What’s your go to mass produced ketchup? Why, a bottle of Heinz of course! But, in Israel it has been ruled that Heinz ketchup cannot be classified as ketchup because it doesn’t have the requisite amount of tomato concentrate in it.
The country’s health ministry has stated that Heinz ketchup products must now be labelled ‘tomato seasoning’. However, this only applies to labels in Hebrew; the English labelled products can continue to be called ketchup.
This move comes after an aggressive campaign by Israel’s leading ketchup manufacturer and supplier, Osem, who argued that a laboratory test had revealed that Heinz ketchup contains only 21 % of tomato concentrate. The food standards in Israel require that ketchup contain at least 41 % of tomato concentrate.
The distributor of Heinz ketchup in Israel has begun a petition to change the definition of the product from having to contain 10% of tomato solids to 6%. Meanwhile, in a statement to Newsweek, Heinz has said “Ketchup fans in Israel continue to enjoy Heinz Tomato Ketchup, the world’s favourite ketchup first created by Heinz in 1876. The word ketchup is indicated in English on the front of the bottle while recognizing that the Israeli standard for ketchup has yet to be brought in line with U.S. and European accepted international standards, the back label of our ketchup sold in Israel reflects current local requirements for ingredient labelling and the Hebrew name for the product.”
Will Heinz succeed in changing ketchup standards in Israel? Only time will tell.