One of the worst misunderstandings is that NAFTA isn’t really about Free Trade. If you look back at its history you will see a trail of blood stains of where Canada’s industrial base used to be.
When the good folks in Leamington saw their long time plant shut down it meant a loss of jobs and identity. They had the tomatoes and they had the people.
With the downturn in the Canuck buck their plant was revitalized and the first breakthrough product was French’s Ketchup.
Using the finest local tomatoes and very little else their product took the Canadian market by storm after a social media release. Canadians really do want to buy Canadian products.
Heinz Ketchup, while having the same amount of calories, uses that nasty high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup.
Canadians emptied shelves across the country, but for some reason, one of Canada’s largest grocers, Loblaws, has pulled it off of its shelves?
The question many are asking is why? It’s a question we submitted to Loblaws themselves and hopefully they answer.
Heinz does have an amazing new commercial out featuring some Hot Dogs I’m partial to as I own a couple myself.
At the end of the day this all could be about money as many companies pay to essentially rent space in grocery stores and with Loblaws having over 30% market share across Canada the timing of the dropping of French’s ketchup just might not be a coincidence.
Have you purchased French’s Ketchup? Do you support Canadian products? You can post your comments below.
UPDATE 12:13 PM March 15, 2016
Kevin Groh, Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Communication, Loblaw Companies Ltd. sent in the following statement.
Our job, as a retailer, is to stock the products customers want most. Although it has been a recent social-media sensation, French’s regular ketchup did not sell well in our stores for more than a year. In that time, we consistently met with French’s to review performance. We notified them of our final decision more than a month ago.
We have agreed to stock French’s new innovation, flavoured ketchup made from Leamington tomatoes, and continue to stock dozens of other French’s product, in many of our stores nationwide. We will continue to stock a broader assortment of French’s ketchup products in stores in the Leamington-Windsor area, consistent with our commitment to locally important products.
Loblaw is committed to supporting Canadian farmers and Canadian businesses and is in fact the largest purchaser of locally grown produce in the country.
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You always have to follow the money,now who stands to gain,I prefer to buy Canadian whenever possible
Nothing is made in Canada anymore and nothing lasts. Free Trade what a joke everyone pays mighty dearly. The US has ripped Canada in shreds and stole the ketchup company in Leamington as well as our gas and oil industry and so many other industries that are no longer coming back at all. Everything is being made in the US, Mexico, China and other such hell holes.
Jules…do you blame Heinz for abandoning the plant in Leamington? It’s all about the mighty buck now. It makes sense to consolidate. The good thing is the Leamington plant is operating again under Highbury Canco. But they can’t produce ketchup as a result of the purchase agreement.
It’s funny that no one has mentioned that long before French’s started making Ketchup, there is a Canadian Aylmer ketchup factory in Dresden Ontario. Their ketchup is good and that is what our family uses. It tastes fresh and buying Canadian is important, so we always bought Aylmer Ketchup. However, I’m glad that French’s stepped up and made a difference in jobs & people’s lives in Canada
Hugger what is the new plant in Leamington going to make if it opens up again? Some of the Lebanese people here in Ottawa have lived and worked in Leamington Ontario. My daughter and I just came back from the doctor who is retiring Thursday and we have ot find another doctor. We saw the Delaney bus going back to Cornwall and the one for Newington on Slater Street before we got on ours.
Not sure what Highbury Canco is producing. From their website it looks like they are co-packers for other companies.
Jules…the Leemington plant has been open for 2 years now I believe…what people aren’t noticing is that alot of this is old news but was recently brought up by a Facebook post that went viral. The plant is producing tomato paste that is then shipped to the US to be turned into your beloved ‘Canadian’ ketchup.
This could be putting food and beverages into containers by different manufacturers and then shipped off to stores. This could be different brands of foods and beverages from different companies – this is what I read into.
Jules said “This could be putting food and beverages into containers by different manufacturers and then shipped off to stores. This could be different brands of foods and beverages from different companies – this is what I read into.” That’s what co-packing is,
Hugger and Marc Houde I almost liked Heinz ketchup and that is all that we purchase in my household. One time I tried Aylmer ketchup and I found it too strong for our taste. Did you all know that the wife of John Kerry was married to a very old man who owned Heinz products and he died and she inherited his fortune. Her former name is Theresa Heinz and she is Portuguese but born in E. Africa.
I have to make a correction in what I said – I am scatterbrained today since I am overly exhausted. I meant to say that we like the taste of Heinz ketchup in our household but we tried Aylmer ketchup once and found it too strong for our taste. John Kerry’s wife Theresa Heinz is Portugese from E. Africa and she was married to the owner of Heinz who died and she inherited his fortune.
Marc Houde I never knew that the plant in Leamington was open and thought that everything left. That is good news for the people of the town because that was their main industry. I sure do like the tomato paste and we use it a great deal.