Heinz Ketchup! The iconic American brand that we all know and love. In 2000, Heinz rolled out a super vibrant colored ketchup in purple, green, pink, orange, teal, and blue variations. The first new color entry was “Blastin Green” in support of the new Shrek movie at the time. As you can imagine, kids went wild and sales for Heinz skyrocketed, shooting up to an all-time high of 60% of the U.S. ketchup industry.
At the same time, no surprise at all, shortly after, Heinz had to start pulling these extreme ketchup products off the shelves. There were many factors to the fall of EZ Squirt but all-in-all, it had revolved in the failed assumptions.
As mentioned, the first release of EZ Squirt was in support of the new Shrek movie which hyped it up for kids and adults to enjoy Shrek’s green world. The release was a hit and was super affordable. The assumption here was that new movie, new product, which is the doorstep of a new line of Heinz. However, as the movie trend started to die down, so did the green-ness of ketchup. There was nothing new that came out from Heinz that would quickly alter the audience’s line of sight and eventually the idea of extreme colors faded. It wasn’t until 2 years after “Blastin Green” that Heinz decided to come out with additional colors like teal, pink and orange. But by then…who cares?!
Assumptions were made that if odd green ketchup can make the market, why not other colors right? Wrong! Without the novelty relations of movies or trends, nutritional factors of food products begin to emerge into people’s eyes. Noting that EZ Squirts are still targeted for children, moms began to wonder what is causing the vibrant colors?
Fun fact: Red ketchup is made from red tomatoes and green ketchup is not made from green tomatoes.
Turns out, the way to make non-red ketchup is by stripping away the red color and adding artificial food coloring to get that desired “Stellar Blue”. With all the additional steps of changing the color, taste and texture eventually started to change. Chemical after chemical in attempts to keep the traditional taste, Heinz’s EZ Squirt is basically no longer the same tomato-made ketchup that we all know and love. Parents became more aware and eventually deemed it as unhealthy for children.
There you have it! The doom of EZ Squirt by Heinz. Fun while it lasted.