Say it ain’t so: Heinz ketchup the latest casualty of liberal political doctrine

posted at 1:20 pm on May 15, 2010 by Howard Portnoy

Now you see it. Soon you won’t. Take a good look at this picture.

Thanks to pressure from Michael Bloomberg, Heinz is changing its recipe for its famous ketchup.

By the time the H. J. Heinz Company is finished remaking its world-famous ketchup to comply with Michael Bloomberg’s National Salt Reduction Initiative, you may not recognize the product.

As reported last month, Heinz is one of 16 national food manufacturers and food service vendors that has knuckled under to pressure from the New York City mayor to reduce the salt content in their products by 25 percent.

Heinz Ketchup is more than a condiment. It’s an icon. Despite assurances from spokerspersons at the Pittsburgh-based company that the new recipe will be as popular as the original, some things are not meant to be tampered with. I suspect many Americans share my fear that when all is said and done, Heinz will have converted its much-beloved ketchup to just another catsup.

And to what end? To satisfy the misguided ravings of yet another well-intentioned political gasbag who has decreed that you lack the wherewithal to make decisions regarding your personal health and that government should therefore step in as your surrogate.

Bloomberg’s self-anointment as New York’s health guru is part of a national craze among mayors and governors. In many localities, the efforts are taking the form of taxes, on soft drinks, for example, to shore up ailing economies under the guise of looking out for the well-being of constituents.

Even if one accepts the premise that restricting sodium helps people live longer, shouldn’t it be up to the individual to decide if he wants to make that change to his diet? If Michael Bloomberg chooses to eat to live, it is not government’s role or responsibility to sit in judgment of his decision. The same holds true, however, of people who choose to live to eat.

As for Heinz Ketchup, company spokeswoman Jessica Jackson told the New York Post that the new recipe has been tested across “a broad cross-section of consumers.” She added that Heinz is not worried that the new ketchup recipe will suffer the same fate as New Coke, which was resoundingly rejected by consumers when it was unveiled in 1985. I suppose we’ll see soon enough whether that optimism is justified.

According to Heinz’s website, over 650 million bottles of Heinz Ketchup are sold around the world in more than 140 countries, with annual sales of more than $1.5 billion.

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Comment pages: 1 2

but = buy, though sticking their new recipe up their butt w/b fine too.

Schadenfreude on May 15, 2010 at 3:44 PM

It is Kerry’s anyway….Buy Hunts.

Been boycotting Heinz for years…..

nondhimmie on May 15, 2010 at 3:47 PM

More proof that Liberals can’t stand to see anyone enjoy life.

landlines on May 15, 2010 at 4:04 PM

I don’t buy Heinz. I buy Hill Country Fair from HEB (Texas).

madmonkphotog on May 15, 2010 at 4:09 PM

If you absolutely must have Heinz, you can always make your own.

Laura on May 15, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Reduce the salt content of beers and wines by 25%

J_Crater on May 15, 2010 at 4:18 PM

Haven’t bought anything with the Heinz label since I learned it was Theresa’s family. I’d soon eat Hemlock.

petefrt on May 15, 2010 at 4:30 PM

How about reducing the Bull.s.h.i.t. content in politicians?

john1schn on May 15, 2010 at 4:40 PM

I don’t buy Heinz. I buy Hill Country Fair from HEB (Texas).

madmonkphotog on May 15, 2010 at 4:09 PM

My favorite brand!

john1schn on May 15, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Mr. Burns already has trouble choosing between Ketchup and Catsup. This will only make it more difficult.

gregbert on May 15, 2010 at 4:53 PM

Swiftboat Heinz, steak sauce is better anyway

I am not a racist on May 15, 2010 at 4:55 PM

My family buys Old Gold, an Indiana brand that donates products to food pantry organizations in addition to making a profit.

Screw Heinz, haven’t bought their products since I realized Kerry had married up (or down, depending upon your view).

Onager on May 15, 2010 at 4:59 PM

Heinz could just have a “NewYork” style catsup that has less salt and let those of us that don’t live in New york choose. The scary part about less salt is that it was put in catsup in the first place to cut down on bacteria and make it safer to transport. This reminds me of “green” cleaners that save mother earth but don’t actually kill germs. Scarier still is how Heinz is going to make their catsup taste the same with less salt. When tobacco companies had to live with less tobacco in their cigarettes, they put chemicals like ammonia in there to make it seem like there was the same amount of nicotine. Something tells me that whatever they put in their catsup will be more harmful than salt. DON’T BUY HEINZ CATSUP!

JavelinaBomb on May 15, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Hit em where it hurts! I say stop buying it as soon as it comes out. They’ll get the message and at least offer the old recipe as an option.

MechEng5by5 on May 15, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Heinz? They bleed from 57 wounds.

I discovered some terrific ketchups down in Jamaica a few years ago-they have banana ketchup and mango ketchup, and even spicy Jamaican Jerk Ketchup.

