Heinz is dropping its ketchup-stained vintage collection to celebrate sustainability

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Diving Brief:

  • Heinz has teamed up with online resale platform ThredUp for a fashion collection of used clothing with ketchup stains, according to a press release.
  • The Heinz Vintage Drip Collection is sourced and available exclusively on ThredUp and includes 157 streetwear and designer pieces, each with a unique ketchup stain. The collection is inclusive across size and gender. A first drop today (August 30) will be followed by a second on September 13.
  • The vintage collection arrives as Gen Z and millennial consumers embrace saving as part of their sustainability efforts. All proceeds will go to Rise Against Hunger to support the fight against world hunger, complementing the goal-driven effort.

Overview of the dive:

Heinz Vintage Drip takes a pervasive marketing tactic – branded merchandise – and puts a ketchup-centric spin on it. According to a YouTube video promoting the partnership, “Clothing scraps are everywhere, but Heinz did the original scrap.” The concept serves as a pun on both ketchup drips and clothes drips, as well as “drip”, hip-hop slang for style and clothing.

The effort aims to use ketchup-stained clothing as a commentary on thrift and sustainability. A majority (62%) of Gen Z and Millennials research a second-hand item before buying it new, with the global second-hand clothing market expected to grow 127% by 2026, according to the study ThredUp quoted in the press release.

“As Heinz is recognized around the world for its iconic glass bottle, keystone, and slow-flow ketchup, we saw an opportunity to see the stain we leave on clothes as another iconic symbol of brand and change the narrative from a stain to a statement,” Alyssa Cicero, brand communications manager at Heinz, said in a statement.

Alongside the sustainability angle, the vintage collection ties into Gen Z and millennial preferences for inclusive clothing. It features another purpose-driven play, with 100% of proceeds supporting the fight against world hunger. The collection includes 157 pieces – a nod to Heinz’s 57 classic varieties – spanning retail brands like Gap and Nike and designer brands like Gucci and Christian Dior.

The vintage collection is the latest cultural piece in the Kraft Heinz portfolio, with campaigns that have linked the retailer’s iconic brands to music, games and film. CPG marketers as a whole have moved away from traditional advertising tropes in favor of culture-driven marketing to appeal to younger consumers, including Gen Z.

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