Heinz Tops All Food Manufacturers in the American Customer Satisfaction Index ™ for 13 th Consecutive Year
PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- H.J. Heinz Company (NYS: HNZ) is pleased to announce that the Company ranked number-one in overall customer satisfaction among food manufacturers in the 2012 American Customer Satisfaction Index™ (ACSI). Heinz led food manufacturers for the 13th consecutive year.
Heinz has earned the ACSI's top ranking among food manufacturers every year since 2000. This year, Heinz achieved an overall customer satisfaction score of 89, which measured its performance in categories including quality, value, consumer loyalty and consumer expectations. The Company's industry-leading score was 6 points higher than the average for the packaged foods sector. 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.
Commenting on this year's number-one ranking, Heinz Chairman, President and CEO William R. Johnson said, "The enduring success of our iconic brand reflects our singular dedication to making exceptional products that consistently satisfy consumers, led by Heinz® Ketchup. Heinz is a perennial leader in our industry because we focus everyday on meeting the consumer's appetite for great-tasting premium quality foods, convenience and importantly, value."
ACSI Founder Claes Fornell said, "Year after year, Heinz is an industry leader with high ACSI scores and a winning recipe for building consumer loyalty and satisfaction. This year's results confirm once again that Heinz has earned a stellar reputation for consistently manufacturing foods that meet or exceed consumer expectations for quality and value."
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.
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. 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. At the macro level, customer satisfaction has been shown to be predictive of both consumer spending and gross domestic product growth.
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® entrées, 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, and the potential impact of climate change,
- the ability to implement new information systems, potential disruptions due to failures in information technology systems, and risks associated with social media,
- 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 29, 2012 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.
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