A promotional image for the new Heinz ketchup "PlantBottle."
By Teresa F. Lindeman Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The H.J. Heinz Co. today announced a partnership with Coca-Cola Co. that will allow the Pittsburgh ketchup maker to start putting its flagship product into a new plastic bottle made partially from plants.
Coca-Cola introduced what it calls the "PlantBottle" in 2009 and sees it as the first step in working toward steering food packaging away from materials made with fossil fuels.
William R. Johnson, Heinz chairman, president and CEO, said this morning in a press conference about the strategic partnership that the company plans to start using the new bottles this year with its 20-ounce package sold in the U.S. and grow from there.
"I see this as the start of a great strategic partnership between Heinz and Coca-Cola," he said, adding that the two companies are talking about working together on areas such as health and wellness and agriculture.
Coca-Cola Chairman Muhtar Kent said a number of companies are interested in using the PlantBottle technology. "We decided that Heinz was a great start," he said, noting the companies' consumers had many things in common.
Both men were in Boca Raton, Fla., for the Consumer Analyst Group of New York annual conference.