In the old days, Heinz was the world’s thickest ketchup. In the 1990’s they replaced the real cane sugar with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and they stopped talking about thickness. The reason for the switch? Like Coca Cola, cost savings. They sacrificed their age-old positioning (thickness) in favour of millions of dollars of sugar savings.
Here’s a pre-Friends Matt LeBlanc (1987) in a proper Heinz commercial.
After almost 20 years of life with thin ketchup, that other brand that starts with H and ends with ts (Hunts) has taken advantage of the HFCS backlash and brought back the cane sugar.
Heinz has handed Hunts this ingredient branding opportunity on a plate. I hope Hunts takes one more step though – for the people who don’t care about HFCS vs Sugar, Hunts should probably explain why natural sugar is better – the ketchup is thicker and tastier.