Heinz's ketchup pasta sauce campaign is ridiculously controversial

Heinz ketchup pasta sauce being tipped onto a plate of pasta
(Image credit: Heinz)

Pasta purists avert your eyes. Heinz has announced the release of a ketchup-infused pasta sauce that's causing quite the stir. The new campaign appears to embrace the ultimate culinary sin, claiming it's so wrong it's right. However, fear not, it isn't actually straight ketchup in a jar but instead, a curated combination of mostly "sun-ripened Italian tomatoes" and a dash of well, ketchup – truly innovation at its finest. The proof remains in the pasta.

Despite the questionable product, the campaign has a charming retro feel that feels very in keeping with the brand's identity and playfully addresses the controversial subject. While Heinz admittedly has a strong brand identity, this strange ketchup pasta sauce probably won't be featured in our collection of standout packaging designs. Though if you do want to buy it, the sauce will be released as a limited edition product (thankfully) and will hit the shelves in early October.

Heinz ketchup pasta sauce adverts

(Image credit: Heinz)

According to Heinz, the UK is rightly divided on whether or not ketchup belongs on pasta, but the brand doesn't seem to be fazed by its polarising new product. The accompanying ads for the launch relish in the divisive chaos, with phrases such as "Ridiculously wrong?" and "Ridiculously Heinz. Ridiculously good."

One ad features a bowl of ketchup-infused pasta strewn on a sofa, perhaps alluding to the dish's iconic status as a go-to student struggle meal. Another ad features a classy stripped-back composition of sauce streaming from a jar, a more classy rendition of the contentious dish, (but still not enough to convert me).

"We know Brits often take to social media to air their view on this seemingly controversial use of ketchup and it might upset a few Italians but, right or wrong, here at Heinz, we think Ketchup goes with everything!" the brand said in the campaign announcement. Heinz even admits that only 10% of the product is actually ketchup, so maybe it's not quite as bad as it sounds.

As Heinz predicted, fans were quick to voice their divided opinions, taking to social media to voice their praise (and disgust). "Right in every single way," one Instagram commenter said, while another said "Oh my god! You just know I’ve got to have it."While Instagram users were surprisingly positive, X user responses were a little more mixed. Commenting under Heinz's cheeky tweet reading "Sorry not sorry Italians," one disgruntled user wrote: "Apology letter now you’ve gone too far."

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If you're after some more bizarre branding, check out the Pringles x Caviar collab with its oddly opulent packaging, or take a look at the McDonald's Tesla Cyberspoon that even Elon was surprised to see. 

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Natalie Fear
Staff Writer

Natalie is Creative Bloq's staff writer. With an eye for trending topics and a passion for internet culture, she brings you the latest in art and design news. A recent English Literature graduate, Natalie enjoys covering the lighter side of the news and brings a fresh and fun take to her articles. Outside of work (if she’s not glued to her phone), she loves all things music and enjoys singing sweet folky tunes.