Heinz Introduces Its Organic Ketchup to U.S.

Jun 20, 2002

H.J. Heinz Co. is unveiling organic ketchup, which it is selling in Europe
and Canada, to the US market. The company, which already controls about 60 percent
of a US retail ketchup market approaching half a billion dollars, expects its
Heinz Organic Ketchup to be on the shelves of mainstream and specialty supermarkets
nationally by the end of the summer, reports Reuters.

Annual sales of organic ketchup in the United States are about $600,000, carried under specialty brands such as Muir Glen, Walnut Acres and the labels of organic grocers such as Whole Foods Market Inc. Organic condiments overall have been growing at about 15 percent annually, according to Heinz. The mainstream ketchup category rose less than one percent in dollar sales in the 52 weeks ended May 19.

The new ketchup’s ingredients and packaging will be different, says Brian Hansberry, Heinz’s vice-president of marketing for ketchup, condiments and sauces. The new ketchup made from 100 percent certified organic vine-ripened tomatoes will be sold in 15-ounce plastic containers with a new green label. It will cost about 50 percent more than its regular ketchup.

Moderator Comment: Will Heinz Organic Ketchup find
a mass consumer audience or will it be a niche product?

Here is how
we look at it.

  1. We’ve never actually looked at the price of a bottle
    of Heinz Ketchup before buying it.

  2. The 50 percent premium over the regular ketchup still
    only adds up to a $1.99 retail price.

  3. Heinz says that its organic ketchup tastes exactly
    like its regular ketchup.

  4. People are looking for easy ways to make themselves
    feel that they are following a healthy lifestyle.

  5. We’ll buy it.

Anderson – Moderator

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