The weeks are flying by and each week has presented us Corporate Management Trainees (CMTs) with many unique experiences. This week, Foodservice and R&D week, was certainly no different. In fact, this week was packed with so many unique experiences that I am finding it hard to remember them all!
We started the week off with Category Overviews, learning how many products under the Kraft Heinz fold fit into the various foodservice sectors within Canada. We also received an absolute culinary treat from our amazing Corporate Chef, who let us sample a few of our products that were used in a variety of ways. My favourite was an awesome Thai-inspired soup!
The next day, the Trainees split into groups and visited various national and distributor accounts with our company’s foodservice representatives. This was a truly immersive experience and allowed us to witness a day in the life of a food rep. More importantly, it opened our eyes to the many ways that Kraft Heinz participates in the foodservice industry, whether it be in restaurants, theme parks, or “grocerants.”
Later in the week, the Trainees traveled 10 hours by bus to Chicago to visit our R&D Centre as well as the U.S. HQ. Did I mention that the bus ride was 10 hours? Admittedly there was some groaning – we also had a departure time of 4am – but the bus ride was a fantastic bonding experience filled with games, singing, and of course a bit of sleep.
Our first of two days in Chicago was spent at the R&D Centre, which boasts a well-equipped pilot plant where new recipes are envisioned and explored. We were also guided through short product reverse engineering examples, where we learned how competitor products are studied.
The next day was spent at HQ, where our company CEO, Bernardo Hees, and our U.S. counterparts are stationed. Unfortunately, Bernardo was not in that day, but our interactions with the U.S. Trainees were very fruitful. One of their strongest pieces of advice was to leverage the relationships that we gain as CMTs and to leverage our position. There is no defined path for us, so we should not silo ourselves. These words of wisdom have been a recurring theme throughout the program and it’s great to see our peers across the border living out the same culture that we experience at Canada’s HQ.
Lastly, and this was my highlight for the week, the Canadian CMTs were given the opportunity to join in with the U.S. interns and other employees for a meal packing event organized as part of the Stop Hunger Now campaign. In just over an hour, we packaged over 10,000 meal packs, where each meal pack would serve up to six people. This essentially translates to over 60,000 servings for people in need! It was so encouraging to see corporate social responsibility being exercised at the center of our organization in the U.S. and this experience underscored the value-driven culture that Kraft Heinz hopes to inculcate in its employees.
After this week, I can confidently say that we are all working towards the same vision of being the best food company and growing a better world.