store, instead opting for fresh, organic options. The shift in consumer tastes has led traditional food companies, such as Kraft Heinz and Campbell Soup, to see revenue decline. But the panic around the coronavirus has meant U.S. consumers are once again reaching for products like Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.

Kraft Heinz said in February that it would unveil its turnaround plan in May. A year earlier, the food giant wrote down the value of its iconic Kraft and Oscar Mayer brands and surprised Wall Street by reporting a quarterly loss. 

Patricio said that the company drew down its $4 billion revolving credit line as a precautionary measure.

"Look, our demand is strong. And our cash flow and balance sheet is very strong as well," he said.

Shares of Kraft Heinz rose less than 1% in afternoon trading on Friday. The stock is down 30% so far in 2020.