Remember the big brouhaha a few months ago, when Kraft/Heinz announced it was pulling out of Canada and leaving Ontario’s Tomato belt farmers out in the cold? And Loblaw’s tried to banish French’s Ketchup from its shelves in favour of Heinz and it’s own PC Brand? And chaos ensued?
Well… Loblaw’s finally relented and brought French’s back. And French’s came in and announced that, although it’s ketchup is made in the U.S., it would buy more Canadian Tomatoes to feed the processing plant. Now, French’s is expanding its Canadian presence further with a major move.
Earlier this week, French’s announced it will not only buy more Tomatoes from Ontario’s Tomato Belt, centred on Leamington, but it will also move processing and bottling operations to Toronto,
French’s estimates it will purchase an amazing 8.1 million kg of Tomato Paste from the 2016 crop, up about a third from last year’s purchase. The Tomatoes will be processed into Tomato Paste in Leamington, at the old Heinz plant, by Highbury Canco, which bought the facility in 2014. That Tomato Paste will be shipped to Toronto for bottling by another new partner Select Food Products, which has been making BBQ Sauces, Gravies and Salad dressings for 75 years, under many brand labels. It will dedicate almost a third of its 100,000 sq. ft. plant to making French’s Ketchup.
(For the record, Heinz makes it’s Ketchup in the U.S. with American Tomatoes. Loblaw’s PC Brand Ketchup is made from California Tomatoes, but it’s bottled in Canada.)
The French’s Saga continues…
French’s and Select also revealed that they are developing two new products slated to launch next year. What do you bet those new products will have something to do with Tomatoes?
~ Maggie J.