Kraft Heinz brings Mayochup north

The Canadian arm of the CPG hopes to breathe new life into ketchup with the popular U.S. hybrid of mayonnaise and ketchup.

mayochupWhile it may be a portmanteau that grates on people’s ears, the controversial Mayochup (mayonnaise ketchup) is making its way north of the border. This is hot on the heels of Kraft Heinz’s stateside launch of the equally polarizing Kranch (a ketchup and ranch dressing hybrid) in April.

Both have caused a fair bit of fuss, with a national Canadian media outlet calling Mayochup, “rage-inducing.”

But, Kraft Heinz was the talk of social media in September, when the brand asked American consumers if they wanted to see ketchup and mayonnaise combined into one product, announcing that 500,000 “yes” votes would move the mayochup from imagination to reality on store shelves.

The company’s American associate director of marketing insisted the brand was going to “change the condiment game” that summer, and change it it did – what followed was a spate of Kraft Heinz fusions, launching a new line of Mayocue (mayonnaise and barbecue sauce), and Mayomust (mayonnaise and yellow mustard) in March this year. At the time, Kraft Heinz Canada announced it had “no current plans” to introduce Mayochup, but has since warmed to the idea.

Nina Patel, head of brand build and innovation, Kraft Heinz says Canadians were vocal on social media about wanting to try the mashup for themselves after seeing the excitement when it launched in the U.S. She adds that consumers “love flavour experimentation” and that it is going to continue along this track.

Kenneth Wong, professor of marketing at Queen’s University, tells strategy that brands need to constantly invest in their products to keep them vibrant, especially when demand for processed food is not as strong as it used to be. According to Wong, consumers are turning to new food experiences, and products like ketchup are not exactly new, so they require re-imagination. The other half of the Mayochup equation (mayonnaise) is also experiencing changes of its own, with competitor Hellmann’s now offering sunflower and lemon, and avocado oil and lime flavours, as well as a vegan mayo alternative.

According to the Sector Trend Analysis – Sauces, Dressings and Condiments report in the United States (which includes Canadian insights as well), there is increasing interest in premium products with an organic, all-natural, small-batch or craft positioning, giving rise to more competition for traditional players like Kraft Heinz. Established brands in the sauce and condiment sector, according to 2017 Euromonitor data, are also facing pressure from global/ethnic food experiences and novelty-seeking younger demographics.

Kraft Heinz’s Patel says there is a limited supply of the Mayochup for its launch and that the brand will “listen closely to how Canadians respond this summer” as it makes plans going forward.

She adds that its Mayochup marketing campaign includes in-store, digital and social, PR, and influencer relations (Rethink is handling creative, Starcom on media and The Colony Project leading PR).

Mayochup is available in specialized display units in grocery aisles across Canada.

Patel says the brand created two pieces of social content that was promoted and targeted on Facebook and Instagram.