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McDonald's Decision To End Heinz Relationship Because Of CEO's Burger King Past Makes No Sense

LOS ANGELES, October 23, 2013 () – I’m struggling mightily to understand McDonald’s recent decision to terminate its 40-year relationship with Heinz to supply ketchup at its restaurants. The reason boggles me: Because the new CEO of Heinz is the former CEO of Burger King.

Two words: So what?

Granted, Burger King is one of McDonald’s main rivals. But why should the new Heinz CEO’s former affiliation with Burger King be a factor here? What’s the guy going to do? Poison McDonald’s ketchup supply? Give Burger King free ketchup? I can’t imagine that the CEO of a new company would want to start off his tenure by trying to sabotage a 40-year business relationship worth millions.

From a consumer perspective, the fact that the head of Heinz used to be the head of Burger King has no bearing here. Consumers don’t care. Heck, consumers don’t know! So if this is some sort of public relations move on McDonald’s part, it’s completely unnecessary.

In situations like these, there’s usually more than meets the eye. But based solely on what our eyes are being shown, this decision by McDonald’s makes no sense.

Nevin Barich is the Food & Beverage Analyst for Industry Intelligence Inc. He can be reached at

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