Some sauces do not cut mustard, but Heinz is trying to change that! Mercer Morrison of Buzz60 has history.
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In the era of ephemeral stores and large companies, condiment lovers celebrate the 150th anniversary of an iconic brand this year: Heinz.

The company founded by Pittsburgh was created by Henry John – better known as H.J. – Heinz. Ketchup still reigns, but the name also adorns everything from mustard to mayonnaise, barbecue sauce and bean and vinegar sauce.

Today, the founder's last name has been awarded to Kraft, which merged in 2015. The portfolio of Kraft Heinz includes Oscar Mayer, Ore-Ida, Jell-O, Kool-Aid, Velveeta, Maxwell House and Planters.

Earlier this month, Heinz introduced two new suitcase-based products – Mayocue, which is mayonnaise and barbecue sauce, and Mayomust, a musto-mustard combo. Last year, we discovered Mayochup, a blend of mayonnaise and ketchup.

This archive photo from February 21, 2018 shows a Heinz ketchup on display in a Pittsburgh market. (Photo: AP)

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Here are seven little anecdotes to know about the company.

No sweatshirts here

H.J. Heinz started in the food business from an early age, making it look like the current batch of Internet billionaires. He entered the business at age 8, when he started selling his mother's garden products. Today, the brand is the exact opposite of a small start-up – a grandfather of US trade and a part of the world's fifth largest agribusiness company. The company sells about 650 million bottles of ketchup a year.

Not the first, but probably the best … known

The product that most people associate with the name Heinz is ketchup, but this is not the first condiment made by the company. This distinction belongs to horseradish. Once again, Heinz sought a helping hand from his mother – this time in the form of his horseradish recipe. He made his debut in 1869.

See all you can see

A century and a half before "transparency" became a buzzword in the industry, Heinz chose to sell his food in clear glass bottles, rather than popular opaque brown bottles. His reasoning was that he wanted to "showcase the quality and purity of his products," according to the company.

Two connections to the White House – almost

The name of Heinz almost twice entered 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. HJ Heinz's grandson, US Senator John Heinz (R-Pa.), Would have been a possible candidate for the presidency, but he was killed in a plane crash in suburban Philadelphia in 1991 to the age of 52 years old. His widow, Teresa, later married John Kerry, presidential candidate in 2004 and defeated in front of incumbent President George W. Bush.

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The fake "57"

Heinz listed this number on its packaging, not because he had made 57, but because he liked the aesthetic. The Heinz range actually included more than 60 foods. You can still see this figure on most Heinz foods, but its place on the classic ketchup bottle is essential. The company said it was the perfect place to hit ketchup at a maximum speed of 0.028 km / h.

It seems kosher

In the 1920s, the company was the first national brand to certify kosher foods by the Orthodox Union, the first American agency of its kind. The certification symbol – a U in an O – can still be found on many Heinz products, including ketchup and baked beans. Products containing meat, especially pork products, are an exception.

Juju Marketing

Perhaps the advertising prowess is in the DNA of the company. Go back to 1893 and to the Chicago World Expo: the company's booth not being close to any of the major attractions, so HJ Heinz proposed a waterfall to attract fans of fair. In the end, he had donated nearly a million pickles. Seven years later, the company was behind what was thought to be the first electronic billboard in New York – a six-story pickle where the Flatiron Building is currently located. Then, in 1987, Heinz released his now-classic advertisement featuring a ketchup pouring bottle from the top of a building, leaving enough time for the positioner to buy a hot dog before taking the condiment on his food. The company proved valuable when it came to finding talent. The star of this TV commercial was the future actor of "Friends," Matt LeBlanc.


Some people, some not, but here's what Heinz says.

Follow the USA TODAY reporter Zlati Meyer on Twitter: @ZlatiMeyer

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