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The Rise and Fall of Heinz’s Green Ketchup

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Chocolate is brown, mustard is yellow, and ketchup is red—or so goes conventional wisdom. But in 2000, one condiment giant decided to give “America’s Favorite Ketchup” a Technicolor makeover. What resulted was one of the oddest food fads in recent memory.

Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the H. J. Heinz company has been manufacturing its famed tomato ketchup since 1876 and currently sells over 650 million bottles of the stuff every year. However, at the turn of the millennium, the corporation decided to experiment with their popular formula in a way few could’ve expected.

A new product—dubbed “Heinz EZ Squirt”—came bottled with a specialized “kid-friendly” nozzle. Yet it wasn’t the packaging that caught the media’s attention. It was the coloring. Spinach-colored “Blastin’ Green” ketchup was one of the varieties offered in the EZ Squirt line and became an instant hit, especially with kids.

“We’re on track to ship in the first 90 days what we thought we would sell in the first year,” said global ketchup managing director Casey Kelley prior to the novelty condiment’s highly-anticipated launch. “This thing has taken on a momentum of its own, striking a chord with kids and people in general.” Heinz was quick to capitalize on its early success by releasing additional colors such as orange, purple, teal, blue, and pink. Ultimately, a staggering 25 million units were sold.

So why can’t you still buy these today? Regrettably, EZ ketchup sales began to dwindle after their initial boom and the line was discontinued in 2006. According to marketing expert Calvin L. Hodock, “Kids tired of it, being the fickle little devils that they are. And moms got tired of seeing two or three half-finished ketchup bottles lying around in the fridge.”

In 2012, Burger King teamed up with Heinz to resurrect the “green ketchup” concept, this time as part of a St. Patrick’s Day promotion in which free fries were given away with packets of the emerald sauce. As of this writing, neither company has announced plans to revive the gimmick in the foreseeable future.

Primary image courtesy of Kite String.

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travel
The Real Bay of Pigs: Big Major Cay in the Bahamas
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iStock

When most people visit the Bahamas, they’re thinking about a vacation filled with sun, sand, and swimming—not swine. But you can get all four of those things if you visit Big Major Cay.

Big Major Cay, also now known as “Pig Island” for obvious reasons, is part of the Exuma Cays in the Bahamas. Exuma includes private islands owned by Johnny Depp, Tyler Perry, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, and David Copperfield. Despite all of the local star power, the real attraction seems to be the family of feral pigs that has established Big Major Cay as their own. It’s hard to say how many are there—some reports say it’s a family of eight, while others say the numbers are up to 40. However big the band of roaming pigs is, none of them are shy: Their chief means of survival seems to be to swim right up to boats and beg for food, which the charmed tourists are happy to provide (although there are guidelines about the best way of feeding the pigs).

No one knows exactly how the pigs got there, but there are plenty of theories. Among them: 1) A nearby resort purposely released them more than a decade ago, hoping to attract tourists. 2) Sailors dropped them off on the island, intending to dine on pork once they were able to dock for a longer of period of time. For one reason or another, the sailors never returned. 3) They’re descendants of domesticated pigs from a nearby island. When residents complained about the original domesticated pigs, their owners solved the problem by dropping them off at Big Major Cay, which was uninhabited. 4) The pigs survived a shipwreck. The ship’s passengers did not.

The purposeful tourist trap theory is probably the least likely—VICE reports that the James Bond movie Thunderball was shot on a neighboring island in the 1960s, and the swimming swine were there then.

Though multiple articles reference how “adorable” the pigs are, don’t be fooled. One captain warns, “They’ll eat anything and everything—including fingers.”

Here they are in action in a video from National Geographic:

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Pop Culture
The House From The Money Pit Is For Sale

Looking for star-studded new digs? For a cool $5.9 million, Top10RealEstateDeals.com reports, you can own the Long Island country home featured in the 1986 comedy The Money Pit—no renovations required.

For the uninitiated, the film features Tom Hanks and Shelley Long as hapless first-time homeowners who purchase a rundown mansion for cheap. The savings they score end up being paltry compared to the debt they incur while trying to fix up the house.

The Money Pit featured exterior shots of "Northway," an eight-bedroom estate located in the village of Lattingtown in Nassau County, New York. Luckily for potential buyers, its insides are far nicer than the fictional ones portrayed in the movie, thanks in part to extensive renovations performed by the property’s current owners.

Amenities include a giant master suite with a French-style dressing room, eight fireplaces, a "wine wall," and a heated outdoor saltwater pool. Check out some photos below, or view the entire listing here.

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in 1986's “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in 1986's “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

[h/t Top10RealEstateDeals.com]

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