Heinz drops ketchup-stained vintage collection to celebrate sustainability

    • Heinz partnered with online resale platform ThredUp for a fashion collection of thrifted clothes with ketchup stains, according to a press release.
    • The Heinz Vintage Drip collection is sourced from 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. An initial drop today (Aug. 30) will be followed by a second on Sept. 13.
    • The vintage collection comes as Gen Z and millennial consumers embrace thrifting as a part of their sustainability efforts. All proceeds go to Rise Against Hunger in support of global hunger relief, rounding out the purpose-driven effort.

    Heinz Vintage Drip takes a ubiquitous marketing tactic — branded merchandise — and gives it a ketchup-centric spin. Per a YouTube video promoting the partnership, “Clothing drops are everywhere, but Heinz made the original drop.” The concept serves as a pun on both drops of ketchup and clothing drops, as well as “drip,” hip-hop slang about style and clothing.

    The effort seeks to use ketchup-stained clothing as a comment on thrifting and sustainability. A majority (62%) of Gen Z and millennials look for an item secondhand before purchasing it new, with the global secondhand apparel market expected to grow 127% by 2026, according to ThredUp research cited in the press release.

    “While Heinz is recognized globally for its iconic glass bottle, keystone and slow-pouring ketchup, we saw an opportunity to view the stain we’ve been leaving on clothes as another iconic brand symbol and change the narrative from a stain to a statement,” said Alyssa Cicero, brand manager for brand communications at Heinz, in a statement.

    Along with 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 global hunger relief. The collection includes 157 pieces — a nod to Heinz’s classic 57 varieties — spanning retail brands like Gap and Nike and designer labels like Gucci and Christian Dior. 

    The vintage collection is the latest cultural play from the Kraft Heinz portfolio, with campaigns that have tied the marketer’s iconic brands to music, gaming and film. CPG marketers writ large have moved away from traditional ad tropes to culture-led marketing to attract younger consumers, including Gen Z.


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