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Saturday, 27 June 2015



Second generation German-American, Henry John Heinz (October 11, 1844 – May 14, 1919) began packing foodstuffs on a small scale at Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1869. There he founded Heinz Noble & Company with a friend, L. Clarence Noble, and began preparing and marketing horseradish.

The company went bankrupt in 1875, but the following year Heinz founded another business, F & J Heinz, with his brother John Heinz and a cousin Frederick Heinz. One of this company's first products was he first mass-produced and bottled tomato ketchup.

Henry Heinz sailed with his family to England in 1886. Included in his luggage was a Gladstone bag packed with "seven varieties of our finest and newest goods".  In London, he called on Fortnum & Mason, England's leading food purveyor, whose buyer tasted and promptly accepted all seven products for distribution.

Henry John Heinz in 1917

Henry Heinz started manufacturing baked beans in 1895. He advertised them as "oven-baked beans in a pork and tomato sauce."

In 1896 Henry Heinz introduced the slogan '57 Varieties' for his company. By now  H. J. Heinz Company was actually manufacturing over 60 products but he believed the number "57" had a magical quality.

Heinz was already mass-marketing the first commercially manufactured pickle products to the American public and in 1897 they opened a pickle factory in Holland, Michigan. It is the largest such facility in the world.

The advertising slogan for Heinz Baked Beans, "Beanz Meanz Heinz" was dreamed up by an advertiser Maurice Drake, who said it was "written over two pints of beer in The Victoria pub in Mornington Crescent."


One can of Heinz baked beans is sold in the UK every 17 seconds.

The H. J. Heinz Company's trivia page reveals that it sells 11 billion single-serve ketchup packs per year. "That's 2 packets for every person on earth."

The speed at which Heinz tomato ketchup drips out of its bottle is limited to 0.028 mph (about 1 km a day). If it goes any faster, it is rejected.

The best area to tap on a Heinz ketchup bottle to ensure smooth ketchup flow is where it says "57." Hit the number and your ketchup will garnish your meal faster than shaking the bottle, hitting the bottom or any other technique you’ve attempted.

Heinz had to re-style its ketchup as ‘seasoning’ to sell it in Israel after courts ruled the 21% tomato content fell far short of the 41% needed to meet the country’s food standard for ketchup.

Over 650 million bottles of Heinz Tomato Ketchup are sold around the world each year, with annual sales of more than £1 billion.

Source Food For Thought by Ed Pearce

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