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Subject: Sparkle Ketchup!!

Written By: Cinderful on 08/04/06 at 11:02 am

I can't be the only one who remembers this...I think it was 1998 when I saw a commercial for Heinz Sparkle Ketchup. Two kids were sitting at a table eating their "boring" lunch when this bottle of Sparkle Ketchup comes flying over and suddenly makes everything animated and sparkly, there was a rainbow that sparkles fell down from, etc.

My family thinks I made this up or that I dreamt it. I had a friend who claimed to see the same commercial and described it perfectly without any help from me. But I never saw the product, though I looked in EVERY grocery store. Even googling it doesn't yield very good results, there's like two people who reference it, but no pics or descriptions.

Did anyone else see this commercial, or did anyone ever see the elusive Heinz Sparkle Ketchup??!?

Subject: Re: Sparkle Ketchup!!

Written By: P.E.D. on 08/04/06 at 11:19 am

I think I missed that one..but I do remember the green and purple ketchup that were very briefly marketed about 5 years ago..one of the most hideous products to reach a store shelf. I already detest ketchup (the normal red one)..the idea of it being green or sparkly or whatever else..makes me wanna....never mind..

Subject: Re: Sparkle Ketchup!!

Written By: Nelson on 09/24/10 at 9:56 pm

Yo! I was just telling some of my work collegues about that SPARKLING KETCHUP!!! I remember actualy eating it thow. Don't really know if its true or if I just made that commercial one of my own memories thoughout the years... Pretty freaky thow!

Subject: Re: Sparkle Ketchup!!

Written By: JamieMcBain on 09/25/10 at 12:13 pm

What about.....

Shudders....

Green Ketchup?

8-P  ;D

Subject: Re: Sparkle Ketchup!!

Written By: Foo Bar on 09/25/10 at 9:06 pm


Green Ketchup?


Amateurs.  How about blue?  BEHOLD!  (Heinz EZ Squirt marketing blurb via USA Today "news" story / press release.)

I can't find any solid references to sparkling ketchup, but there are edible sparkle products that could have been mixed in with ketchup at any time a marketing department got desperate enough to try it.  Blue was pretty surprising, though.  Just goes to show you how little tomato is actually required to make it taste like ketchup :)

It's been four years.  We can solve this one, folks.

Subject: Re: Sparkle Ketchup!!

Written By: bookmistress4ever on 09/25/10 at 11:01 pm

I did a cursory search for it online last night but couldn't find much...

I, myself, never heard of it but heck I love sparkley stuff... Ketchup would be interesting

Subject: Re: Sparkle Ketchup!!

Written By: wildcard on 09/25/10 at 11:31 pm

sparkle ketchup sounds so gross as well as the other colors mentioned.  Commercials that come to mind are Colgate Jr and Coolwhip.  The only ketchup type commercial I can think of is a Heinz 57 sauce. 

Subject: Re: Sparkle Ketchup!!

Written By: JamieMcBain on 09/26/10 at 9:56 am

Blue Ketchup?

8-P

Subject: Re: Sparkle Ketchup!!

Written By: Adarcoi on 12/06/10 at 6:28 pm

I never had sparkle Ketchup, but I did have purple and green! I know it looked discusting, but it still tasted like ketchup and it was the only thing I would use to eat fish sticks. The only thing I didn't like was that it hadn't come out when we had lids on the bottom of ketchup, so when you tried to get it out it would just splatter all over everything. Drawing with it was fun though!

Subject: Re: Sparkle Ketchup!!

Written By: LauraMeganTherese on 12/19/10 at 10:14 pm


I can't be the only one who remembers this...I think it was 1998 when I saw a commercial for Heinz Sparkle Ketchup. Two kids were sitting at a table eating their "boring" lunch when this bottle of Sparkle Ketchup comes flying over and suddenly makes everything animated and sparkly, there was a rainbow that sparkles fell down from, etc.

My family thinks I made this up or that I dreamt it. I had a friend who claimed to see the same commercial and described it perfectly without any help from me. But I never saw the product, though I looked in EVERY grocery store. Even googling it doesn't yield very good results, there's like two people who reference it, but no pics or descriptions.

