Re: Heinz plant locations

Douglas Harding

David, Heinz was much more than pickles. They have a plant in Muscatine IA, here is a story from the local paper.


For many years, Iowa tomato growers had a buyer for their crop in Muscatine.


Kraft Heinz’s second production facility — and the company’s first outside Pittsburgh — was constructed in Muscatine in 1893. It originally processed sauerkraut, horseradish and pickles.


The plant added ketchup and other tomato products in 1898. Muscatine was then in the heart of a tomato-growing region that included western Illinois. For many decades, the plant was taking in tons of tomatoes during the months of August and September and turning out millions of bottles of ketchup.


That changed in 1991 when Kraft Heinz switched to using tomato paste for production of ketchup and other tomato products, according to Michael Mullen, senior vice president of corporate and government affairs at Kraft Heinz.


Mullen said the Muscatine plant remains a strategic facility, producing ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauces, honey, hot sauce, cocktail sauce and sweet-and-sour sauces.


It is quite likely those California plants were processing California tomatoes. Or turning cabbage into sauerkraut. Or any of the other Heinz products. As to “Heinz” cars. Attached is a photo I took of the Muscatine plant loading tracks 8 years ago. Don’t see a single car labeled Heinz. All are large extreme height boxcars. Period photos show standard wood sheathed boxcars at the loading platforms, attached is a photo from 1914.


Doug Harding


From: <> On Behalf Of David Soderblom
Sent: Thursday, July 16, 2020 1:42 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Heinz plant locations


I note with interest the three factories in northern California, Salinas, ~Oakland, and Tracy/Los Banos.  Yet Calif. is not a producer of the materials (take a look at all those cukes from Michigan!), implying a lot of shipment of the materials from elsewhere.  Yet I don’t recall ever seeing a Heinz car in a Calif. photo, let alone many.

David Soderblom

Baltimore MD USA






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