‘Round about Pittsburgh: H.J. Heinz “57 Varieties”


Photo taken at the Senator John Heinz History Center

When thinking ketchup, Heinz Ketchup has to be one of the first that comes to mind.  Founded by entrepreneur Henry John Heinz (H.J. Heinz) in Sharpsburg 1869, the H.J. Heinz Company has become an icon in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.  The slogan 57 Varieties started when H. J. Heinz wanted a slogan to help advertise the number of products the company had to offer.  Although the company is known for the slogan, Heinz expanded so quickly that they offered more than 57 products.  Heinz offers a number of products including ketchup, relish, beans, and a variety of sauces and soups.  Since 1890, Heinz has been headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The factory on Pittsburgh’s North Side is still used today but many of the buildings have been converted into housing.


What makes Heinz so interesting?


Heinz has been a company that has employed generations of Pittsburghers for years.  The company is a Pittsburgh icon that continues to sell 650 million bottles of ketchup each year.  When thinking of Pittsburgh, many people associate Pittsburgh’s football team, The Steelers, with the city.  It is also appropriate to know that the Steelers play at Heinz Field where Heinz holds the naming rights.  The Heinz Company has also contributed in donating back to Pittsburgh and the surrounding community.  Although the H.J. Heinz Company no longer produces as many products as they once did, they still own, distribute, and produce many products seen in homes across the world.  In an era where most companies have filed for bankruptcy, sold to other companies, or cease to exist, H.J. Heinz Company is still running strong in the region where it was established.  Next time you are at a restaurant away from Pittsburgh, just look at the Ketchup bottle on your table, you will find you have a piece of Pittsburgh to keep you company.


An also interesting note, the H.J. Heinz Company’s common stock hit a record 52 week high at $56.46, when the U.S. stock market closed on Monday August 27, 2012.


During the summer of 2012, Robert Morris University, announced they would move the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management and RMU Downtown into the Heinz 57 Center.  The Heinz 57 Center located on Sixth Avenue is the Corporate Headquarters for the H.J. Heinz Company.  Many Pittsburghers still call this building, the old Gimbel’s Department Store.