Hunt’s Ketchup, the perpetual number two in the business behind Heinz, has found a healthy way to steal the spotlight, however long that may last. ConAgra, which makes Hunt’s Ketchup, reformulated it’s condiment to exclude high-fructose corn syrup.
While one could say that it’s the altruistic idea of making a healthier product, truth be told, it’s good old-fashioned business sense. There has been a groundswell of anti-high-fructose corn syrup activism through traditional and social media. As a result, its sales have declined in recent years.
According to Charlie Mills, an analyst at Credit Suisse, the combined sales of high-fructose corn syrup in the U.S. for Archer Daniels Midland, Tate & Lyle and Corn Products International was down nine percent in 2009, compared with 2007. Mills expects a further decline for 2010.
“Manufacturers are tired of hearing about the e-mails, the 800-number calls and the letters,” says Phil Lempert, editor of the Lempert Report, which focuses on supermarket trends. “People don’t want it, so why fight them?”