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Heinz’s newest ketchup tastes like pickles

By Jordan Valinsky, CNN

New York (CNN) — Ketchup and pickles have been a natural combination on a hamburger and hot dogs for decades. Now, thanks to Heinz, the two flavors have been combined into one condiment.

Rolling out to grocery store shelves in early 2024, Heinz’s newest flavor of its famous ketchup is called “Pickle Ketchup,” which combines the “tangy and savory flavor” of pickles with the “unmistakable taste” of its ketchup.

For years, food companies have been making wacky flavors to generate consumer interest. Although the strange concoctions may not be designed to be huge sellers themselves, they are aimed at boosting brand recognition and conversations, which can often translate into bigger sales overall.

Coca-Cola recently added a new line of soft drink created by AI that allegedly takes like the future, Velveeta made martinis amid a slowdown of sales of processed cheese and Mars Wrigley once sold Zombie Skittles a few years ago with a “rotten” flavor, to surprise (and disgust) eaters.

They don’t always work out, however. Heinz’s purple ketchup experiment in 2000 has its own entry in the Museum of Failure.

In a statement Monday, the condiment was created to “deliver on fans’ hunger for unique, elevated, and nuanced flavor experiences,” the company said. The appeal for pickles is at a high, according to research cited by Heinz, with 73% of Americans reporting “that they enjoy the taste of pickles.”

“Increased desire for tasty, yet unexpected condiments has served as our innovation north star for the last several years,” said Katie Peterson, director of Heinz Innovation at the Kraft Heinz Company, in a statement.

From chips to dips and even hard seltzer, the tangy taste profile of pickles has climbed over the past few years because younger consumers are looking for bigger and bolder flavors. The pickle taste is also subtle enough to combine with others, making it an appealing flavor to experiment with.

For Heinz, it’s been synonymous with the pickle as one of the country’s biggest producers, and the tiny gherkin was used in its logo for several decades. The food and beverage company also wants people to experiment with ketchup with a new Heinz Remix machine that lets people mix in flavor “enhancers,” including jalapeño and smoky chipotle.

Kraft Heinz is going all-in on innovation as it tries to enter a phase of growth after years of working to turn the business around. To stabilize the company, it focused on spotlighting its best-known brands like Kraft Mac & Cheese and Velveeta.

Through 2027, Kraft Heinz has a goal of bringing in an additional $2 billion in North American retail revenue from innovation.

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