The reason for the move? It would seem that the fast food giant is sticking it to a former rival. Bernardo Hees, the new top man at Heinz, is a former Burger King CEO. McDonald’s said as much, citing “recent management changes” at Heinz as the reason they’re dumping the famous ketchup.
In an email to the Huffington Post, the burger chain said:
“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.”
Before you get your knickers in a twist, it’s very likely you’ve never actually enjoyed Heinz ketchup at your favorite McDonald’s. Heinz only supplies McDonald’s restaurants in a few U.S. cities; most McD’s that use Heinz are overseas in the U.K.
“We only used Heinz in the Minneapolis and Pittsburgh markets in the U.S,” said Becca Hary, McDonalds' director of global media relations. “Globally, Heinz represents a small percentage of McDonald's condiment and sauce business.”
So what are ketchup connoisseurs dunking their fries in these days?
According to the Huffington Post, “McDonald's representatives refused to say which company supplies ketchup to the majority of McDonald's American restaurants… or which companies might be tapped to produce its ketchup going forward.”