Fruit or vegetable? Heinz brings age-old debate around tomatoes to digital
- To celebrate National Tomato Day today, April 6, Heinz is rehashing the age-old debate: Is the tomato a fruit or a vegetable? As announced in a news release, Heinz released a video tackling the question and encouraging users to join the debate by voting for their preferred side at TheTomatoDebate.com or via the hashtag #tomatodebate on Twitter or Instagram by April 8.
- Heinz plans to release limited-edition versions of its ketchup packaging made from either "tomato fruits" or "tomato vegetables." The results of the poll will determine which packaging will be sold, and Heinz will change its website to heinzfruitketchup.com or heinzvegetableketchup.com based on the winner.
- The Tomato Debate is part of Heinz's "Grown Not Made" campaign airing on TV, digital and social media channels. The effort celebrates the brand's quality, care and expertise in crafting ketchup. A TV spot included in the campaign features Heinz Ketchup's iconic glass bottle and details the company's nearly 150-year heritage.
Whether tomatoes are vegetables or fruits is an age-old debate, though scientific evidence tends to support the latter category. However, as Heinz noted, most chefs at an 1893 U.S. Supreme Court tariff case determined tomatoes to be vegetables, lending some historical culinary credence to the other side of the argument.
By opening up the floor to a #TomatoDebate online and on social media, Heinz is letting fans express their opinions and ultimately choose new limited-edition packaging. Consumers tend to appreciate opportunities to offer feedback and interact with brands in this way, as it makes them like their voice is being heard. The Lay's chip brand has used a similar approach for several years by letting consumers vote on a selection of potential new favors, including through a Snapchat poll last year.
The promotion comes as Heinz parent Kraft Heinz, which also owns labels like Oscar Meyer and Kool-Aid, is struggling to stay competitive as consumer habits shift away from ultra-processed food and more toward organic and natural offerings. Having a #TomatoDebate might help Heinz stoke some interest in its latest national campaign putting an emphasis on the quality of the brand's ingredients and legacy.