Did anyone else see this commercial, or did anyone ever see the elusive Heinz Sparkle Ketchup??!?



I REMEMBER IT TOO EVERYONE THINGS THAT IM CRAZY! I can't find any picture or ANYTHING to prove that it existed either:(

Subject: Re: Sparkle Ketchup!!

Written By: apollonia1986 on 12/21/10 at 7:45 pm

Who was eating this mess. When I was a kid, you said french fries and they were all gone before the ketchup bottle got set on the table. No kid I know needs technicolor ketchup to be enticed to eat fries. Set a plate out with kids in a room. They'll disappear soon enough.


Set a plate in front of me, they'll disappear too!

Subject: Re: Sparkle Ketchup!!

Written By: Simbalis on 12/03/11 at 8:05 pm

I totally remeber that stuff. I hate putting ketchup on kraft dinner, but my grandmother used to buy the heinz sparky ketchup and would fill the KD full of it. The last time I put ketchup in my kraft dinner was when they discontinued that stuff.

I was telling a few of my friends about it and they just looked at me like I was crazy.

Subject: Re: Sparkle Ketchup!!

Written By: kirs on 02/01/12 at 9:53 pm

YES!!!!! I remember this! I couldn't have been more then 7 years old but I remember at that age thinking it was a stupid idea. I was just trying to find information on it and your question pop up. You're not crazy, it really existed but there really isn't much way of proving it since there nothing online about it.

Subject: Re: Sparkle Ketchup!!

Written By: Foo Bar on 02/02/12 at 11:45 pm


YES!!!!! I remember this! I couldn't have been more then 7 years old but I remember at that age thinking it was a stupid idea. I was just trying to find information on it and your question pop up. You're not crazy, it really existed but there really isn't much way of proving it since there nothing online about it.


You ask?  THE INTERNET DELIVERS!

Sparky - not "Sparkly" - was the H.J. Heinz product's mascot.  And the product was only released in Canada.  I learned both of those things tonight.

If there are any Americans reading this who weren't residents of border towns?  Did a sparkly ketchup from Heinz ever make it into your grocery store?  If so, where did you live and do you remember when you saw it?

Source 1:

"Ketchup & condiments. Heinz's president said the company anticipated strong growth in total U.S. ketchup sales in Fiscal 1998. North America is seeing limited edition labels in the U.S. created by children, and the new "Sparky" variety of ketchup designed to attract young Canadian consumers."

  - Press Release for Annual meeting, H.J. Heinz and Company, Sept 10, 1997.

Source 2:

"It’s red, its gooey, it's laced with colored grit… and those are just the selling points. Call it bizarre, but H.J. Heinz is banking on the fantasy factor to sell its new, developed-in-Canada kiddie ketchup Sparky.

Taking cues from the popularity of teenage superheroes like the Power Rangers and Sailor Moon, Heinz marketers are trying to reach the under-eight set with appeals to self-actualization by consuming a weird-looking elixir, they too can attain magic powers. A summer TV campaign, developed by DDB Canada, features the Sparky character, a gooey, morphing, beast-in-a-bottle who can assume genie-like powers by eating the ‘sparkles’ in his ketchup. He helps a young french fry in the 30-sec. spot do the same.

The question is: can he also convince young Canadians to eat something that, to jaded adult eyes, looks yucky?

Rosanna Totino, brand manager, ketchup for Heinz Canada, says she thinks the ‘gross’ reaction is an adult one. ‘When kids see it they don’t see ‘gross,’ they see a character. (In focus groups) they often play with the bottle. It’s almost like a toy with ketchup in it.’

She may have something there. Sparky is actually a child’s brainchild, straight from the imagination of a Heinz executive’s young daughter. According to the company, the little girl wondered aloud one day what would happen if she added cooking sparkles to ketchup, her mom was intrigued and an idea was born.

Ketchup is a $85 million business in Canada, according to ACNielsen, with sluggish year-to-year growth rates for volume consumption (about 3% a year). Heinz saw an opportunity to grow the market with a niche product aimed at kids, and Sparky was the result.

