What happened

Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ:KHC) has generally been an underperforming stock in recent years, yet on Monday it closed nearly 6% higher.

The catalyst was an update from an influential prognosticator, who has upgraded his recommendation on the stock and lifted his price target.

Kraft Heinz's BBQ sauce line, with a group of chefs in the background

Image source: Kraft Heinz.

So what

Bank of America analyst Bryan Spillane now believes Kraft Heinz is a buy, with a new price target of $38 per share. He formerly rated it as neutral, at $32.

Kraft Heinz stands to benefit from dramatic changes in the consumer landscape in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Because of the stay-at-home measures enacted throughout the world, more people are eating at home. This benefits manufacturers of packaged foods.

This, combined with recent improvements and rationalizations in its product line, leaves the company well situated. "In our view, self-help actions started in 2019 on brands/portfolio, supply chain, and capabilities position KHC to take advantage of changing consumer trends in the wake of COVID-19 and adapt as the marketplace adjusts to recession and other changes," Spillane wrote in his update.

Now what

It seems that the restrictions on movement during the pandemic will remain in force for quite some time, a situation that benefits Kraft Heinz. The company's first quarter saw encouraging, estimate-beating growth, and prospects are good for more of the same in coming quarters.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.