Kraft To Gain Insight Into Ethnic Foods Supply Chain

By Deborah Austin Packaged-foods maker Kraft Foods plans to gain insights into an Internet-based food company's operations -- while sharing its own supply-chain and quality-system expertise -- through an equity investment with EthnicGrocer.com Inc., an Internet-based retailer targeting ethnic communities. The strategic partnership, announced in late August, should expand Kraft's participation in online food solutions, says Paula Sneed, president of Kraft's E-commerce Division. Chicago-based, privately held EthnicGrocer.com has engineered a technology-centered global supply chain that sources ethnic foods and products from around the world for consumers and businesses. Besides this structure, it has launched separate Web storefronts specifically targeting the Asian-Indian, Chinese, and Latin American markets. The $17.5 billion Kraft Foods, headquartered in Northfield, Ill., is the North American food business of Philip Morris Cos. Inc.

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