Bottles of Heinz ketchup on display in a supermarket.

Bottles of Heinz ketchup on display in a supermarket.

Israel’s Health Ministry has declared Heinz Tomato Ketchup must no longer be called ketchup, ruling that the much-loved condiment should now be sold as “tomato seasoning” instead.

Rivals Osem – the top-selling brand in Israel – has campaigned for the change, arguing the Heinz version does not contain enough tomato content to correctly be called ketchup.

Israel requires ketchup to have 41% tomato concentrate, while Heinz’s product only contains 21% according to Osem.

Diplomat, the company responsible for distributing Heinz in Israel, said the claims were laughable, telling Ynet: “Obviously Osem, which has a monopoly, would be happy if it were only possible to sell their product in Israel, but Osem’s claims have no substance.”

Heinz’s Director of Corporate and Government Affairs, Nigel Dickie, said: “The word ‘ketchup’ is indicated in English on the front of the bottle. While recognising that the Israeli standard for ketchup has yet to be brought in line with US and European accepted international standards, the back label of our ketchup sold in Israel reflects current local requirements for ingredient labelling and the Hebrew name for the product.”

He added: “The original, quality recipe for Heinz Tomato Ketchup sold in Israel and the standard for ketchup around the world remains unchanged.”