MAKER OF DIGIORNO BUYS CHOCOLATE COMPANY
Chocolate covered pizza? Well, that would seem to be the case with the news that Kraft, the maker of the popular DiGiorno frozen pizzas, has acquired Cadbury, the well-known UK-based chocolate company. Kraft already owns a whole slew of meat and cheese products under its various Kraft and Oscar Mayer brands, not to mention all the Nabisco cracker and cookie brands like Oreo.
My guess is that some bright young thing in marketing (they tend to call them “brand managers”) at Kraft Corporate HQ will come up with the brilliant idea of slopping some cheap form of chocolate on your everyday frozen pizza and then get all kinds of kudos from his or her higher ups for “thinking out of the box” and creating a “win-win” situation. They would probably call it DiChoco, or perhaps give a little more panache and brand it “DiChioco.”
But, not to worry food shoppers! Kraft has sold off its entire pizza operation to fund this purchase of England’s beloved chocolate company, so the threat of this pizza-chocolate abomination is stanched. Kraft has sold the frozen pizza business to Nestle, another global food giant, which makes Lean Cuisine and Stouffer’s frozen dinners and entrees.
The $3.7 billion deal includes the DiGiorno, Tombstone and Jack’s pizza brands, the California Pizza Kitchen trademark license, manufacturing facilities and other assets. Kraft says it will transfer 3,400 employees to Nestle. Last year the Kraft pizza business generated an estimated $1.6 billion. Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld says proceeds from the pizza business sale was applied to the Cadbury acquisition, which was reported to have cost Kraft $19.6 billion.