McDonald's To Drop Heinz After CEO Change
McDonald's has announced it will end a 40-year relationship with Heinz as the sauce company is now led by the former chief of rival Burger King.
"As a result of recent management changes at Heinz, we have decided to transition our business to other suppliers over time," McDonald's said in a statement.
"We have spoken to Heinz and plan to work together to ensure a smooth and orderly transition."
The switch will be more apparent outside the United States, as McDonald's only serves Heinz sauce in Pittsburgh and Minneapolis.
Heinz is now run by Bernardo Hees, former head of Burger King,
Sauce packages handed out at McDonald's restaurants in the United States often say only "fancy ketchup". Most in-store sauce dispensers are not branded.
The move by McDonald's could benefit Heinz rivals Hunt's, owned by ConAgra Foods Inc., and Del Monte.
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and an investment fund affiliated with 3G Capital bought Heinz for $28bn (£17bn) in June and immediately named Hees CEO.
Burger King went public in June 2012, less than two years after it was privatised by 3G Capital Management LLC, which retains a stake in the fast-food chain.
Burger King has been a Heinz customer for "decades" and uses its products in roughly 80% of markets around the world, spokesman Miguel Piedra said.