01 Feb 2002


Burger Art


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Talk about thinking outside the box! Since time immemorial, Americans have slapped and shaken ketchup bottles at their peril, hoping the red stuff would mostly wind up on their burgers and not in their laps. Well, that's all so yesterday, shoppers, thanks largely to Heinz North America managing director Casey Keller (MBA '89), Adweek Magazines Newswire reported (October 15, 2001).

Assigned to reinvigorate the company's ketchup sales, Keller talked to children, the condiment's biggest fans, who told him the bottles were too unwieldy. Oh, and another thing, said the kids: "Make the ketchup a different color, like green or purple, with nozzles we can use to draw on our food." Declared Keller, "That proved to be the ultimate 'aha' experience that gave birth to EZ Squirt."

Heinz EZ Squirt Ketchup, featuring colors such as Funky Purple and Blastin' Green (along with Tomato Red) in a kid-friendly container, was launched in late 2000 and is so popular, it's making a run at the sales crown seized by that upstart condiment, salsa. Furthermore, Adweek noted, it's "encouraging pint-size painters to add splashes of green and squirts of purple onto canvases where only daubs of red had roamed." "As long as consumers are buying the product, we won't stop reinventing ketchup," said Keller, who was named 2001's Grand Marketer of the Year by Brandweek magazine for his colorful innovations. "The only boundary is what kids tell us they want."

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Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 1989, Section G

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