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Battle Over Corn Syrup Versus Sugar Affects Ketchup Makers

September 30, 2010: 11:44 AM EST

With consumer research finding that 35 percent of shoppers would never buy a food product containing high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), it’s not surprising that ketchup makers H.J. Heinz Co. and Conagra’s Hunt’s brand have reacted quickly. Hunt’s removed all HFCS from its ketchup lines, while Heinz took a more cautious approach, offering a cane sugar variety along with its popular HFCS-based flagship brand. It’s probably too early to tell if the changes have helped sales, but market researcher SymphonyIRI Group said that in the year ending August 8 unit sales of Heinz ketchup rose 2.37 percent, sales of second-place private label ketchup rose 1.46 percent and third place Hunt's rose 3.06 percent. It’s possible the gains by Hunt’s might be traceable to the HFCS change, experts say.

Teresa F. Lindeman, "Heinz caught in debate over high fructose corn syrup vs. sugar A 'sweet' dispute", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 30, 2010, © PG Publishing Co., Inc
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