Iconic Product to be Rebranded After 104 Years
Heinz has caused widespread debate across suburbia with the news that it intends to change the name of one of its most enduring product lines
What’s in a name? Quite a lot if you go by the findings of food giant Kraft Heinz, which has recently completed a major consultation into why sales of one of its most enduring products have been in decline over recent years.
Heinz salad cream has been around since before the First World War, but come September, it will disappear from the nation’s supermarket shelves forever. Anyone who has been eating it for the past 104 years, however, need not panic. The custom labels might be changing, but the product will still be exactly the same in its new guise as sandwich cream.
The reason for the change of name is ostensibly that the product is only used as a salad cream by 14 percent of consumers, and that it is far more commonly spread on ham or cheese as part of a sandwich filling, in much the same way as you might use mayonnaise. That makes sense as far as it goes, but it might seem a little disingenuous. After all, this is one of the most famous brands out there, and surely changing its name is more likely to cause concern and confusion among loyal customers.
If it was a case of “why break a winning formula” that would indeed be the case. The problem is that sales of salad cream have been in decline for some years, and it was almost pulled from the product line entirely in the late 90s. When it comes to this kind of food choice, people are creatures of habit, and so the reason for the reducing sales is almost certainly because as loyal elderly customers are lost, they are not being replaced by new, younger ones.
A long history
When you look at the history of salad cream, it supports the above hypothesis. The product has been around since 1914 but really became popular during the Second World War. This was not an era when salads were hugely in vogue, but it was seen as a low cost and low fat alternative to ketchup (which was in short supply anyway) and mayonnaise.
In other words, its usage really hasn’t changed so much over the years after all. It is perhaps more the case that younger generations have never had the need, the inclination or the idea to buy something called salad cream to put into their cheese and ham sandwich or to use as a dip for their chips. This is particularly so with the huge choice of sauces that are available on the supermarket shelves today.
A spokesman for Heinz affirmed that the rebranding is setting out to attract younger consumers. He said: “There are consumers now who haven’t grown up with the brand in the household and just don’t know about the iconic zingy flavour or what to eat it with.”
Traditionalists will no doubt be upset to see this brand name disappear after so many years, but in this era of choice, the declining sales figures show that Heinz has to do something. Explaining on the food label exactly how to use the product might just help.