Seed World

French Fries in Space? Heinz has Created Some Out-of-this-World Ketchup

Heinz embarked on a mission to ensure fresh, tasty food for future generations by partnering with astrobiologists to discover how to grow premium-quality ketchup tomatoes in harsh environmental conditions, such as those found on Mars. Today, the brand unveiled its first bottle of Heinz Tomato Ketchup Marz Edition, made with delicious tomatoes grown by recreating similar soil, temperature, and water conditions on Earth to those found on the Red Planet.

Through a collaboration with a 14-person astrobiology team over nine months at the Aldrin Space Institute at Florida Tech, Heinz simulated growing tomatoes on Mars. The team successfully yielded a crop of Heinz tomatoes, from the brand’s proprietary tomato seeds, with the exacting qualities that pass the rigorous quality and taste standards to become its iconic ketchup.

For generations, Heinz has helped people find magic in everyday moments that bring families together and has now discovered how to provide the delicious Heinz Tomato Ketchup families know and love for the next 150 years and beyond.

Two years ago, Heinz and its Tomato Masters set out to successfully launch the first-of-its-kind experiment that has become one of the largest projects of its kind related to Mars ever conducted. Experts in analyzing difficult soil conditions, picking the perfect seeds, and implementing world-leading agricultural techniques played a crucial role in ensuring the unmistakable taste of Heinz Tomato Ketchup.

Although Heinz Tomato Ketchup Marz Edition bottles are not available for purchase, a batch of out-of-this-world ketchup was unveiled at Heinz HQ, where the experimental sauce has undergone rigorous quality testing to get the all-important green light to become certified bottles of Heinz Tomato Ketchup.

“We’re so excited that our team of experts has been able to grow tomatoes in conditions found on another planet and share our creation with the world. From analyzing the soil from Martian conditions two years ago to harvesting now, it’s been a journey that’s proved wherever we end up, Heinz Tomato Ketchup will still be enjoyed for generations to come,” says Cristina Kenz, Chief Growth Officer for Kraft Heinz International Zone.

The team at the Aldrin Space Institute, led by Dr. Andrew Palmer, has submitted the first of three papers for scientific publication that charts the mission.

“Before now, most efforts around discovering ways to grow in Martian-simulated conditions are short term plant growth studies. What this project has done is look at long-term food harvesting. Achieving a crop that is of a quality to become Heinz Tomato Ketchup was the dream result and we achieved it. And working with the Tomato Masters at Heinz has allowed us to see what the possibilities are for long term food production beyond Earth,” says Dr. Andrew Palmer, Aldrin Space Institute.

Heinz Tomato Ketchup has already made it beyond Earth into our solar system and has been enjoyed by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for many years — one of whom is former NASA astronaut and professor of mechanical engineering Mike Massimino, a veteran of two space flights, four spacewalks, and the first astronaut to ever tweet from space. Massimino serves as an ambassador of Heinz Tomato Ketchup Marz Edition and is a self-confessed Heinz Tomato Ketchup superfan.

“In space we have a saying, ‘It’s not about the food it’s about the sauce’, we could choose what food we wanted to eat up there but lots of the dishes came dehydrated and a little bit bland, so a good dollop of sauce always made your meals delicious, which started my love for Heinz Tomato Ketchup,” said Mike Massimino, former NASA astronaut.

In addition to studying how to grow tomatoes in Mars-like conditions, the Kraft Heinz Company continues to invest in its commitments to environmental social governance (ESG) goals including using 100% sustainably sourced Heinz Ketchup tomatoes by 2025. To learn more about Kraft Heinz ESG goals, visit the company’s Environmental and Social Governance website.