Heinz Introduces Purple Ketchup

Heinz is adding "Funky Purple" to its crayon box of condiment colors.

The company, hoping to build on last year's success with "Blastin' Green" ketchup, said today the new purple ketchup will be on store shelves in September.

In seven months, H.J. Heinz Co. sold more than 10 million bottles of green ketchup, pushing up total sales by 5.4 percent and helping the Pittsburgh company boost its share of the American ketchup market to 59 percent from 55 percent immediately prior to green ketchup, spokesman Michael Mullen said.

With the marketing campaign aimed squarely at children, the green ketchup came in a new EZ Squirt plastic squeeze bottle, specially designed with a narrow nozzle to let kids paint their food with precision.

"We knew we had a good idea on our hands. Otherwise, we wouldn't have launched it," said Brendan Foley, general manager of global condiments and sauces for Heinz. "But the momentum it built, the frenzy we saw, I don't know we expected that."

Heinz promises the ketchup keeps the company's signature taste and recipe, with a little Blue No. 1 and Red No. 3 thrown in to shade the condiment. The company still makes its traditional red.

Next month, kids armed with Heinz EZ Squirt bottles will be able to draw Harry Potter lightning bolts on hot dogs and renderings of a certain big purple dinosaur on hamburgers.

"Purple is one of the hottest colors for kids right now. In an era when kids can't get enough monsters and wizards, the bold, powerful, color purple has reached new heights of popularity," said Jay de Sibour, president of the Color Marketing Group, a not-for-profit international association of designers. "It's consistently a kid favorite."