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Aug 19, 2015

Heinz ketchup no more, in Hebrew

About 8 months or so ago Osem filed a complaint against Heinz ketchup, claiming they do not have enough actual tomato in their ketchup to be classified as ketchup, and should not be allowed to sell their product on the ketchup shelves of stores.

It seemed like a big joke back then. Osem is going to teach Heinz what is or is not ketchup?

It turns out that Israel is now the first, and so far only, country to disallow Heinz from calling their ketchup ketchup. From now on, in Israel, Heinz will have to call their product tomato dip, among some other changes that will have to be made on the label..

For some reason,  they had to change the name from ketchup to tomato dip in Hebrew, but were allowed to keep the word ketchup in English. I am not sure why. At the same time, Heinz importer is trying to change the classification of ketchup from containing 10% tomato content to 6%, as is the standard in the USA.
source: Ynet

Is the Israeli standards authority simply protecting the local Israeli brand? to be th eonly country to do this is strange.

As an aside, didn't we used to spell it catsup? when did that change?


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  1. Wait, what? Osem has more tomato than Heinz? Then clearly it takes more than that to make a good ketchup. (And yes, it seems the accepted spellings evolved over time.)

  2. Brief history lesson: the red stuff is catsup. Small kids pronounce it ketchup. Heinz clued into this and if you go back far enough you'll see their stuff referred to as Heinz ketchup brand catsup. They patented term but eventually the patent ran out so now everyone calls it ketchup, riding on Heinz' coattails. Osem's people are jerks. Everyone knows that Israeli ketchup sucks.

  3. Garnel, that sounds like an urban myth. According to wikipedia, ketchup is as old as catsup.

    It used to be that Heinz spelled it ketchup and Hunt's spelled it catsup. Hunt's eventually caved in and changed it to ketchup - but that was years and years ago

  4. But something is fishy here. They claim that Heinz ketchup is less than 10% tomatoes? That's hard to believe.

    In fact, my bottle of Heinz has Tomato Concentrate as the first ingredient, followed by seven others ingredients. Since the ingredients must be listed in descending order by weight, mathematically the tomatoes must be at least 12.5%, and that's with assuming that they put in as much salt by weight as they do tomatoes!


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