Heinz Isn't Ketchup in Israel, Health Ministry Rules

Heinz's product must be called 'tomato seasoning' instead; ruling does not affect English labeling.

Heinz Ketchup. In a January 2015 warning letter, Osem claims the 138-year-old Heinz brand doesn't comply with Israeli standards for ketchup.H.J. Heinz Co.

The brand Heinz may be synonymous with ketchup for most of the world, but no longer in Israel, the Health Ministry recently ruled.

Heinz will no longer be allowed to label its red sauce as "ketchup" in Hebrew in Israel after local food manufacturer Osem successfully argued that its competitor's product doesn't meet the definition of Israel's tandards institute, Israeli news site Ynet reported.

Heinz's product must be called "tomato seasoning" instead.

The ruling does not affect English labeling.

Osem petitioned against its competitor, arguing that the Heinz ketchup does not contain enough tomato paste to be considered ketchup under Israeli regulations. 

Heinz's local importer, Diplomat, is filing its own petition to have the local definition of ketchup changed. Diplomat has the backing of the Health Ministry's food division, Ynet reported.

The health ministry is backing diplomat and is now seeking to change the standard from 10% tomato solids to 6%.

The Histadrut labor federation's consumer protection authority objects to Diplomat's petition. Why? It's all about the children, a representative told Ynet - the Histadrut wants to make sure that children are eating as much tomato as possible in their ketchup.