Heinz Ketchup Retires the Pickle from its Label After 110 Years: Vine-Ripened Tomato Takes “Center Stage” on Tables Across the U.S.

New Heinz Ketchup Label Emphasizes Fresh “Grown not made™” Tomatoes

PITTSBURGH–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Move over pickle and make way for a fresh, new look for Heinz Ketchup, an American mealtime icon. Heinz North America today announced the gherkin pickle, which has been featured on Heinz Ketchup labels since the 1890s, is making way for a vine-ripened tomato and a tagline that clearly communicates that the tomatoes in Heinz Tomato Ketchup are ‘Grown not made.’ The tomato imagery on the new label emphasizes Heinz’s heritage as the world’s largest processed tomato company with a deep dedication to tomato quality from seed to bottle.

“The tomato is what makes Heinz Ketchup so extraordinary, and so with all due respect to the pickle, which has served Heinz dutifully since the 19th century, we are shifting the spotlight to the tomato,” said Heinz Chairman, President and CEO, William R. Johnson. “Heinz tomatoes, which we carefully nurture from seed to vine to bottle, make the perfect ketchup. The redesign of our label underscores this commitment and highlights the true hero of our iconic product, the tomato.”

“According to consumer research, Heinz’s ‘Grown not made’ label is viewed by 68 percent of consumers as confirming the wholesomeness of Heinz Tomato Ketchup,” said Noel Geoffroy, Director of Heinz Ketchup.

From Seed to Bottle: The Importance of Heinz Tomatoes

While this is the first significant new design of the Heinz Ketchup label in nearly 65 years, Heinz’s commitment to high-quality tomatoes and superior ingredients is not new. Since the 1930s, Heinz researchers have been developing proprietary tomato seeds through the HeinzSeed program, from which only the firmest, juiciest, freshest tomatoes are grown for America’s Favorite Ketchup™. Only a select group of trusted farmers, who adhere to Heinz’s high-quality standards, are chosen to grow Heinz Ketchup tomatoes from Heinz seeds. The relationships Heinz has developed with its farmers spans several generations and dates back nearly four decades.

In a time when complex food supply chains can make it difficult for consumers to know where their food comes from, consumers can rest assured that each tomato in a bottle of Heinz Ketchup, from seed to vine to bottle can be chronicled through a code on the cap. A simple look at this code allows Heinz to determine the exact farm the tomatoes were grown on, the details of where the ketchup was bottled and even what variety of HeinzSeed seeds were used.

Saying Goodbye to the Pickle and Hello to the Tomato

There are no pickles in Heinz Ketchup, so how did this deli staple end up endorsing the brand for more than a century? It began in 1893 when H. J. Heinz decided to use a “pickle pin” to attract attention to his booth at the Chicago World’s Fair, the nation’s largest food show and exposition at that time. The pins were so popular that attendees were lining up to get one. A simple marketing gimmick became part of the history of America’s most iconic ketchup brand.

Throughout the years, the pickle proudly adorned each bottle of Heinz Ketchup. Even still – that little pickle, over time, faded into the background in consumers’ minds.

Heinz Ketchup bottles featuring the new labels will begin arriving in stores throughout the first part of 2009 and will be available in restaurants later this year. The new label will be supported by the largest marketing campaign since the 1980s, including print and television advertising, which also emphasizes the Ketchup maker’s quality tomatoes.

About Heinz

The H. J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ), offering “Good Food, Every Day™,” is one of the world’s leading marketers and producers of branded foods in ketchup, condiments, sauces, meals, soups, seafood, snacks, and infant foods. Heinz satisfies hungry consumers in every outlet, from supermarkets to restaurants to convenience stores and kiosks. Heinz is a global family of leading brands, including Heinz® Ketchup, sauces, soups, beans, pasta and infant foods (representing nearly one-third of total sales or close to $3 billion), HP® and Lea & Perrins®, Ore-Ida® French fries and roasted potatoes, Boston Market® and Weight Watchers® Smart Ones® meals, and Plasmon® baby food. Heinz’s 50 companies have number-one or number-two brands in 200 countries, showcased by Heinz® Ketchup, The World’s Favorite Ketchup™. Information on Heinz is available at www.heinz.com/news.