Heinz makes waves on Twitter with ‘Mayochup’ poll

The condiment maker stirred up a spirited conversation by asking consumers to vote on its ketchup-mayonnaise blend. Excited or just puzzled, many weighed in. ‘Salsa rosada,’ anyone?

How much do you care about condiments?

Some were ready to mix it up on Twitter after Heinz released a poll asking whether Americans were in favor of a new blend called “Mayochup” hitting the shelves.

The product would be a mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise, a combination that many have made on their own for years.

The Washington Post reported:

“Mayochup?” A U.S. “debut?” For many Americans, particularly those in the Latino community, the concept of combining mayonnaise and ketchup is nothing new.

In fact, the combination is as just about as ingrained in Caribbean cuisine as plantains and rice. One food blog called it “more boricua [Puerto Rican] than the coquí,” the island’s native species of small tree frog. “Puerto Ricans bathe in” it, as one Twitter user put it. Sometimes adding a touch of garlic or adobo seasoning, Puerto Ricans smother it on just about anything fried: mofongo and tostones both made with fried plantains — yuca, french fries, and more.

But ask any Puerto Rican and there’s an important difference: It’s called “mayoketchup,” pronounced “my-oh-ketchup.”

Puerto Ricans weren’t the only ones who felt Heinz was appropriating something essential to their culture.

The Washington Post continued:

The condiment is popular across Latin America, with different names and variations based on the country. In Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela and other places it’s referred to as “salsa rosada,” or “pink sauce.” In Colombia and Venezuela, one might spoon a dollop of the condiment on an arepa, and in Costa Rica, one might eat it with a pejibaye, a peach-palm fruit.

Legend actually places the origins of the condiment in the 1920s in Argentina, where it’s often referred to as “salsa golf.”

[…] Thousands of miles away in Utah, the mayonnaise-ketchup combination has a cult following, under a different name. “Fry sauce,” they call it.

Many were concerned about how to pronounce Heinz’ new condiment:

Others argued it was lazy not to make your own mixture.

Some mused about what other condiments Heinz might come up with:

Heinz clarified that it was simply promoting its own product:

The move comes as Heinz dukes it out with Hellmann’s, a long-time maker of mayonnaise—and now ketchup.

Grub Street wrote:

Just last week, America’s top mayo-maker Hellmann’s declared that it had “reimagined” ketchup, of all things, by introducing a new product called “Real Ketchup.” It contains only tomatoes, honey, vinegar, spices, onion powder, and salt, which is nothing if not a low-key, preservative-free, non-GMO swipe at Heinz. Hellmann’s, in a press release, puts it like this (emphasis added): “Over time, food has continued to evolve, and it’s time for ketchup to evolve too.” The insinuation, of course, is that Hellmann’s new, simpler ingredient list should make its ketchup the burger-topping choice for the modern tomato-paste connoisseur.

Heinz has been the recipient of all the “Mayochup” buzz, yet its original wording has put the company on the defensive. Equal to the task, it has been responding to encourage DIY condiment makers and admit it didn’t invent the concoction:

The company also weighed in on Twitter users’ pleas for votes:

When users asked for other sauce combinations, Heinz was ready with photoshopped graphics:

The debate offers a lesson for PR pros: Twitter polls can create a lot of online buzz. Now Heinz plans to continue the conversation by polling for the name of the new offering.

The Washington Post concluded:

In response to the “fierce debate” over the name “Mayochup,” Heinz said it will put the final name up for a vote before the U.S. launch.

“We may have different names for her (Mayo-Ketchup, Salsa Golf, Fry Sauce, Salsa Rosada), but we all pray to the same sauce,” tweeted comedian and writer Gabe Gonzalez.

What do you think? How would you create your own Twitter poll to entice consumers?


Ragan.com Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive the latest articles from Ragan.com directly in your inbox.