Heinz has made a habit of posing playful questions on its ketchup bottles (“Are your french fries lonely?”) and the next one may be a stumper: “Guess what my bottle is made of?” Give up? Come June the bottles will be partially made of plants using Coca-Cola's PlantBottle packaging.
Heralded as an “industry first” in a combined press release, Heinz will be borrowing the technology that Coca-Cola launched two years ago for Coke, Sprite, Fresca and Dasani, among other brands. Thirty percent of the material is made from plants using a process that turns natural sugars into a key component of plastic. The rest is petroleum-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which doesn’t sound nearly as good.
The new containers will be the biggest change to the Heinz ketchup bottle since the company first introduced plastic in 1983. That said, Heinz wants to assure ketchup lovers that the “packaging looks, feels and functions just like traditional PET plastic, and remains fully recyclable.”
Coca-Cola claims that using the PlantBottle kept the equivalent of almost 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere last year. Heinz is hoping for equally eco-friendly results.
But it’s what’s inside the bottle that matters most to fans of Heinz ketchup and Coca-Cola who swear they taste better than other brands. Still, in our recent taste tests of national vs. store brands, Heinz tied with Target’s Market Pantry brand of ketchup. And there was no clear winner in our Coke vs. Coke face-off that pitted Coca-Cola Classic, made in the U.S. with high-fructose corn syrup against Coca-Cola made in Mexico with sugar.