Israel’s Ministry of Health has reportedly ruled that Heinz ketchup can no longer be called “ketchup” because of its low tomato content. Israeli food company Osem first targeted the product in January 2015 by sending a letter to supermarkets blasting the product and filing an $18-million class action on behalf of consumers. Osem argued that lab tests showed small bottles of Heinz ketchup contained 20 percent tomato concentrate and large bottles just 17 percent—compared to the 39 percent advertised on the bottle—despite Israeli regulations dictating that ketchup must contain at least 35 percent tomato concentrate.
The health ministry agreed with Osem, finding that Heinz can no longer call its product “ketchup” and must be labeled “tomato seasoning” instead. The ruling does not affect Heinz’s English-language labels. Heinz’s local importer, Diplomat, has filed a petition to lower the minimum requirements from 10-percent tomato solids (the equivalent of 35-percent tomato concentrate) to 6 percent, which the health ministry reportedly supports. See Haaretz, August 18, 2015.