It seems impossible to escape Heinz ketchup in restaurants - especially fast food restaurants.  The company has managed to saturate the market as the "go-to" condiment for generations.  But now it appears that the number one ketchup in retail sales will no longer be available at the world's number one fast food restaurant - and industry insiders say that the reason may stem from competition.

McDonald's has announced that they are dropping Heinz as their supplier of ketchup - severing a relationship that has goes back over 40 years. Officially, the company released a statement that says the following:

“We value the relationship we’ve maintained with Heinz for more than 40 years. As a result of recent management changes at Heinz, we have decided to transition our business to other suppliers over time. We have spoken to Heinz and plan to work together to ensure a smooth and orderly transition of the McDonald’s restaurant business, and are confident that there will be no impact to our business, our customers and our great tasting food at McDonald’s.”

The origins of the split have to do with the new CEO at Heinz - Bernardo Hees.  Prior to the appointment, Hees led McDonald's chief-competitor Burger King.  According to the experts, THAT is the reason why Heinz is being dropped from McDonalds.  According to the rumor mill, McDonalds officials worried about Hees' loyalty and theories about Heinz withholding supply of their ketchup to the Golden Arches in an effort to give market share to Burger King has actually been bantered around.

Whatever the real cause of the split, it's expected to have some effect on consumers.  Ketchup lovers are fiercely loyal and the Heinz brand usually ranks at the top of most customer surveys.