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Press release from Business Wire

Heinz Ranks Number One in Customer Satisfaction Among All 225 Companies in the American Customer Satisfaction Index™

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Heinz Ranks Number One in Customer Satisfaction Among All 225 Companies in the American Customer Satisfaction Index™07:36 EST Tuesday, November 15, 2011 PITTSBURGH (Business Wire) -- H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE: HNZ) is pleased to announce that the Company ranked first in overall customer satisfaction among all 225 companies in 47 industries in the 2011 American Customer Satisfaction Index™ (ACSI), which was released today. Heinz led all companies with an overall customer satisfaction score of 89, which measures its performance in categories including quality, value, consumer loyalty and consumer expectations. Heinz's score was 8 points higher than the average for the food processing industry and up one point from a year ago. Heinz also topped all 12 food manufacturers in the ACSI for the twelfth consecutive year. The ACSI scores and rankings are based on customer evaluations of the quality of products and services available to household consumers in the United States. Heinz has held the ACSI's number-one ranking among food manufacturers since 2000. Commenting on the 2011 ACSI ranking, Heinz Chairman, President and CEO William R. Johnson said: “Heinz is extremely proud to be recognized as a leader among all industries in satisfying U.S. consumers and their appetite for high-quality products that meet their expectations and deliver real value. Our number-one ranking in the U.S. reflects our commitment to manufacturing consistently great-tasting premium foods that enhance consumers' meals at home and at restaurants. Year after year, consumers know they can count on Heinz.” Premium food products that Heinz manufactures in the U.S. include its flagship Heinz® Ketchup, the number-one brand, as well as Heinz® gravy and condiments, Classico® pasta sauces, Ore-Ida® frozen potatoes, Weight Watchers® Smart Ones® frozen meals, snacks and desserts, and T.G.I. Friday's® frozen meals and snacks. “Heinz has a long track record of combining consistent quality with value pricing and successfully accommodating its products to a wide range of consumer tastes. As a result, Heinz's ACSI scores are exceptionally strong and it remains a costly proposition for competition to take away its customers,” said ACSI Founder Claes Fornell. About ACSI The American Customer Satisfaction Index is a national economic indicator of customer evaluations of the quality of products and services available to household consumers in the United States. Data from interviews with approximately 70,000 customers annually are used as inputs into an econometric model to measure satisfaction with more than 225 companies in 47 industries and 10 economic sectors, along with over 200 services, programs, and websites of approximately 130 federal government agencies. ACSI results are released on a monthly basis, with all measures reported using a 0 to 100 scale. ACSI data have proven to be strongly related to a number of essential indicators of micro and macroeconomic performance. For example, firms with higher levels of customer satisfaction tend to have higher earnings and stock returns relative to competitors. Stock portfolios based on companies that show strong performance in ACSI deliver excess returns in up markets as well as down markets. And, at the macro level, customer satisfaction has been shown to be predictive of both consumer spending and gross domestic product growth. First published in October 1994, the Index was founded at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and is produced by ACSI LLC. ABOUT HEINZ: H.J. Heinz Company, offering “Good Food Every Day”™ is one of the world's leading marketers and producers of healthy, convenient and affordable foods specializing in ketchup, sauces, meals, soups, snacks and infant nutrition. Heinz provides superior quality, taste and nutrition for all eating occasions whether in the home, restaurants, the office or “on-the-go.” Heinz is a global family of leading branded products, including Heinz® Ketchup, sauces, soups, beans, pasta and infant foods (representing over one third of Heinz's total sales), Ore-Ida® potato products, Weight Watchers® Smart Ones® entrees, T.G.I. Friday's® snacks, and Plasmon infant nutrition. Heinz is famous for its iconic brands on six continents, showcased by Heinz® Ketchup, The World's Favorite Ketchup®. SAFE HARBOR PROVISIONS FOR FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS: This press release and our other public pronouncements contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are generally identified by the words “will,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates” or similar expressions and include our expectations as to future revenue growth, earnings, capital expenditures and other spending, dividend policy, and planned credit rating, as well as anticipated reductions in spending. These forward-looking statements reflect management's view of future events and financial performance. These statements are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other important factors, many of which may be beyond Heinz's control, and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ from such statements include, but are not limited to: sales, volume, earnings, or cash flow growth, general economic, political, and industry conditions, including those that could impact consumer spending, competitive conditions, which affect, among other things, customer preferences and the pricing of products, production, and energy costs, competition from lower-priced private label brands, increases in the cost and restrictions on the availability of raw materials, including agricultural commodities and packaging materials, the ability to increase product prices in response, and the impact on profitability, the ability to identify and anticipate and respond through innovation to consumer trends, the need for product recalls, the ability to maintain favorable supplier and customer relationships, and the financial viability of those suppliers and customers, currency valuations and devaluations and interest rate fluctuations, changes in credit ratings, leverage, and economic conditions and the impact of these factors on our cost of borrowing and access to capital markets, our ability to effectuate our strategy, including our continued evaluation of potential opportunities, such as strategic acquisitions, joint ventures, divestitures, and other initiatives, our ability to identify, finance, and complete these transactions and other initiatives, and our ability to realize anticipated benefits from them, the ability to successfully complete cost reduction programs and increase productivity, the ability to effectively integrate acquired businesses, new products, packaging innovations, and product mix, the effectiveness of advertising, marketing, and promotional programs, supply chain efficiency, cash flow initiatives, risks inherent in litigation, including tax litigation, the ability to further penetrate and grow and the risk of doing business in international markets, particularly our emerging markets; economic or political instability in those markets, strikes, nationalization, and the performance of business in hyperinflationary environments, in each case such as Venezuela; and the uncertain global macroeconomic environment and sovereign debt issues, particularly in Europe, changes in estimates in critical accounting judgments and changes in laws and regulations, including tax laws, the success of tax planning strategies, the possibility of increased pension expense and contributions and other people-related costs, the potential adverse impact of natural disasters, such as flooding and crop failures, the ability to implement new information systems and potential disruptions due to failures in information technology systems, with regard to dividends, dividends must be declared by the Board of Directors and will be subject to certain legal requirements being met at the time of declaration, as well as our Board's view of our anticipated cash needs, and other factors described in “Risk Factors” and “Cautionary Statement Relevant to Forward-Looking Information” in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended April 27, 2011 and reports on Forms 10-Q thereafter. The forward-looking statements are and will be based on management's then current views and assumptions regarding future events and speak only as of their dates. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by the securities laws. H.J. Heinz CompanyMedia:Michael Mullen, 412-456-5751Michael.mullen@us.hjheinz.comorInvestors:Margaret Nollen, 412-456-1048