Last week I wrote a blog post about how French’s ketchup was taking Canada by storm because of one Facebook post, and how other social media channels and traditional media outlets have further amplified the story.
Well, Ontario provincial politician and New Democrat MPP for Essex, Taras Natyshak, has launched a petition demanding the Legislative Assembly of Ontario only serve French’s ketchup, because of its content of Leamington, Ontario tomatoes.
But according to Dana Hospitality, the company that handles food service at the assembly, said they already planned to swap French’s for Heinz ketchup.
The petition and the subsequent social and traditional media coverage has further helped to promote French’s ketchup.
According to a Canadian online news analysis using MediaMiser software, French’s ketchup was mentioned 12 per cent more than Heinz’s competing product from March 1 to 7.
But the controversy has also been relatively good for Heinz, as far as brand recognition goes: its product has been mentioned more than 600 per cent more during that time than it was in Canadian online news during the entire month of February.
So should Heinz and financial investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway be concerned? Or is this just a tempest in a teapot?
Globalization has created much hegemony for worldwide brands, but corporations who ignore regional issues do so at their own peril.
MediaMiser will continue to monitor both social and traditional media on this subject.