Heinz tomato ketchup must be sold as “tomato seasoning” in Israel, the health ministry has ruled.
Rival ketchup maker Osem, the top selling brand in Israel, had said the Heinz product did not have sufficient tomato content to be called ketchup.
In January 2015, Osem said it had Heinz ketchup tested and found it contained 21% tomato concentrate.
Osem controls about two thirds of the market for Israeli ketchup, leaving Heinz in a distant second place in terms of sales.
Heinz’s Israeli distributor is reported to be seeking a change in regulations.
Commenting on its product for sale in Israel, a Heinz Europe spokesman said: “The word ketchup is indicated in English on the front of the bottle while recognizing 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 labeling and the Hebrew name for the product.”
The company added: “The original, quality recipe for Heinz Tomato Ketchup sold in Israel and the standard for ketchup around the world remains unchanged.”
Heinz ketchup was first created in 1876.
According to Haaretz, Heinz’s distributor is currently petitioning to change the Health Ministry’s standards in order to allow the product to qualify as ketchup once more.
Israelis have long complained that local monopolies distort the economy, and especially the food market, leading to high prices on products like cottage cheese and Milky brand pudding.