Brand Packaging

Why now? Ask Facebook fans

February 10, 2010


Heinz has long known that its ketchup packets have been mess-inducing and difficult to open for consumers. An executive talking this week to the Associated Press about the brand’s new take on the ketchup packet, the Dip & Squeeze tub, said as much: "We created the packet in 1968," he said. "Consumer complaints started around 1969."  

So, why launch the solution now? Nearly half a century after the complaints came rolling in? It’s not clear whether the hundreds of "anti ketchup packet" groups on Facebook were the "consumer demand" Heinz credits for prompting the new packaging. It's possible that 41 years of complaints simply took their toll. Or that the brand's string of packaging hits in recent years (the inverted ketchup bottle, the fridge fit bottle) earned packaging enough respect to greenlight a solution to the packet problem.

But, to me, it's pretty telling that Heinz launched its own Facebook page in conjunction with the new format announcement. I wonder if the Dip & Squeeze ketchup tub will win over the "anti-packet" Facebook brigade, which, with insightful rants like "ketchup deserves a cup," could conceivably be credited with co-creation.