Heinz, French’s Go After Each Other’s Flagship Condiment With New Mustard, Ketchup Offerings

Soon the ketchup and mustard in your refrigerator might be from the some company.

Soon the ketchup and mustard in your refrigerator might be from the some company.

Take a peek in many consumers’ refrigerators and you’ll likely find a bottle of ketchup from Heinz and a bottle of yellow mustard from French’s. That typical scenario could soon be turned on its head now that the two companies are encroaching on each other’s turf with Heinz finally jumping into the mustard market with both feet and French’s entering the tomato fray with its own take on ketchup.

The Wall Street Journal reports that both companies are looking to score an even bigger piece of the billion dollar condiment market with their latest products.

Heinz announced its newest venture Thursday, saying it would start selling its Heinz mustard at retailers across the country in an attempt to take a bite out of French’s dominant hold on the $400 million mustard market.

Mustard isn’t exactly a new venture for Heinz, the company has been selling the condiment in bulk and in individual packets to restaurants, sporting venues and other customers for years.

However, the company says the new retail version is a bit different, made with all-natural ingredients and some stone-ground seeds, the WSJ reports.

Representatives with Heinz say expanding into mustard was a “no-brainer” for the company. While the company is concentrating on the original yellow mustard for now, it may add flavored varieties in the future.

To keep the two condiment kingpins on even footing, French’s has also recently tested the waters in the $749 million ketchup market.

The company, which has already promoted the ketchup on its website, tells the WSJ that its new product is shipping to stores and will be formally launched soon.

The two companies don’t appear to be holding any punches when it comes to their newly intensified rivalry.

Bloomberg reports that Heinz’s upcoming national campaign touting its mustard offers only a slightly veiled jab at French’s. The commercial features a man dressed as a Heinz ketchup bottle and his girlfriend, dressed in what looks like the unique French’s mustard bottle. The man is seen telling his girlfriend about his new love interest, while the voiceover proclaims: “For years Heinz ketch has been with the wrong mustard. Well, not anymore.”

Apparently not one to hold back, French’s president, Elliott Penner, gave a not-so-flattering review – of both the commercial and the mustard – to Bloomberg.

“They’ve had mustard for years, and it hasn’t done well,” he said. “The ads are humorous. I think sometimes when you don’t have new news, you use humor.”

Here’s the upcoming Heinz commercial, for your own interpretation:

Heinz Aims to Be Top Dog in Mustard, Too [The Wall Street Journal]
The Condiment Wars: Heinz and French’s Put the Squeeze on Each Other [Bloomberg]