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Monday, October 28, 2013

McDonalds Drops Heinz Ketchup Over CEO Pick

(Ricardo Ricote Rodríguez/Flickr)

(Ricardo Ricote Rodríguez/Flickr)

Fast food giant McDonald’s has announced that it will drop Heinz ketchup from its menu because former Burger King CEO Bernardo Hees is now running Heinz.

Teresa Lindeman is covering the squabble for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and tells Here & Now that reaction to the news has varied in Heinz’s home town.

In this country, Heinz ketchup has been served in McDonald’s restaurants only in the Pittsburgh and Minneapolis markets. But Heinz had been gaining ground in some international markets.

Guest

Transcript

JEREMY HOBSON, HOST:

So Robin, very interesting what they're doing there and also this. Now we're switching gears a little bit, but I've got some good life advice from a family friend who's about to turn 100 years old. We wondered: What is her secret to longevity? She said: I never hold a grudge.

ROBIN YOUNG, HOST:

Good advice, I'm writing it down.

(LAUGHTER)

HOBSON: Well, maybe the people at McDonald's should, too, because the fast food giant just announced on Friday that it is ending its relationship with Heinz Ketchup because former Burger King CEO Bernardo Hees is now running Heinz.

YOUNG: No.

HOBSON: They don't like the rival running. And Teresa Lindeman is covering the story for Pittsburgh' Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh is where Heinz is based. And Teresa says this spat is all related to the recent sale of Heinz.

TERESA LINDEMAN: H.J. Heinz Company was acquired earlier this year by a partnership of 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway. People are familiar with Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet leads that. But 3G Capital also owns Burger King. When the sale was completed, they appointed the former Burger King CEO to be the new CEO of the H.J. Heinz Company, which makes sense.

But in that transition, Bernardo Hees, the new CEO of Heinz, also decided to continue on as vice-chairman of Burger King, which apparently did not sit well with McDonald's, which has used Heinz as a supplier in, you know, some of its restaurants.

HOBSON: So don't look for Heinz at McDonald's. This is HERE AND NOW. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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