McDonald's is Dropping Heinz Because It Hired Burger King's Former CEO

I'm Lovin' It
Ricardo Ricote Rodríguez/Flickr

By Lisa Baertlein

World's biggest fast-food chain seeks new ketchup for its famous french fries.

McDonald's Corp (MCD) on Friday said it plans to end its 40-year relationship with ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Co, since that company is now led by Bernardo Hees, the former chief executive of hamburger rival Burger King Worldwide Inc.

"As a result of recent management changes at Heinz, we have decided to transition our business to other suppliers over time," McDonald's said in a statement.

"We have spoken to Heinz and plan to work together to ensure a smooth and orderly transition," said McDonald's, which has more than 34,000 restaurants around the globe.

Heinz declined to comment. "As a matter of policy, Heinz does not comment on relationships with customers," company spokesman Michael Mullen said.

The switch will be more apparent overseas than in the United States, as McDonald's only serves Heinz ketchup in two domestic markets - Pittsburgh and Minneapolis, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on Friday.

Indeed, ketchup packages handed out at McDonald's restaurants in the United States often say only "fancy ketchup." Most in-store ketchup dispensers are not branded.

The move from McDonald's could benefit Heinz ketchup rivals Hunt's, owned by ConAgra Foods Inc, and Del Monte.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and an investment fund affiliated with 3G Capital bought Heinz for $28 billion in June and immediately named Hees CEO.

Burger King went public in June 2012, less than two years after it was taken private by 3G Capital Management LLC, which retains a stake in the fast-food chain.

Burger King has been a Heinz customer for "decades" and uses its products in roughly 80 percent of markets around the world, spokesman Miguel Piedra told Reuters.

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Herb & Judy

So what if Heinz hired the guy from Burger King to be their CEO. What does that have to do with a McDonald's hamburger? As far as taste is concerned, Heinz makes a darn good ketchup. Bad move McDonalds! It shouldn't be any of your business who is a CEO of a ketchup company.

November 08 2013 at 5:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Heinz is the best

October 28 2013 at 5:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Rob's comment

For the typical unschooled American taste, true. Yet it contains
high fructose corn syrup. Read about this basically chemical sweetener.
Once you try a naturally made ketchup like Woodstock, Hains,
it's hard to go back to the industrial stuff.

October 28 2013 at 7:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hope this guy doesn't drop Heinz for cheapo 'made in China' ketchup.

October 28 2013 at 2:34 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

mc is dropping the only thing that made there hamburgers worth eating...........

October 28 2013 at 2:09 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Heinz makes theirs with no high fructose corn syrup in it, the best.

October 28 2013 at 1:54 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to stg2797's comment

Not according to Wiki or the product label. Cheap corn syrup abounds.

October 28 2013 at 7:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hunt's ketchup sucks and is used only in low class reataurants. Heinz is a superior product.

October 28 2013 at 1:36 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

No problem. You can buy Heinz individual packets online.

October 28 2013 at 1:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Does it really matter what kind of ketchup they serve on their over-salted nasty burgers?

October 28 2013 at 12:59 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Why hire a guy who already screwed up one burger chain? Already their focused on supplier politics when they should be focused on trying to make a decent burger.

October 28 2013 at 12:51 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Tommy D.

First of all, I never patronize Burger King.. and I love Heinz Ketchup. It\'s the best.

October 28 2013 at 12:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply