Today Heinz sets out to prove that it is, indeed, easy being green. As its highly anticipated EZ Squirt launch begins nationwide, Heinz has chosen its hometown as the stage for the public debut of its latest colorful condiment.
“News about EZ Squirt has captured attention on virtually every continent,” said Casey Keller, managing director, Ketchup, Condiments and Sauces for Heinz North America. “But, we wanted Pittsburghers to be among the first to enjoy our latest product launch and get a taste of success along with us.”
To commemorate the launch of this local food phenomenon, the following events are planned for Tuesday, October 17:
- Green eggs and ham breakfast for Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy and members of Pittsburgh City Council, accompanied by “Pittsburgh Goes Green” proclamations recognizing one of the most successful product launches in Heinz history;
- A lunchtime “Green Giveaway” of french fries with green ketchup on the steps of the City-County Building Downtown. Free to the public.
- Installation of a new North Side banner, featuring a 40-foot Heinz EZ Squirt bottle complementing the current red neon sign.
Heinz estimates that its sales forecast for the product’s first year of shipments will be met in the first 90 days, and the company has stepped up production to ensure that grocery store shelves remain stocked, increasing production to 24 hours, seven days a week and adding additional equipment.
Heinz EZ Squirt will begin to appear on store shelves immediately, although widespread availability may not occur until December. EZ Squirt will be available in 24-ounce bottles retailing for approximately $1.79.
Kids Get A Cool Ketchup
While Heinz is not the first to adopt an outrageous color to appeal to kids’ sense of fun, virtually no other kid-friendly food has been greeted with such excitement.
“Ketchup is particularly important to kids,” observed Keller. “It’s how kids flavor food and personalize it. It’s what makes a lot of other food acceptable to them. This is the first ketchup that goes one step further, with a bottle kids can control and a color kids themselves selected.”
“We listened very closely to our No. 1 consumer and gave them what they asked for,” said Keller. “And the positive response proves that our approach was the right one.” Kids are the No. 1 consumers of ketchup, eating more than 5 billion ounces of ketchup annually, or half the U.S. volume.
Kids also provided the inspiration for EZ Squirt’s fun color, package and control features. The bottle is ergonomically designed to fit smaller hands and its special cap ensures a super-thin ketchup stream. Green was among the most popular colors mentioned by kids as their preference for the new product. The company is also quick to point out that the green hue is achieved by adding food coloring to traditional Heinz Ketchup … not from green tomatoes as many consumers suspect. Intensive testing was conducted to ensure that the same great taste of Heinz Ketchup was not altered. Research confirms that there is no difference in taste between the red and green EZ Squirt varieties. In addition, Heinz EZ Squirt is fortified with Vitamin C, another first Heinz has introduced to the category.
With sales of more than $9 billion, H.J. Heinz Company is one of the world’s leading marketers of branded foods to supermarkets and away-from-home eating establishments. Its 50 companies operate in approximately 200 countries, offering more than 5,700 varieties. Among the company’s famous global brands are Heinz, StarKist, Ore-Ida, WEIGHT WATCHERS, College Inn, Boston Market, Smart Ones, Budget Gourmet and Bagel Bites.