Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

French's ketchup sells out after viral post on Facebook

By Sylvannia Soulet     Mar 2, 2016 in Internet
French's saw its ketchup sales skyrocket when a man from Ontario made a Facebook post praising the Canadian-made product.
When Brian Fernandez of Orilla, Ontario created a Facebook post praising the virtues of a particular ketchup brand, he never expected to trigger a national dialogue on the importance of purchasing locally-sourced products.
A long-time supporter of French’s mustard, Fernandez did some research on its version of ketchup and discovered the company used tomato paste that came from Leamington, Ontario — the "Tomato Capital of Canada."
A little backstory on Leamington: it was once the main supplier of Heinz ketchup for the entire country. Heinz was bought by Kraft and production was moved to the States; the plant closed in 2014 and left over 700 people without jobs. Fortunately, Highbury Canco Corp. stepped in and resumed ketchup production, with French’s taking charge of the contract.
“I didn’t even know there was a town called Leamington,” admitted Fernandez. It wasn’t just his empathy for the economic plight of the town that spurred his support of French’s. Fernandez has Type 2 diabetes and must closely monitor his glucose intake. Luckily for him, not only is French’s ketchup a more natural option to its Heinz counterpart, it is also free of high-fructose syrup.
Fernandez conducted a blind taste test of the product with his family. In both trials — one taken on the finger, the other taken on French fries — his wife and his teenage son and daughter unanimously chose French’s brand over the competition.
All these factors satisfied Fernandez, who took to Facebook to laud French’s for their superior quality and for essentially saving Leamington’s economy:
“Since Heinz decided to pull the plug on its Canadian plant in Leamington, 740 jobs were lost. Heinz decided to make its ketchup solely in the USA. Then, French's ( known for its mustard) stepped in and decided to make ketchup. They also decided to use those same Leamington tomatoes from Canadian farmers. The result: A ketchup .... free of preservatives. Free of artificial flavours. Also, free of high fructose corn syrup!! We bought a bottle. Absolutely love it!! Bye. Bye. Heinz.”
At the time this article has been published, Fernandez’s post has been shared over 125,000 times.
“It’s really good for our municipality and for the local farmers,” said John Paterson, Mayor of Leamington. “I’m certainly happy to read and see such a strong support for it.” However, Paterson urges consumers not to outright boycott Heinz. While they no longer make ketchup in this country, the Leamington plant is still responsible for producing many other products that are still under the Heinz name; this amounts to over 400 jobs for the area.
This news comes at the heels of a recent announcement that Highbury is looking to triple its order of tomato paste, meaning that there will be plenty of the red stuff to go around in Canada for the time being.
"We'll clearly keep expanding our ketchup business, that makes sense," said Elliot Penner, CEO of French’s. "We're also working with Highbury to purchase tomatoes and then make tomato paste, but also working to see if they can help us with manufacturing some products we can enter in the Canadian marketplace."
If you are looking to support the Canadian tomato producer, you had better act fast. Since the Facebook post went viral, French’s has seen a boon in sales of its product, and Fernandez has now found it difficult to find a store where the ketchup isn’t flying off the shelves.
More about french's, Ketchup, Mustard, Heinz, Leamington
Latest News
Top News