Gherkin jerked

The semi-iconic Heinz pickle, which has appeared on most of the company’s product labels for a century or so, will be displaced on Heinz’ ketchup label by, of all things, a tomato.


In testing, mothers — the target buyers — said having the tomato on the label helped them make the connection with the product’s main ingredient.

The frightening aspect of this is that there apparently are people who don’t know that tomato ketchup contains tomatoes — and who are having children. I fear for the Republic.

(Via Fark.)


  1. McGehee »

    17 January 2009 · 1:50 pm

    Pssshh. For me the icon that says “Heinz” to me is the keystone-shaped label. Pickle? What pickle?

  2. Fritz Schranck »

    17 January 2009 · 2:07 pm

    So the gherkin is off, then?

  3. Charles Pergiel »

    17 January 2009 · 2:32 pm

    Tomatos? Yuck! Aren’t tomatos, like, vegtables? I always thought catsup/katchup/ketchup was made from Jello, a true natural resource!

    Serially, I have to agree with McGehee.

  4. CGHill »

    17 January 2009 · 4:18 pm

    There are those who thought ketchup itself deserved vegetable status.

  5. Jeffro »

    17 January 2009 · 5:40 pm

    Hmm. I didn’t realize there was a pickle on Heinz’s ketchup label.

  6. CGHill »

    17 January 2009 · 7:50 pm

    See here for details.

  7. fillyjonk »

    17 January 2009 · 9:01 pm

    Like Jeffro, I guess I never paid attention to the tiny pickle.

    Instead, I read the label. The one that says “Catsup” or “Ketchup” or whatever. (Except I don’t really care that much for ketchup so I rarely buy it unless I’m making some recipe that calls for it….)

    Were people actually complaining about this, or was it just some decision on the part of the company (If it was a decision really aimed at generating press for the company, well, it seems to have worked.)

  8. CGHill »

    17 January 2009 · 9:26 pm

    The image of a single, large, vine-ripened tomato is much larger than the pickle it’s replacing and better reflects what’s inside the bottle, said Noel Geoffrey, director of ketchup for Pittsburgh-based Heinz.

    Actually, I just quoted that because I love the idea of someone having the official job title “director of ketchup.”

  9. fillyjonk »

    18 January 2009 · 7:43 am

    I wonder if he makes more money than I do.


  10. CGHill »

    18 January 2009 · 10:50 am

    Pay scales, as a rule, make very little sense; then again, trying to force them to make sense would almost certainly make matters worse.

  11. Tatyana »

    18 January 2009 · 11:24 am

    why don’t they draw a bottle of white vinegar on that label? That’s what is inside that bottle, concealed under red coloring. Ever tried to leave a penny in a saucer of ketchup overnight and then wash it under cold tap?

  12. Charles Pergiel »

    19 January 2009 · 10:25 pm

    I wonder if “Director of Ketchup” is a real job, or is it some title they bestow on someone’s son in-law so they could justify his allowance. Kind of like when the give an “Executive Producer” credit to someone the film maker wants to butter up. Sorry, I’m wandering way off in the weeds.

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