McDonald’s Drops Longtime Ketchup Partner, Heinz

Students taking online culinary courses can’t catch a break when it comes to their fast food. Heinz, the iconic sauce brand, will no longer be partners with McDonald’s Corp. The world’s largest food chain is terminating its 40-plus year partnership over a recent change in Heinz leadership. The ketchup giant acquired Bernardo Hees, the former CEO and current board member of Burger King Worldwide, and appointed him chief executive.

Hees left Burger King for Heinz after Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital purchased Heinz in the June.  McDonald’s has made it clear that they believe this move was not made with their best interests in mind and are taking steps to remove any ties to the sauce company.

“As a result of recent management changes at Heinz, we have decided to transition our business to other suppliers over time.”

During his time with Burger King, Hees was responsible for developing and implementing several aggressive campaigns against McDonald’s. A lasting partnership between him and the company would be complicated, at the very least. In the end, McDonald’s has less to lose.

“It appears to be that Hees has been brought in, he was the former CEO of Burger King, and so they feel that it’s inappropriate that their 40-year relationship with Heinz continue,” said Richard Levick, CEO of Levick Public Relations. “There are a lot of other places that they can get ketchup.”

With Heinz trying to expand its influence in emerging markets, a split might have been premature. McDonald’s has over 30,000 locations worldwide and has established itself as the main competition for other fast food chains. It operates in more than 118 countries and serves 68 million people a day. Although Heinz hasn’t been used in American market, that kind of exposure in developing countries would have been significant.

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