Fastfood giant McDonald's has reportedly cut its ties with Heinz after 4 decades due to a change of management in the company. A statement from McDonald's released Friday resulted to speculations that ending of the relationship may be brought by the former CEO of rival Burger King.
Heinz, which was bought by Berkshire Hathaway and Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital, also controls operations of fastfood chain Burger King.
In the statement, McDonald's said, "As a result of recent management changes at Heinz, we have decided to transition our business to other suppliers over time."
Heinz's CEO Bernardo Hees is also in the board of Burger King and reportedly one of the partners at 3G Capital.
According to the Denver Post, McDonald's did not mention how much money is involved in the business relationship. Heinz, after receiving inquiries from the press, did not release a comment based on its policy of not disclosing any information about its relationships with their clients.
Michael Mullen, Heinz's senior vice president of corporate and government affairs said, "We continue to operate respecting every customer while upholding the high level of confidentiatliy and business ethics that the H.J. Heinz Co. has built with our business partners over the years."
"The change will not affect U.S. consumers because the fastfood giant only uses Heinz products in Minneapolis and Pittsburgh. The change however will impact McDonald's patrons abroad," sources said.
The director of media relations for McDonald's U.S. Lisa Comb said, "It's a global transition to other suppliers. Heinz was only used in two markets in the U.S."
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, this is not the first strain in the relationship between McDonald's and Heinz. Back in early 1970s, Heinz halted supplying the fastfood chain's pickles and ketchup. This was after Heinz was not able to meet its client's ketchup needs becuase of tomato shortage, according to "McDonald's: Behind the Arches" written by John F. Love. As a result, McDonald's went to other vendors.
This time, the split of the two after 40 years, is not about any type of shortage but due to management changes.
Heinz was recently acquired by 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway. Burger King was acquired by the Brazilian investment firm.
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