Devoted to Heinz? Prepare your taste buds for a new ketchup flavor.
The ketchup giant announced yesterday that for the first time in 40 years it's changing it's recipe by lowering the salt content to appeal to more health-conscious customers. The announcement arrived in time for the Health Department's new campaign, Cut the Salt, Brooklyn! this weekend.
Heinz company officials aren't worried about the new recipe jeopardizing the iconic taste and told the New York Post they think it will be as popular as their old recipe. The company owns a 60 percent share of the ketchup market.
Despite the company's assurances, loyal fans think Heinz is messing with a good thing.
"Leave the ketchup alone," Patrick Johnson, a Heinz fan in Brooklyn told the Post. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Company spokeswoman Jessica Jackson told the Post it decided to change it's recipe because of "the changing needs of our customers and our commitment to health and wellness."
Jackson added that the change has been developed for two years, but it's now timely, as Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other politicians are pressuring food manufacturers to cut the salt. Heinz was one of 16 food companies that signed onto the National Salt Reduction Initiative plan last month, which was led by Bloomberg to encourage companies to reduce the salt in their products.
"The Health Department commends Heinz," a Health spokeswoman told the Post yesterday.
Heinz's new recipe will contain around 15 percent less sodium, which drops the amount per tablespoon from 190 to 160 milligrams, reported the Post. The company will also make changes to it's secret spices.
"As we reduce the sodium, we rebalanced the special secret spices," Jackson told the Post.
The Heinz recipe announcement also comes right before the Health Department's newest campaign, Cut the Salt, Brooklyn! The Health Department joins religious leaders, the Brooklyn Borough President's Office and the American Heart Association on the steps of Borough Hall today at noon. Tomorrow, the agency will host a free blood pressure screening event in Brooklyn's Atlantic Center Mall from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. as part of the campaign.
The new Heinz bottles will hit the shelves this summer.