Heinz has reacted to speculation that Branston could potentially use the slogan 'Beans Means Branston' by setting out to prove what baked beans actually mean to the UK - in the latest chapter of the rival brand's recent feud.

The company has also written to Branston manufacturer Premier Foods today (14 September), stating that any plans they have to use the slogan would infringe Heinz's registered Trade Mark 'Beans Means Heinz'.
 
Heinz said that 930 people out of 1,000 said that beans more fittingly means Heinz than anything, in an independent survey conducted yesterday on the streets of London, Manchester and Birmingham.
 
Heinz spokesperson Nigel Dickie said: "The only Bean Poll that really matters is the one at the checkout as one and a half million consumers every day choose to buy Heinz rather than any other bean.
 
"We thought they were joking about using our ad slogan but nobody is fooled by imitators or pretenders. Everyone knows that Beanz Meanz Heinz."

Premier Foods has stated that in independently audited taste tests conducted among almost 750,000 consumers last year, Branston was preferred by 76% of consumers, and the brand was denting Heinz' market share.

Branston Baked Beans spokesperson Steve Marinker told just-food: "The suggestion that we might adopt the Beans Means Branston slogan was made with a mischievious glint in our eye. Nevertheless, it is based on something substantive.
 
"The news that Heinz has changed the declared amount of tomato in their product (but very curiously with absolutely no fanfare) proves that they now acknowledge consumers prefer the taste of Branston."

Earlier this week, after news of Branston's potential slogan emerged, the Premier Foods unit also claimed that Heinz had kept recipe changes to its baked beans on the quiet, and had been forced to increase tomato content from 27% to 33% as a result of Branston's own success.