Israel bans the word ketchup from Heinz tomato sauce
When you think of ketchup, you would normally think of Heinz. But not in Israel. The health ministry there has now ruled it must be called 'tomato seasoning'.
They said the world renowned product does not contain enough 'tomato solids' to carry the label 'ketchup'.
The matter was brought to the government's attention by Israeli food manufacturer Osem, which produces a large portion of the ketchup consumed in Israel.
Osem sent a letter to retailers, claiming they had tested Heinz ketchup in a "leading European laboratory" and found the product contained 21 per cent tomato concentrate rather than the 61 per cent it advertised to consumers.
Israeli food standards state a sauce has to contain 41% tomato concentrate to be considered a ketchup.
Diplomat, the company which distributes Heinz in Israel, dismissed the claims, saying: "Obviously, Osem, which has a monopoly, would be happy if it were only possible to sell their product in Israel, but Osem's claims have no substance!"
The company has filed its own petition to have the local definition of ketchup changed, which would lower Israel's tomato content threshold, reports The Independent.
Nigel Dickie, Heinz's Director of Corporate and Government Affairs, said: "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."