PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The roots of the Heinz relationship in our town run deep, so the idea of McDonald’s dumping Heinz ketchup is not going over well.
The bad blood between Heinz and McDonald’s flows all the way back to the ketchup shortage of 40 years ago when McDonald’s couldn’t get as much ketchup as they wanted from Heinz.
That wound has healed, but McDonald’s has slowly phased out Heinz everywhere but here and Minneapolis.
But now comes this from McDonald’s: “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.”
While McDonald’s wouldn’t be more specific, the new man calling the shots at Heinz is Bernardo Hees, who, as he proudly displayed at the New York Stock Exchange, is the vice chairman of the board of Burger King.
Heinz wouldn’t comment on the McDonald’s decision, but says, “As a matter of policy, Heinz does not comment on relationships with customers.”
McDonald’s customers had plenty to say.
“It’s an institution here in Pittsburgh; they should support Heinz,” said Lucy Cotter, of Regent Square.
“I don’t think they should dump Heinz ketchup,” said Mitchell Davis, of North Braddock. “Heinz is good. I like Heinz ketchup, they should keep it.”
Ultimately, it may be your taste buds that tell you when the change has been made.
Don’t look for McDonald’s to hold a press conference about this or have some grand announcement.
Right now, if you walk into a Wendy’s or Chik-Fil-A, you’ll get ketchup marked Heinz, but at the McDonald’s at the Waterfront, they have something called Fancy Ketchup.