‘Our research shows that Sparky will be an incremental purchase,’ says Totino. ‘Mom will buy the regular ketchup for herself and Sparky for her children, so hope to get more money out of the same shopper.’

Holding what it estimates to be 73 per-cent of the market, Heinz marketers had pretty much achieved what they could in terms of grabbing market share from main ketchup competitor President’s Choice. Add to that the popularity of non-traditional toppings like salsa and the rationale for a radically-new product becomes clear.

But buyer skepticism at the distributor level is also a challenge for Sparky marketers, so they’ve developed a ‘surveillance video’ of kids’ reactions to the product and its accompanying ads. Heinz shows it to grocery chain buyers to help them get past appearances.

The strategy seems to be working. Totino says even non-grocery retailers Wal Mart and Toys ‘R’ Us, are thinking about stocking Sparky as a complement to their existing product lines.

‘The fascinating thing about kids is that they know the whole thing is imagined ­ they just don’t care,’ says Catherine Frank, group account director at DDB Canada. ‘At a certain age their little brains go, ‘Well, if you’re going to insist that it’s not real, okay, but that d’esn’t matter.”

Sparky is on the shelves in most markets this week and the tv campaign by DDB Canada is slated for nationwide rollout on June 2, with targeted viewing times in the after-school, lunchtime, and Saturday morning zones. ddb also handled media.

In addition to TV, Heinz is using a store-level promotion with Crayola to supply a free six-pack of crayons with every purchase and take advantage of the ‘wholesome and fun’ associations that crayon products evoke. The crayon package features an image of Sparky calling ‘Let’s colour together,’ which in turn is connected to a direct marketing campaign. Kids are encouraged, via telemarketing and pos displays, to enter a coloring contest. Winners get to spend a ‘Fun Day’ with a life-size Sparky mascot featuring music and numerous events.

Since advertising directly to children is illegal in Quebec, Heinz has engaged a children’s theatre group, La Groupe Jeunesse, to visit 4,000 Quebec schools and put on a short skit featuring the Sparky mascot.

Sparky was developed in Canada for the Canadian market. There are no plans at present to release it in the U.S."

  -  A news article on a Canadian branding/marketing-related blog: Ketchup that glitters: The kids’ll love it

Article from 1997 was shamelessly cut-and-pasted with a few typo corrections, in case that site no longer exists the next time someone can find an example of a commercial for the product. 

Canucks and residents of US border towns?  Friends and relatives of anyone named Catherine Frank or Rosanna Totino (Is that you TA-ing at U of GuSomewhere up there on Highway 6elph?  You go, girl!)  Have at it!  Help us solve the mystery of Heinz Sparky Ketchup, the Ketchup with sparkles! 

(My sincerest apologies to Ms. Frank and Ms. Totino if I've guessed wrong, but the odds of two people having matching names and having gone on to successful marketing careers within 100 miles of the Canadian city at which the Heinz Sparky Ketchup's 1997 ad campaign was dreamt up... well, those odds seem to be mighty slim.  I'm playing a hunch here and I don't care if it takes the right people a few years to find this post.  Is that you?  We don't care how old this thread looks.  "Hi!  We're a little bit OCD on this board when it comes to obscure bits of pop culture, and a regional/national marketing campaign from 15 years ago certainly qualifies.  We freely admit to being OCD about this sort of thing, but - with a nod to Arlo Guthrie - we're not proud.  Or tired.")

Subject: Re: Sparkle Ketchup!!

Written By: Frankie on 03/08/12 at 12:42 pm

*I* remember sparkle ketchup! I used to have sparkle ketchup and mayo sandwiches....I also used to be a disgusting child! NO ONE remembers this ..i was like 6 or 7 when it existed....everyone just brings up green,blue and purple ketchups :(

Subject: Re: Sparkle Ketchup!!

Written By: amjikloviet on 03/09/12 at 2:47 pm

I would have to say...vaguely. I do remember the other kinds mentioned.

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