Fast Food

Heinz Ketchup Hires Former Burger King Exec, McDonald's Ends 40-Year Relationship

The 40-year partnership of McDonald's and Heinz Ketchup has been one of the longest relationships of our time. With the rise of super-short Hollywood marriages like Kim Kardashian's 72-day marriage to Kris Humphries, McDonald's and Heinz Ketchup was something Americans could rely on.

All high-profiles relationships brave smiles in the limelight even though there is usually more festering in the shadows. And beneath the smiles on McDonald's happy meals, the fast food chain has been hiding a history of turbulence with its condiment partner, Heinz.

Sure, their break is widely attributed to Heinz Ketchup bringing former Burger King chief executive partner and sworn McDonald's enemy Bernardo Hees to the helm. And once McDonald's heard about the choice, they ended their partnership and blamed the parting on irreconcilable differences.

See also: Florida Woman Gives Birth to Son at McDonald's

This isn't the first time McDonald's and Heinz had kinks in their relationship, after all they've been together for over 40 years. According to the Washington Post, in 1973, there was a tomato shortage and Heinz gave first priority to its glass bottle customers and left McDonald's with nothing to dip their fries in.

Heinz used to supply most of McDonald's ketchup. But now, most of the Heinz ketchup is used overseas. In fact, only two American cities use Heinz: Pittsburgh and Minneapolis. The rest use McDonald's own "Fancy Ketchup."

While these differences have been going on for years, Heinz's chief executive seems to have been the last straw (or ketchup packet).

However, both parties have tried to remain amicable during the split.

"As a result of recent management changes at Heinz, we have decided to transition our business to other suppliers over time," McDonald's said in a statement.

The couple have one son together and are determined to remain friends for his sake. Oh wait, that's Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr. McDonald's hopes Heinz Ketchup burns and dies without them.



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Jess Swanson is a staff writer at New Times. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami’s School of Communication and wrote briefly for the student newspaper until realizing her true calling: pissing off fraternity brothers by reporting about their parties on her crime blog. Especially gifted in jumping rope and solving Rubik’s cubes, she also holds the title for longest stint as an unpaid intern in New Times history. She left the Magic City for New York to earn her master’s degree from Columbia University School of Journalism, where she spent a year profiling circumcised men who were trying to regrow their foreskins for a story that ultimately won the John Horgan Award for Critical Science Journalism. Terrified by pizza rats and arctic temperatures, she quickly returned to her natural habitat.
Contact: Jess Swanson