Facing backlash after deciding to keep French’s ketchup product made with tomatoes grown in Leamington off store shelves, Loblaws has reversed its decision following a social media uproar.
The company’s Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Communication says the supermarket chain will restock the condiment as soon as possible.
The grocery giant originally said it had stopped stocking French’s regular ketchup due to low sales over the past year.
The popularity of French’s Ketchup soared after a man’s facebook post promoting the company for supporting local farmers went viral. Loblaws says it hopes enthusiasm shown for the product on social media will translate to in- store sales.
The ketchup market has been long dominated by Heinz which sold its 105-year-old tomato processing plant to Highbury Canco in 2014, leading to hundreds of job losses in Leamington.
Loblaws, which claims to have a 34.1 per cent market share among Canadian food retailers, began facing increased demand for the French’s ketchup earlier this year following a viral social media post.
Brian Fernandez from Orillia posted a photo of the French’s product, with a caption that explained why he takes pride in buying the ketchup made with Leamington tomatoes over Heinz’s American-made ketchup. It’s been shared more than 100,000 times on Facebook.
Loblaws was also quick to point out that it produces ketchup in Canada as well.
We’ve heard our customers passionate responses & we'll be re-stocking @Frenchs ketchup in our stores asap.
— Loblaws (@LoblawsON) March 15, 2016