Business

Heinz Kraft has long history with Muscatine

Plant has produced sauerkraut, pickles ... and ketchup

Slicing tomatoes grow in a field at Bass Farms in Mount Vernon on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Slicing tomatoes grow in a field at Bass Farms in Mount Vernon on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

For many years, Iowa tomato growers had a buyer for their crop in Muscatine.

Kraft Heinz’s second production facility — and the company’s first outside Pittsburgh — was constructed in Muscatine in 1893. It originally processed sauerkraut, horseradish and pickles.

The plant added ketchup and other tomato products in 1898. Muscatine was then in the heart of a tomato-growing region that included western Illinois. For many decades, the plant was taking in tons of tomatoes during the months of August and September and turning out millions of bottles of ketchup.

That changed in 1991 when Kraft Heinz switched to using tomato paste for production of ketchup and other tomato products, according to Michael Mullen, senior vice president of corporate and government affairs at Kraft Heinz.

Mullen said the Muscatine plant remains a strategic facility, producing ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauces, honey, hot sauce, cocktail sauce and sweet-and-sour sauces.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

CONTINUE READING

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.