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Surprise! McDonald’s doesn’t use Heinz Ketchup

Heinz Ketchup packet
Heinz Ketchup packet

Did you know that Heinz Ketchup is NOT served in McDonald’s restaurants?
(disclaimer: it’s still served at McDonald’s in Pittsburgh and Minneapolis, but try to go with the concept here, people)

We know!  Who would believe that any major fast food restaurant chain would serve anything other than Heinz Ketchup?

A few year’s ago, Web Watch was out shopping and saw a bottle of Hunt’s catsup in the shopping cart.  We asked about it, and we were told “Hunt’s is on sale, so we’re buying it.”

Now Web Watch has always been a Heinz Ketchup family.  No other ketchup even comes close in flavor to us.  We’ve tried those others, and they were just lame imitators of the true Ketchup King. 

End result, we said, “we’ll pay you the extra $0.30 you’re saving on that Hunt’s catsup if that means we get to stick with Heinz Ketchup.”  And it’s been Heinz ever since.

So imagine our surprise while we were reading the Wall Street Journal when we ran across this tidbit in an article about the NEW HEINZ KETCHUP SINGLE SERVE PACKETS that are being rolled out this year:

Since a supply spat between Heinz and McDonald’s that arose during a 1973 tomato shortage, Heinz, the country’s largest ketchup producer, has been locked out of most McDonald’s US locations.

Like we said, who knew?  No matter what you think about the quality of McDonald’s food for your own personal use, one has always assumed that the private-labelled McDonald’s ketchup was always Heinz.  After all, McDonald’s uses over 250 million pounds of ketchup a year in the US (just about 11% of Heinz’ total ketchup sales) – why wouldn’t one think that the world’s largest supplier of ketchup was the one making it for McDonald’s?

McDonald’s says that their private label ketchup, “enhances the taste of McDonald’s hamburgers and fries.”  Right – because every single other burger and fries we eat from say… anywhere… doesn’t taste right if we don’t use the special Mcdonald’s “fancy ketchup”.  Sheesh.

Yeah, right.  We’ve often thought that the private label ketchup McDonald’s uses came across just a little metallic tasting.

So here’s our plan from now on:  we’re going to continue to eat at McDonald’s, but we’re going to order all our burgers without ketchup.  Then, we’re going to use our new Heinz Ketchup packets from other fast-food restaurants to properly dress and enjoy our burgers. 

Seems like a win-win for everyone here:  we get a burger with the ketchup we like on it; McDonald’s still gets a sale; the other fast-food restaurants get a sale too — since we have to get the packets from somewhere, and we’re not going to steal ’em.  

And finally, consumers everywhere win when McDonald’s finds themselves with a company-wide surplus of crappy ketchup that they can’t use and they realize that the only true ketchup to put on their burgers is Heinz.

2 replies on “Surprise! McDonald’s doesn’t use Heinz Ketchup”

I work for a franchised McDonalds in Pittsburgh and we no longer serve Heinz ketchup. We used to have the “dip or squeeze” packs. Now we serve the small “fancy” McDonalds brand ketchup. This switch happened about three weeks ago.

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