Monday, October 28, 2013

McDonald’s Is Going to Replace Heinz Ketchup

A peeved McDonald’s is in the process of cancelling its 40-year old partnership with Heinz. The fast-food giant has approached Hunt’s and Del Monte to replace Heinz ketchup.

The move is the result of a management change at Heinz. In June 2013, Heinz appointed Bernardo Hees as its new CEO. Hees used to be the CEO of Burger King, one of McDonald’s main business rivals. The appointment is the result of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and Brazilian 3G Capital taking over H.J. Heinz Co.

The switch will mainly impact McDonald’s 34,000 restaurants outside of the US. Only outlets in the Pittsburgh and Minneapolis areas serve Heinz ketchup; all other US-based restaurants use local suppliers.

McDonald’s went on record stating: "We value the relationship we’ve maintained with Heinz for more than 40 years. As a result of recent management changes at Heinz, we have decided to transition our business to other suppliers over time. We have spoken to Heinz and plan to work together to ensure a smooth and orderly transition of the McDonald’s restaurant business, and are confident that there will be no impact to our business, our customers and our great tasting food at McDonald’s."

Heinz (wisely) could not be reached for comment.

Consumers might not be pleased; Heinz fans believe it to be the best-tasting ketchup.

It’s not the first time that there is a discord between McDonald's and Heinz. John F. Love mentions in "McDonald's: Behind the Arches" that Heinz used to supply 90% of McDonald’s ketchup and pickles until it could not meet demand due to tomato shortage. McDonald’s promptly took its business elsewhere. But this time around, it’s far more personal...

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