Heinz No Longer ‘Ketchup’ in Israel

August 25, 2015  

Heinz tomato ketchup is a household name around the world, including in Israel. But now, thanks to a court ruling, that’s about to change… sort of.

Osem, Israel’s leading food brand and top producer of ketchup, has succeeded in its bid to knock out its lead rival, by banning it from being called “ketchup.”

In its petition to the courts back in January of this year, Osem claimed Heinz’s product did not have enough tomato content to be called “ketchup.” Now, after a long legal battle, the court has ruled in Osem’s favor, and Heinz will henceforth be known as “tomato seasoning.”

The move won’t effect the English-language labeling, but only applies to its Hebrew description.

According to Israeli law, for a product to be considered “ketchup” it must include at least 41% tomato concentrate. In its petition to the courts, Osem cited studies it had carried out which revealed Heinz contained just 21%.

Heinz’s European branch issued a statement responding to the ruling, noting that Israel’s ketchup-vetting standards are stricter than most other countries’.

“The word ketchup is indicated in English on the front of the bottle while recognising that the Israeli standard for ketchup has yet to be brought in line with US and European accepted international standards, the back label of our ketchup sold in Israel reflects current local requirements for ingredient labelling and the Hebrew name for the product,” the statement read.

“The original, quality recipe for Heinz Tomato Ketchup sold in Israel and the standard for ketchup around the world remains unchanged.”

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