Tuesday, October 02, 2007


As the increasing demand for ethanol drives up sugar prices a major tomato producer is checking out sweeter tomatoes.

The Wall Street Journal ($) reports:
With prices for corn syrup and other ketchup ingredients going up faster than Heinz can raise its own prices, the Pittsburgh-based condiment king is overhauling its breeding operations to help compensate. Heinz is developing sweeter tomatoes that could cut down on its need for corn syrup, as well as varieties that resist disease, stay fresh longer and produce a thicker consistency. "The new seed work is all about creating the perfect tomato," says Mr. Ozminkowski, the company's manager of agriculture research.

The ethanol industry's consumption of corn is just one factor driving up its price. Rising global demand for meat is also boosting prices, since corn is a key ingredient of animal feed.
Heinz faces risks any time it changes the tomatoes in its ketchup, which could affect the balance of flavors customers are used to. ... Heinz officials say their ketchup undergoes rigorous testing before being introduced to the marketplace and that consumers won't be able to detect any difference as the company gradually uses sweeter tomatoes and less corn syrup in its ketchup.
Another example of insourcing.

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