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Heinz to offer custom labels

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By Rick Stouffer
Thursday, Aug. 3, 2006

Capitalizing on the 130th anniversary of its most famous product, the H.J. Heinz Co. has created a special Web site allowing consumers to create their own ketchup bottle labels.

At , users can show off their wit, be sentimental or use any wording for a unique tag to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, weddings or any special occasion.

"We realized our consumers have really enjoyed the many witty phrases and catchy quips that appeared on the Heinz keystone-shaped labels in recent years," said Wendy Joyce, senior brand manager for Heinz ketchup. "Now, we're giving consumers a chance to create their own, one-of-a-kind phrase on Heinz bottles for a unique and surprising way to say something special."

"It's a cool idea," said Duquesne University marketing Professor Audrey Guskey. "It's an example of mass customization, one-on-one marketing."

Three bottle sizes, 14-ounce glass, 2.25-ounce glass and the 20-ounce plastic "top down" container are available. Once a bottle is selected, a label is created, and the container is filled with ketchup. It can be paid for with a credit card, and delivery takes four to six weeks.

The custom label is not a typical Heinz marketing idea, Guskey said, adding the company is not known as an innovator. She added that the maker of M&M'S candies now allows consumers to place messages on its bite-size treats, choosing the candy's color from 21 selections.

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