Heinz Ketchup Goes Organic; Nation's First Nationally Branded Organic Ketchup Now Arriving on Store Shelves

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 20, 2002--Heinz (NYSE:HNZ) -- the company long known for planting America's favorite brand of ketchup on tables across the country -- is now sowing the seeds of a different kind in the condiment aisle with the first nationally branded organic ketchup.

Beginning in June 2002, Heinz Organic Ketchup will begin sprouting up in supermarkets and organic food stores nationwide, giving consumers who prefer organic foods a great-tasting choice from the makers of the world's leading ketchup brand.

Heinz Organic Ketchup, certified as organic according to the United States Department of Agriculture standards, is made from vine-ripened tomatoes that are 100 percent certified organic, as well as other certified organic and natural ingredients such as organic sugar, spices and onion powder.

The decision to launch organic ketchup was spurred by increasing consumer demand for organic products, with sales of organic condiments alone rising 15 percent in the past year.

"The organic condiments category is growing rapidly because consumers today want more choices that fit their lifestyles," said Casey Keller, managing director for ketchup, condiments and sauces at Heinz North America. "We believe the time is now right to bring the thick and rich taste of Heinz to this fast-growing segment of consumers."

The company is confident its new organic variety will further enhance its position as king of the condiment aisle, attracting consumers who are currently using other organic products.

Keller noted that Heinz Organic Ketchup is the latest in a line of breakthrough ideas by Heinz that has transformed the ketchup, condiments and sauces category. Most recent innovations include Heinz Easy Squeeze bottles and Ketchup Kick'rs(R) flavored ketchups, which complement Heinz EZ Squirt(R) kids condiments.

"Heinz Organic Ketchup is a complementary extension of our flagship brand that is known and loved by millions of consumers," said Keller. "We expect Heinz Organic Ketchup to further enhance Heinz's position as the world's leading ketchup maker."

Available in a 15-ounce, plastic squeeze bottle, Heinz Organic Ketchup has a green cap and features a green version of Heinz's classic keystone label. Consumers looking for Heinz Organic Ketchup will find it in the condiment aisle, and/or the supermarket organic section where available. It will also be available in organic and specialty food stores.

The launch of Heinz Organic Ketchup in the United States comes on the heels of recent launches in Canada and Europe, where the product has been well received.

Heinz Organic Ketchup is produced at Heinz's Leamington, Canada facility, using red-ripened tomatoes from the company's organic tomato fields in Escalon, California.

"Demand for organic products is a dynamic consumer trend and Heinz is rising to meet this demand," said Justin Lambeth, senior brand manager for ketchup, condiments and sauces at Heinz North America. "The launch of the first national brand of organic ketchup in the United States further demonstrates Heinz's commitment to product innovation."

ABOUT HEINZ: With sales approaching US$10 billion and a pantheon of icon brands, H. J. Heinz Company is one of the world's leading marketers of high quality ketchup, sauces, meals, soups, snacks and infant foods to consumers everywhere, whether in supermarkets, restaurants or on the go. Its 50 companies operate in some 200 countries, with more than 20 power brands, including the Heinz(R) brand with nearly US$3 billion in annual sales. Among the company's famous brands are Heinz(R), StarKist(R), Ore-Ida(R), 9-Lives(R), Wattie's(R), Plasmon(R), Classico(R), Smart Ones(R), Bagel Bites(R), Delimex(R), Poppers(R), John West(R), Petit Navire(R), Kibbles `n Bits(R), Pounce(R), Pup-Peroni(R), Orlando(R), ABC(R), Olivine(R), Jufran(R), HAK(R), Honig(R) and Pudliszki(R). Heinz also uses the famous brands Weight Watchers(R), Boston Market(R), TGIF(R) and Linda McCartney(R) under license. Information on Heinz is available at http://www.heinz.com.

To request a bottle of Heinz Organic Ketchup, please contact Jennifer May at 412-456-3669 or [email protected]

Editor's Note: B-roll will be available on Thursday June 20 from 10:30 to 10:45 a.m. EDT and 2:30 to 2:45 p.m. EDT.

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