57 Varieties Heinz: The Story Behind the Famous Slogan

The '57 Varieties' slogan by H.J. Heinz symbolizes a significant branding legacy, deeply embedded in American food culture and marketing.

The Legacy of Heinz 57 Varieties

A table displaying 57 different types of fruits, vegetables, and condiments, each labeled with the iconic Heinz 57 Varieties logo

The “57 Varieties” slogan, coined by H.J. Heinz, reflects a legacy interwoven with American culture and the history of processed food marketing.

Its psychological influence surpasses the literal accuracy of the number, representing the vast array of Heinz products.

Foundations of Heinz’s Success

Henry J. Heinz recognized the power of branding early on in his career.

His adoption of the “57 Varieties” phrase in 1896 became more than a catchy marketing message—it was a branding cornerstone for his company’s diverse line of products, which included the iconic Heinz ketchup and more than 60 other products such as pickle, pepper sauce, and vinegar.

While riding an elevated train in New York City, he saw a sign advertising “21 styles of shoes” which inspired the creation of his own memorable slogan.

Despite Heinz having more than 57 products at the time, the founder chose this number for its catchy sound and potential for wide appeal.

  • In Pittsburgh, where the company was founded, Heinz established its name on quality and purity, promising safe and reliable processed food at a time when food safety was not guaranteed.
  • Heinz ketchup, bottled and sold with clear glass to showcase its quality, exemplified the trustworthiness and upward trajectory of the Heinz brand.

Cultural Impact and Consumers

The “57 Varieties” slogan did more than promote Heinz’s vast product array; it cemented the brand into the American psyche as a staple of food culture.

The catchiness of the phrase made it a lasting piece of advertising history, persisting on packaging and in marketing long after the number of Heinz varieties expanded well beyond 57.

Consumers came to rely on Heinz for consistent quality, from ketchup to their extensive line of other condiments.

  • Heinz’s marketing strategies included numbering their products to elevate the brand’s perception, connecting product variety with consumer choice.
  • They harnessed the collective American affection for Heinz by ensuring the “57 Varieties” slogan and number became linked with notions of tradition and variety.

The Heinz ketchup bottle, with its unmistakable label featuring the prominent “57,” is a vivid representation of the company’s success.

Few American brands have achieved such a level of psychological influence, with the term “Heinz 57” becoming an integral part of the language, denoting variety and quality in the food industry and beyond.

For more on the history of the slogan, see Why Heinz ketchup bottles still say ’57 varieties’ and delve into the details at the Heinz History Center.

Expanding the Heinz Brand

The evolution of the Heinz company into a global food empire rests on a foundation of product diversity and an effective branding strategy that draws on over a century of history.

Product Diversity and Global Reach

Heinz’s commitment to variety started with its first product, horseradish, which was sold in clear glass bottles to exhibit its quality.

This commitment grew to include over 60 food products by the early 20th century, such as ketchup, pickles, and baked beans.

Each product upheld the company’s reputation for quality and contributed to a diversified portfolio that appealed to a wide range of tastes and dining cultures around the world.

With innovations like the iconic octagonal ketchup bottle, Heinz mastered both taste and convenience, enhancing the consumer experience.

The brand’s global reach can be seen in its presence across 200 countries.

Additionally, the introduction of products like olive oil and peanut butter allowed Heinz to cater to varied dietary preferences and cooking traditions globally.

Factories on multiple continents ensure that Heinz products are a staple in households everywhere, from Heinz ketchup accompanying a classic cheeseburger to baked beans served in a full English breakfast.

Historical Significance and Heinz Today

Heinz’s historical significance can be traced back to Henry John Heinz, whose vision for a wide range of quality food products helped the company forge a lasting connection with consumers.

The slogan ’57 Varieties’, a catchphrase coined by Heinz after being inspired by an advertisement he saw in New York City, epitomizes this.

Despite offering more than 57 products, the number stuck, becoming a testament to the brand’s rich heritage.

The company’s history is preserved and showcased at the Heinz History Center, where one can explore the array of products and innovations over time.

Heinz has kept up with changing consumer preferences and maintained its status as a leader in the food industry.

Today, as part of Kraft Heinz, a merger that took place in 2015, Heinz continues to adapt, now exploring sustainable packaging and healthier food options.

The company’s enduring legacy can even be seen in cultural landmarks such as Heinz Field, a stadium that is home to the Pittsburgh Steelers and a venue that reflects the company’s prominent standing in Pennsylvania and beyond.