Heinz Serves New Ketchup with Relish. But Will it Be the Company's New Coke?
The reformulated recipe will improve Heinz's nutritional profile. This summer, the company will reduce sodium in its "core" ketchup by 15%, making Heinz the lowest-sodium ketchup line available nationally. And in March, the company will introduce "Simply Heinz" ketchup, containing sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup, in 32-ounce and 15-ounce bottles. The company says a 32-ounce bottle of Simply Heinz will cost the same as a 36-ounce bottle of the regular ketchup, which positions it between regular Heinz and Organic Heinz ketchups.
Dip & Squeeze, Pros & Cons
Heinz is also introducing single-serve packaging that should address customer complaints. Its standard ketchup packets, in use since 1968, will be replaced by Dip & Squeeze packets (pictured) that hold three times as much ketchup, and which are designed to enable consumers to squeeze or to peel open for dipping. Heinz intends the packaging to leave a smaller environmental footprint: According to the company, most customers use two or three traditional packets at a time, so the larger packets with more ketchup should reduce garbage.
But there's a potential downside: an increased amount of wasted ketchup. Cashiers at fast-food outlets routinely dump handfuls of packets in with each order. The cost of individual ketchup packets will "marginally increase," but Heinz is not working directly with restaurant chains to educate employees about the packaging change. The new packaging could translate into extra revenue for Heinz, but it could come with a stiff price for its retail customers.