McDonald's Heniz: Food Chain Dropping Ketchup Supplier After 40 Years

Oct 26, 2013 11:16 AM EDT | By Dina Exil

World's biggest fast-food chain seeks new ketchup for its famous French fries.

McDonald's Corp announced Friday plans to stop serving Heinz Ketchup in its 34,000 restaurants worldwide after ending a partnership of more than four decades. The fast food chain said the surprising split is down to "recent management changes."

"As a result of recent management changes at Heinz, we have decided to transition our business to other suppliers over time," McDonald's said in a statement. "We have spoken to Heinz and plan to work together to ensure a smooth and orderly transition of the McDonald's restaurant business, and are confident that there will be no impact to our business, our customers and our great tasting food at McDonald's."

Heinz is now led by Bernardo Hees, the former chief executive of hamburger rival Burger King Worldwide Inc. Burger King has been a customer of Heinz for decades, where their products sale in 80 percent of its outlets around the world. 

According to Reuters most McDonald's locations in the U.S. stopped serving Heinz ketchup a long time ago. 

Stores in areas of Pittsburgh, the home of Heinz, and Minneapolis currently carry Heinz, John Bennett, vice president of food-service ketchup, condiments and sauces for Heinz, told the Wall Street Journal in 2011. 

Based on media reports, McDonald's representatives refused to say which company supplies ketchup to the majority of McDonald's American restaurants at the moment, or which companies might be tapped to produce its ketchup going forward. 

McDonald's said it will work with Heinz until a replacement supplier is in place. 


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