Nation & World

Heinz teases new mayo-ketchup condiment

Heinz launches a social media campaign for “mayochup” on April 12. MUST CREDIT: Heinz.
Heinz launches a social media campaign for “mayochup” on April 12. MUST CREDIT: Heinz.

“Mayochup” already is available internationally, but U.S. consumers have yet to find the condiment — a pre-mixed mayonnaise-ketchup product made by Kraft Heinz — in stores.

The company, based in Chicago and Pittsburgh and with operations in Eastern Iowa, proposed changing that Wednesday on Twitter, surveying “saucy Americans” about whether or not they wanted to see the product in stores.

If mayochup were to get 500,000 “yes” votes before Sunday, the company said, it will debut the product.

By early Thursday afternoon there were more than 500,000 votes, with 55 percent in favor of the hybrid. Several of the nearly 8,000 comments responding to the survey were celebratory.

But some of the voting populace engaged in terse Twitter debate about the proposed product, finding the idea more wretched than wonderful.

“What the hell is wrong with you people? That’s disgusting!!” replied Twitter user Jack9The3Knife.

The marriage of ketchup and mayo is not new, said some, outraged at what they believe is a rebranding of “fry sauce,” a condiment thought to have originated in Utah. While some were curious about the new product, many fry sauce adherents lamented the seeming abandonment of the fry sauce name.

Would the formula be similar, the beloved mayonnaise-ketchup ratio they appreciate replicated?

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“This tears my heart in two,” tweeted user waderpotater. “While I often dream of a world in which I can dip fried potatoes in fry sauce from coast to coast, I could not purchase or use a product that won’t meet the necessary quality standards of fry sauce.”

Kraft Heinz, in a statement Thursday, acknowledged that the name “mayochup” is somewhat polarizing. It has committed to putting the final name up for vote if the product launches.

Dawn Scheidner, assistant professor of marketing at Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill., tweeted that she appreciates Kraft Heinz’s “using the power of consumer voice as a marketing tool,” even though she, a self-described “anti-mayo person,” hates the idea.

Twitter campaigns such as this drive consumer loyalty because they involve audiences in the process, Schneider said.

Whether prospective buyers like the idea or not, talking about it and sharing the survey helps Kraft Heinz advance the campaign’s reach, she said.

And more consumers trust their friends and those they follow on social media than they do brands, Schneider said, making them even more likely to engage with promotions such as this one.

“It’s a really smart concept,” she said, adding that Kraft Heinz has created “a buzz about a product that literally doesn’t exist yet.”

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