- Kraft Heinz will use the metaverse to develop "digital twins" of its supply chain systems.
- The Philadelphia-owner aims to avoid products getting "trapped" as had happened in the pandemic.
- Microsoft's Azure will host the multinational's new metaverse tech.
Kraft Heinz, the owner of brands like Philadelphia, Capri Sun, and Kool-Aid, will use the metaverse to get ahead of supply chain bottlenecks.
The multinational food giant agreed a deal with Microsoft last month to use Azure as the cloud platform that will enable Kraft to map out its supply lines virtually where it can simulate product runs in advance and spot any issues that might arise.
In an interview with CNN, Carlos Abrams-Rivera, Kraft's president of North America, said some products became "trapped" in its logistics system during the pandemic as repeated lockdowns incurred dramatic shifts in demand.
Abrams-Rivera said the so-called "digital twin" model of its supply lines will help it avoid a situation like that in the future and that it will also enable the company to automate its reaction to spikes in demand.
Kraft Heinz will use the tech to digitally map out its logistics system in the hope of creating a "supply chain control tower."
If a store runs a promotion on Lunchables, for example, that means Kraft employees have to spot this and tell warehouses to prepare as they will see increased demand, Abrams-Rivera, told CNN.
Speaking at the time of the original announcement last month, Judson Althoff, Microsoft's chief commercial officer, said the pandemic had highlighted the "urgent need for digital-first supply chain solutions" for every industry.
Former Kraft Heinz employees told Insider last year that it cut costs heavily since its 3G Capital merger in 2015, causing burnout and high turnover. It left the company struggling to compete with its rivals, they said.
Food-industry experts also said last year that Kraft Heinz is failing to explore new product verticals and risks missing out if it focuses heavily on efficiencies. The multinational went through an organizational restructuring including layoffs as well as slashing the budget for travel to promote new products, former employees told Insider.
Kraft Heinz and Microsoft were not immediately available for comment.