And from here in the States, the Pride of Toledo is Tony Packo’s Sweet Hot ketchup. Best sampled on his famous Hungarian hot dogs. Tony will ship the dogs to you but he ain’t cheap…30 hot dogs are $160 to $180 (includes shipping) depending on your location.

Del Dolemonte on May 15, 2010 at 5:35 PM

1) If you do your research, you’ll find that for healthy people (who don’t have a specific salt-related condition), the paranoia about salt is bullpuckey. There’s no statistically valid difference in the health of low-salt maniacs and, say, the Japanese, who eat four times as much salt as we do. The same is true all over the world, population’s salt intake doesn’t particularly relate to their health unless it’s zero or so high as to be nigh impossible.

2) If you DO believe the salt-paranoiacs, a 25% decrease isn’t going to save you.

So, as usual, make everything worse, don’t achieve your paranoid goals anyway.

PS I’m on low sodium because of a specific health event, but it makes sense because of that condition. Hopefully it will be temporary, but either way that doesn’t mean I want to impose my crappy-tasting food on everyone else.

Merovign on May 15, 2010 at 5:46 PM

There’s no statistically valid difference in the health of low-salt maniacs and, say, the Japanese, who eat four times as much salt as we do.

Merovign on May 15, 2010 at 5:46 PM

Don’t the Japanese also eat 4 times as much fish/seafood as we do?

Del Dolemonte on May 15, 2010 at 6:11 PM

Okay, how often do you use ketchup anyway?

And as my husband just noted: “Great. Now people are going to be salting their ketchup. That should do wonders for our sodium intake.”

WaltzingMtilda on May 15, 2010 at 6:15 PM

I predict we’ll be seeing bottles of Heinz Ketchup “Classic” arrayed prominently above dusty, unsold bottles of their new diet ketchup within a very short period of time.

How telling is it that they won’t be announcing this formulation change on the label? The only way to tell, other than taste, is by examining the label on the back. It’s almost like….they really don’t want people to know.

DngrMse on May 15, 2010 at 6:16 PM

I’m with Buck Owens. They couldn’t pay me enough to live in New York City.

jdkchem on May 15, 2010 at 6:16 PM

Curious, have salt shakers been pulled from the tables yet? If not, why not? That’s like leaving loaded pistols on the tables, right?

redshirt on May 15, 2010 at 6:18 PM

Don’t the Japanese also eat 4 times as much fish/seafood as we do?

Del Dolemonte on May 15, 2010 at 6:11 PM

They also eat more rice and seaweed which, like fish and seafood, has nothing to do with sodium consumption.

jdkchem on May 15, 2010 at 6:20 PM

Just wondering, does anyone make catsup in Arizonia? I’d buy that.

MikeA on May 15, 2010 at 6:31 PM

One more point. Isn’t the Heinz brand sort of in the family of John Kerry? So who cares if it goes under the bus?

MikeA on May 15, 2010 at 6:33 PM

Why did they go out of their way to do this?

Those of us who want reduced salt products usually have no trouble finding them. Why didn’t they just offer a reduced salt version similar to what Campbell’s does?

I would love to hear an explanation from the company.

chris999 on May 15, 2010 at 6:39 PM

Someone needs to write a book titled, “How to re-salt foods you used to love”. Then make it a best seller to poke fun at the condescending attitude of our political overlords.

AltTuning on May 15, 2010 at 6:44 PM

They would probably be better off reducing the sugar content.

Count to 10 on May 15, 2010 at 7:05 PM

Black market ketchup. I can see it coming.
We have got to defeat Liberals at every freaking opportunity and never ever let them near power ever again! Not even freaking dog catcher!

JellyToast on May 15, 2010 at 7:37 PM

And to what end? To satisfy the misguided ravings of yet another well-intentioned political gasbag who has decreed that you lack the wherewithal to make decisions regarding your personal health.

How about capitalists responding to consumer demands and not political correctness?

AshleyTKing on May 15, 2010 at 7:57 PM

I’m glad that Heinz is reducing the salt. Salt sucks! It gives you hardening of the arteries and makes you die sooner. No one is being prevented from using all the salt he wants on his burger. If you want more, pour it on. The reduced salt allow those who want less salt to still enjoy ketchup on their burgers. Another change that I am looking forward to is when Heinz replaces the high-fructose corn syrup, which is another killer, with natural sugar.

scrubjay on May 15, 2010 at 8:40 PM

Slow news day I guess. Promote the dumbest thread ever. Guess HA and AP are in sad shape.

WoosterOh on May 15, 2010 at 9:13 PM

And to what end? To satisfy the misguided ravings of yet another well-intentioned political gasbag who has decreed that you lack the wherewithal to make decisions regarding your personal health and that government should therefore step in as your surrogate.

