Friday, May 14, 2010

'Leave the Ketchup Alone'

Well, Mr. Salty Michael Bloomberg will be thrilled, but most people who enjoy Heinz ketchup will likely have a predictable reaction. Don't mess with success. This has New Coke written all over it, so expect them to roll out a Heinz Classic before long.
Your fries may never taste the same again!

For the first time in 40 years, Heinz ketchup is changing its famous recipe -- by lowering the salt content in an effort to appeal to more health-conscious consumers, the company said yesterday.

Company officials have taste tested the new blend and believe it will be as popular as their old recipe, which has a 60 percent share of the ketchup market.

But Heinz fans fear that the company may be messing with perfection and that the switch could wind up a flavor debacle equal to the infamous rollout of New Coke.

"Leave the ketchup alone," said Heinz fan, Patrick Johnson, of Brooklyn. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

"I'm so used to the ketchup the way it is -- why would they change it?" said Joe Oliva of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, who has been eating the ketchup for nearly eight decades. "I'm 80 years old, and I haven't died yet. It's really hard for me to eat without salt. I think it's infringing on our rights!"

When asked why the company was rolling the dice with a new recipe, spokeswoman Jessica Jackson said, "The catalyst . . . came from the changing needs of our consumers and our commitment to health and wellness."

Jackson said the company had been planning the change for about two years. But it is coming just as Mayor Bloomberg and other politicians are leaning on big food companies to kick the salt. Heinz was one of 16 major food manufacturers that last month signed onto the National Salt Reduction Initiative, a plan led by Bloomberg to get companies to cut back on the salt in their products.

"The Health Department commends Heinz," a Health spokeswoman said yesterday.
How nice. They get a pat on the head from the food police, but are sure to get a thumbs down from their customers.

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