After 70 years, Heinz announces that they're changing the name of their Salad Cream
Heinz has been a part of our mealtimes for what feels like as long a time as salt and pepper. Way back in 1852, eight-year-old Henry John Heinz started selling his mother's leftover vegetables out of her garden to neighbours in Pittsburgh. By age 15, he started manufacturing and selling horseradish. Associated condiments like vinegar, sauerkraut and pickles came next.
It wasn't until 1876 that ketchup first appeared. I bet you couldn't even imagine a world without ketchup now. Heinz hasn't really looked back since, making a plethora of condiments and food-adjacent products. One of its more popular being salad cream.
The jar, which has been a staple of many British cupboards since 1914, is to be given the altogether more dubious name of Sandwich Cream. Food lovers have reacted with outrage after Heinz announced it is to ditch the name.
Being the intrinsically opposed to change creatures we are, it was no surprise people took to the internet to let out their rage. Shoppers mocked the rebrand, saying the new name sounds "dirty" and the decision must have been made by a "hipster". The food giant Heinz made the announcement this morning, saying the move is necessary after 104 years following a fall in sales.
The maker claims that as only 14 percent of buyers actually used the gloopy white sauce on salads, the old name no longer reflects its modern purpose. However, traditionalists are outraged, including those who rallied to save the brand from extinction a few years ago.
A quick history lesson: Salad Cream became popular during the Second World War when tomato ketchup was in short supply. The exact recipe is a secret but homemade versions are known to include egg, mustard, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, double cream, olive oil, pepper and sugar.
Every year 18,900 tonnes of Heinz Salad Cream is consumed in the UK and it has 60% less fat than standard mayonnaise. A spokesman for Heinz told trade journal The Grocer the name no longer "fairly represents the product’s ingredients or usage occasions."
Its own research discovered just 14% used the cream on salad with other popular uses now being as an accompaniment to tuna, ham or cheese in sandwiches, usually as an alternative to mayonnaise. According to The Grocer, it is considering the name "Sandwich Cream" to represent its usage and to appeal to "younger shoppers." UK sales of the brand dipped 5.4 percent to £28.8 million last year.
The Heinz spokesman added: "As a market leading business, Kraft Heinz continues to audit its portfolio in order to meet the needs of consumers. There are consumers now who haven’t grown up with the brand in the household and just don’t know about the iconic zingy flavour or what to eat it with."
Parent group Kraft Heinz is working with brand design specialists Jones Knowles Ritchie. The consultation process means the earliest a new name will be introduced is in September. In 1999, it was revealed that Heinz were about to ditch the brand but once the leak was published it led to a major protest by shoppers and it saved the brand.
The publicity helped sales and Heinz took advantage by relaunching Salad Cream in new-look packs and putting the price up. Whether social media rage can change the outcome of these proposed changes will be exciting to see.