Why is Heinz Putting Ketchup Labels on Sideways?


Sideways labels are appearing on Heinz ketchup bottles at some stores in Toronto. What’s going on with these labels? Is this a production error on the part of Heinz?

As it turns out, it’s part of a marketing push by Canadian ad agency Rethink Canada. But what would compel Heinz to slap a bunch of labels on the wrong way?

Heinz Labels

Pour it Correctly!

According to the marketing push, the reason for the sideways label is to help people see the angle at which you should turn the bottle to properly pour it. People having a hard time getting ketchup out of the glass Heinz bottle is something of a common sight, so this makes a bit of sense.

Of course, the label only appears at the correct orientation while pouring if you’re right-handed. Lefties will have an upside-down label. Likewise, people who prefer the plastic, squeezable ketchup bottle don’t have to hit the correct angle to get the ketchup out of the bottle.

Statement from Heinz

The senior brand manager at Kraft Heinz Canada, Brian Neumann, had this to say about the marketing push. “This year, we have focused our marketing on reinforcing the emotional connection fans have with the brand in clever and ownable ways. We’re always thinking of fun, cheeky ways we can highlight the iconic and timeless nature of the product to give our consumers a smile.”

“Iconic,” “timeless” and “emotionally resonant” aren’t things we normally associate with our condiments, but we suppose Neumann is just loving his job selling ketchup. While it seems like people have enough sense to know the angle at which to position their ketchup bottles to pour the goopy red condiment out, this marketing push is sure to catch the eyes of at least a few kids.

Increasing Sales?

The question for Heinz, of course, is: will this increase sales? At a glance, the labels appear to simply be on the wrong way. We can see some folks avoiding the bottle altogether for fear of them being somehow messed up from the factory. Not to mention more than a few left-handed folks might take umbrage at the position of the label!