Ketchup kerfuffle: Loblaw to restock stores with French’s ketchup after uproar

It's a kerfuffle Loblaw didn't relish.

TORONTO — It’s a kerfuffle Loblaw didn’t relish.

The grocery chain announced Tuesday it was reversing its decision to pull French’s ketchup from store shelves following a social media uproar.

“We’ve heard our Loblaws customers,” Kevin Groh, the company’s vice-president of corporate affairs and communication, said in a statement.

The company said French’s ketchup never disappeared from its shelves entirely and it will restock the product as soon as possible.

Earlier, Loblaw said it decided to stop carrying French’s regular ketchup due to low sales over the past year. But it continued to sell French’s two flavoured varieties, Buffalo ketchup and garlic ketchup.

The popularity of French’s ketchup soared after a man’s Facebook post lauding the U.S.-based company for its commitment to buy tomatoes from Canadian farmers.

Brian Fernandez posted a photo of a French’s ketchup bottle in late February and said his family would no longer buy Heinz ketchup since the company closed its Leamington, Ont., plant and cost the community about 750 jobs.

French’s regular and flavoured ketchup use 100 per cent Canadian-grown tomatoes, according to its website. French’s did not respond to request for comment.

Fernandez’s post was shared more than 132,000 times and prompted a member of the Ontario legislature to ask for the Queen’s Park dining room and cafeteria to switch to French’s ketchup.

Demand for French’s increased following the publicity. Fernandez later posted that a Zehrs in Orillia, Ont., sold out of 10 cases of the condiment on the same day it received them. Others weighed in with similar stories from their local grocers.

Groh said he hopes the enthusiasm shown for the product on social media and in the news will translate to in-store sales.

The company said it did not increase or set a new listing fee for French’s in its decision to continue to stock the ketchup. Some grocery chains charge these fees to companies that want their products sold in stores.

Loblaw also stocks its own brand of ketchup, under the President’s Choice label, including an organic variety, a low-sodium choice and regular ketchup. Loblaw did not respond to questions on whether they buy the tomatoes for their ketchup from Leamington or other Canadian tomato farmers.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Rebels winger Arshdeep Bains had two assists in the first period Monday against the Lethbridge Hurricanes in WHL action in Lethbridge. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Hurricanes hand Red Deer Rebels ninth straight loss

Hurricanes 5 Rebels 2 (Saturday) Hurricanes 8 Rebels 5 (Monday) The goals… Continue reading

Red Deer City Hall. (File photo)
Red Deerians will see a slight tax increase, but the municipal portion is at zero per cent

The provincial educational requisition went up by about half a per cent

The length of grass on people’s lawns could be part of the new Community Standards bylaw being considered by Red Deer city council. (Black Press file photo).
Loitering, noise complaints, swearing covered in proposed bylaw

A few old rules could be dropped and new rules added

Sweden skip Niklas Edin makes a shot against Scotland in the Men's World Curling Championship gold medal final in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, April 11, 2021. Curling's Humpty's Champions Cup in Calgary has been pushed back a day due to the delayed finish of the men's world championship. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Start of Humpty’s Champions Cup pushed back a day in Calgary

Start of Humpty’s Champions Cup pushed back a day in Calgary

Men’s world curling championship in Calgary concludes amid COVID scare

Men’s world curling championship in Calgary concludes amid COVID scare

New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole throws against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, April 12, 2021, in Dunedin, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
Higashioka and Cole help Yankees beat Blue Jays 3-1

Higashioka and Cole help Yankees beat Blue Jays 3-1

Alberta doctors say trust must be rebuilt after proposed new labour deal rejected

Alberta doctors say trust must be rebuilt after proposed new labour deal rejected

People line up in the rain for a COVID-19 vaccine at a pop-up clinic at the Masjid Darus Salaam in the Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood in Toronto on Sunday, April 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Provinces defend health restrictions as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise

Provinces defend health restrictions as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney updates media on measures taken to help with COVID-19, in Edmonton on March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta legislature Speaker apologizes for condemning new COVID health restrictions

Alberta legislature Speaker apologizes for condemning new COVID health restrictions

Ukraine’s leader requests a talk with Putin, gets no answer

Ukraine’s leader requests a talk with Putin, gets no answer

Madelyn Boyko poses along with a number of the bath bombs she makes with her mom, Jessica Boyko. Madelyn says she enjoys making the bath bombs with her mom as it is a special time for just the two of them. (Photo Submitted)
5-year-old Sylvan Lake girl selling bath bombs in support of younger brother

Madelyn Boyko is selling bath bombs for CdLS research in honour of her younger brother

Most Read