BINGO. Well said.

fossten on May 15, 2010 at 9:40 PM

ERR are they going to take the salt shakers off of the tables as well?
Are they going to make low salt breads, can you lower the salt in bread and still have it rise and taste good?

ColdWarrior57 on May 15, 2010 at 10:11 PM

Much ado about nothing–no one will actually notice much like when they switched to high-fructose corn syrup instead of sugar. The recipe likely changes all the time, this “first time in 40 years” notion is complete BS.

It has a lot of sodium (8% daily value per tablespoon serving) and if they can make it tasty with less sodium what’s the big deal? They have been working on this for two years so it’s not a conspiracy with the White House or even Bloomberg.

jonknee on May 15, 2010 at 10:13 PM

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-3002

Vitamins and supplements will be the next if McCain gets his way.

njpat on May 15, 2010 at 11:45 PM

I too am a fan of Tony Packo’s hot dogs and sweet catsup or ketchup. Greatest. If you don’t go that way, try Hunts or the gazillion of lesser known brands. Nothing for John Kerry but disdain.

AReadyRepub on May 16, 2010 at 12:37 AM

jonknee on May 15, 2010 at 10:13 PM

Ready-made clown subject of our new royalty.

You are a freaking fruitloop.

Inanemergencydial on May 16, 2010 at 1:14 AM

More BS from Bloomingberg`s insanity lane! Too much salt is bad. Risky. No salt will put you down into the ground for certain. Salt of the earth? No thanks!Anyway I want to get there at my own speed for better or for worse. We are all going there anyway, but I guess the liberals have reached the conclusion that we are immortal. Do you want to live forever??

Sherman1864 on May 16, 2010 at 4:00 AM

The “boycott Heinz” crowd is misguided. Most of their board are Republicans and that’s where the bulk of their donations go. Te-RAY-zuh inherited a small % of their stock from her Republican husband.

Of course, if the changed recipe sucks, I’ll boycott myself.

The original story mentioned Heinz as one of 12 food producers who were going to comply with Daddy Bloomberg’s latest scheme.

Adjoran on May 16, 2010 at 6:22 AM

She added that Heinz is not worried that the new ketchup recipe will suffer the same fate as New Coke, which was resoundingly rejected by consumers when it was unveiled in 1985.”

Not worried, huh…?

What does she know that we do not?

Big new lucrative contracts with Federal and New York governments.

American Elephant on May 16, 2010 at 6:24 AM

There goes my tomato soup.

MSGTAS on May 16, 2010 at 9:19 AM

It is Kerry’s anyway….Buy Hunts.

Been boycotting Heinz for years…..

nondhimmie on May 15, 2010 at 3:47 PM

No, it isn’t. Aside from being the beneficiaries of the late John Heinz’s ketchup generated wealth, Terrrrayza and Flipper have nothing to do with the H.J. Heinz Company.

Pablo on May 16, 2010 at 10:31 AM

S. Weasel on May 15, 2010 at 1:25 PM: Surely, New York City is, like, .001% of the market….What kind of nutty business decision is this?

Exactly. Seems like the business decision would be to STOP SELLING YOUR BRAND IN NYC!

scituate_tgr on May 16, 2010 at 12:48 PM

It is Kerry’s anyway….Buy Hunts.

Been boycotting Heinz for years…..

Me too.

docob on May 16, 2010 at 1:24 PM

I am massively sick and tired of government busybodies “fixing” things that weren’t broken in the first place all for the good of the masses (who are naturally too stupid to know what is good for them.)

Whether it is Heinz Ketchup or anything else, I want my diet (and my country) back from these loons. I want them to leave my life alone. And I hope, after this recent, overwhelming dose of “Hope and Change,” that people will think three or four times before they’re willing to allow such meddlers into positions of power again. I have enough trouble with my neighborhood’s version of Mrs. Grundy. Having one in as the country’s president is disastrous.

hachiban on May 16, 2010 at 2:08 PM

I have not had Heinz Ketchup in years, and will continue to do so for many more years.

hawkman on May 16, 2010 at 4:34 PM

I sent an email to Hunts inquiring as to whether or not they intended to change their recipe as well.
Maybe they’ll answer.
If I get too much salt, I eat a half a banana. doan take no genius neither..

Army Brat on May 16, 2010 at 6:05 PM

Well intentions? WELL INTENTIONS ???

There is nothing Bloomberg does over and above his mayoral duties that is well intentioned. If I knew a bit more about his record as a mayor, I’d probably find a few short comings there as well. That’s an educated guess based upon his ignoble “Mayous Against Guns” excrement.

Woody

woodcdi on May 16, 2010 at 8:57 PM

Just need to use 33% more to get the full 100%.

Why couldn’t they just require us all to use 25% less?

I promise I won’t! and ObamaCare will reduce our HealthCare costs.

barnone on May 17, 2010 at 10:43 AM

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