The company was originally named the Anchor Pickle and Vinegar Works, and was run by Heinz and partner L. C. Noble. The name changed to Heinz, Noble & Company in 1872 when E. J. Noble became joint owner and the company relocated to nearby Pittsburgh.
After a banking panic forced him into bankruptcy in 1875, Heinz restarted his business with the help of his brother John and his cousin Frederick, and in the following year the company introduced what would become its most well-known product: tomato ketchup. The new company was known as F. & J. Heinz until 1888, when Henry bought a controlling interest from his brother and gave the business its current name.
The company's famous slogan, "57 Varieties", was chosen by Henry Heinz in 1892 after he saw an advertisement for "21 varieties of shoes" in an elevated train car in New York. In actuality, the company was producing over 60 different products at the time, but Heinz chose the number 57 because the digits "5" and "7" held a special significance for him and his wife.
The company was the focus of bitter labor disputes in 1937, when its workers attempted to organize with the help of the Catholic Radical Alliance.
Another famous slogan is "Beanz Meanz Heinz", used in the 1960s and beyond to advertise their baked beans in the United Kingdom. Variations of this slogan were used over time, such as "A million housewives every day pick up a tin of Beans and say, Beanz Meanz Heinz", or "Don't be mean with the Beans Mum, Beanz Meanz Heinz". The slogan was put in abeyance during the 1990s, and officially dropped in favor of "Heinz Buildz Britz" c.1996, but after a surprise decline in sales, the new slogan was quickly dropped. In 2002, the company used the nostalgia that by this time surrounded the slogan by running a campaign called "Keep it or can it?" in which Heinz ads from the 1960s and 1970s were re-run, with the addition of an invitation to the public to vote on whether the slogan should be kept. The result was, as expected, a massive majority in favor of keeping the slogan. This, however, was not immediately acted upon, with Heinz's subsequent ad campaign using the slogan "The bean. The superbean." instead, although in 2004 they started spelling "Baked Beanz" with a "z" on their beans, which is seen as a reminder of the slogan, and in 2006 it was announced that the company are planning to re-introduce the slogan in a future campaign. From 2007 the company is again using the slogan "Beanz Meanz Heinz" in its campaigns.
Tony O'Reilly made his name in international business at H. J. Heinz & Co. He joined the company in 1969 as MD of the Heinz subsidiary in the UK. He moved to the company HQ in Pittsburgh in 1971 when he was promoted to Senior Vice President. In 1973, he became COO and president, and in 1979, CEO and chairman in 1987, succeeding H. J. Heinz II, and the first non-Heinz family member to hold that post. His guidance is thought to have helped to transform the company into a major international competitor, and during his time in office, despite issues in later years, the company's value increased fifteenfold. O'Reilly left Heinz in 1998 in response to shareholder pressure; he was replaced by his deputy, William R. Johnson. It is reported that O'Reilly still has a 1.5-2% shareholding in Heinz.
By 1972, sales had reached the billion dollar mark. Today, Heinz sells more than 1,300 products worldwide ranging from ketchup to baby food.
Heinz's slogan for over a century has been "57 Varieties" even though when it was established Heinz had over 60 products. H.J. Heinz's biography gives the reasoning for the choice of the number 57:
Mr. Heinz, while in an elevated railroad train in New York, saw among the car-advertising cards one about shoes with the expression ‘21 Styles.’ It set him to thinking, and as he told it: 'I said to myself, ‘we do not have styles of products, but we do have varieties of products.’ Counting up how many we had, I counted well beyond 57, but ‘57’ kept coming back into my mind. ‘Seven, seven’ - there are so many illustrations of the psychological influence of that figure and of its alluring significance to people of all ages and races that ‘58 Varieties’ or ‘59 Varieties’ did not appeal at all to me as being equally strong.'|20px|20px|E.D. McCafferty|Henry J. Heinz: a biography, 1923, pp. 147
The first of the "57 Varieties" to be introduced by Heinz:
Current members of the board of directors of the corporation are: Charles Bunch, Leonard Coleman, John Drosdick, Edith Holiday, Candace Kendle, Dean O'Hare, Matthew Craig Walsh, Dennis H. Reilley, Lynn Swann, William R. Johnson, Michael Weinstein and Thomas Usher.
Billionaire Nelson Peltz initiated a proxy battle during 2006, culminating in a vote to place Peltz's nominees on the Board, which, depending on how many seats the dissident group received after the final vote tally, would displace some of the current board members. After the final vote, 2 out of the 5 nominees joined the Heinz Board. The new members of the board were Nelson Peltz and Matthew Craig Walsh.
