A Brief History
In June of 2002, H.J. Heinz Co. introduced the first organic ketchup by a mainstream, mass market food producer. Up until that time, only then-niche organic brands such as Muir Glen, Walnut Acres and the private label line of supernatural retailer, Austin, TX-based Whole Foods Markets, had risked venturing into the small but fast-growing branded organic foods segment. Around this time, conventional supermarkets were in various stages of toe-dipping into the natural and organic waters, expanding and then shrinking shelf space for the products depending on their stomach for risk. By 2003, the U.S. had entered a recession—mild by comparison to the Great Recession of 2007–2009—which caused a slowdown in sales of natural and organic foods within these traditional supermarkets.