Their most iconic product is Heinz BIG RED Tomato Sauce, although the US style ketchup is also available. Next to the Tomato Ketchup, Heinz Australia also manufactures a number of flavored baked bean varieties, as well as canned meals. Not all products are produced in Australia, products such as Heinz ready to eat microwave bowl soups, are imported into Australia. Heinz also markets the Watties brand of canned foods, which are made in New Zealand.
On October 6, Heinz announced plans to acquire all of Golden Circle's shares on issue for $1.65 per share, representing a premium of 313 per cent to the 40 cent closing price of Golden Circle on October 3. Established in 1947, Golden Circle manufactures more than 500 products, including canned fruit and vegetables, fruit juices, drinks, cordials and jams.
In the Philippines, Heinz was a part of NutriAsia, which owns other bigger brands in the condiments industry, such as UFC (banana ketchup, tomato and spaghetti sauce), Datu Puti (vinegar, soy sauce and fish sauce), Mang Tomas (gravy, barbecue sauce, oyster sauce and all-purpose sauce), Jufran(chili sauce and banana ketchup) and Papa (banana ketchup). Heinz is most famous as a brand of tomato sauce and spaghetti sauce in the country rather than being a tomato ketchup brand, which is being dominated by Del Monte Pacific, also recently acquired by a consortium of NutriAsia and San Miguel Corporation.
As of March 2006, Heinz and NutriAsia have ended their joint-venture partnership and Heinz products are now distributed by Getz bros.
Heinz was established in Canada in 1908 in Leamington, Ontario (Tomato Capital of Canada). The products are shipped from Leamington with English and French labels mostly to the United States. Ketchup is one of the main products there along with baby food.
Heinz Ketchup is available in glass bottles in India with two varieties, one is the normal Heinz Ketchup, and one is an alternative which does not contain any traces of garlic or onion, two vital ingredients in the original ketchup. This is due to the large amount of Indians who refrain from eating garlic and onion for religious and cultural reasons.
H.J. Heinz Company acquired CSM Food Division (CFD) of CSM NV. With the acquisition Heinz bought the brands De Ruijter, Venz, Karvan Cévitam, Roosvicee, Honig, Baukje, Brinta, Saroma and HAK. This was one of the biggest acquisition Heinz made outside of North America.
On October 17, 2005 Heinz announced that it would sell the brand HAK to the investment company NPM. Along with the desinvesture the plant in Giessen was sold to the company. The market share of HAK was around 60% in the Netherlands.
Heinz has various numbers of factories in Belgium and the Netherlands. The locations are Turnhout, Baarn, Elst, Nijmegen, and Utrecht. In 2007 Heinz moved manufacturing from Baarn to its factory in Utrecht.
The UK headquarters is in Hayes, Middlesex. After opening its first overseas office in London in 1896, the company opened its first UK factory in Peckham, south London in 1905. This was followed by a second factory at Harlesden, north-west London in 1919. A factory at Wigan opened in 1958. Heinz also has an infant feeding factory in Kendal, Cumbria. The site specializes in baby milks, previously under the brand of Farley's, but now manufactures under the name Heinz Nurture. It currently has around 200 employees.
1970s TV comedy series The Goodies spoofed the Heinz baked beans adverts. Tim Brooke-Taylor was the beans boy who, because he could never get the poem right, was always hurt. In 2001 the Food Standards Agency of the Government of the United Kingdom found Heinz canned baked beans products to be contaminated with the hormone disruptor bisphenol.
Heinz made the decision to start a pickle factory in Holland, Michigan in 1897. It is the largest pickle factory in the world. Heinz headquarters are based in the PPG Place in Downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the company's 'keystone' logo reflects Pennsylvania, the keystone state. However, a majority of its ketchup is produced at a factory in Fremont, Ohio. Heinz Field, home to the Pittsburgh Steelers, was officially named after Heinz Ketchup in 2001.
In June 2008, Heinz began an advertising campaign in the United Kingdom for their new New York Deli Mayo product range. The advert featured a family with the mother replaced by a stereotypical male New York deli worker. The advert ended with the father and the 'mother' kissing. This drew 200 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority. On June 24, 2008 Heinz took the decision to withdraw the advertisement, which was initially supposed to run for five weeks. A spokesperson for Heinz stated that the reason for the withdrawal was recognition of the fact that some of its customers had concerns about the advertisement's content.
Withdrawing the advert caused further controversy with Heinz being accused of homophobia. The gay rights group Stonewall has called for a boycott of the company's products. Some have expressed surprise that Heinz has responded to what they view as a small number of complainants, relative to the United Kingdom's 3.6 million gay and lesbian consumers. MP Diane Abbott called the decision to withdraw the advert 'ill-considered' and 'likely to offend the gay community' in an Early Day Motion on June 25.