The Reason Queen Elizabeth II's Death Is Forcing Heinz To Redesign Its Label

In the wake of Queen Elizabeth II's death on September 8, 2022, people all over the globe have continued to pay their respects. As NPR and other outlets continue to report, tributes to the queen have ranged from bouquets of flowers left by mourners at the doors of British consulates and embassies, the flag at Balmoral Castle flying at half-mast, and gatherings of thousands outside of Buckingham Palace. But in a somewhat unexpected twist, the queen's death has ushered in big changes for approximately 620 businesses all around the globe, according to the Mirror. And it's not just English products that are affected — at least one popular American-made ketchup brand is being forced to change its packaging. That's right: Heinz is altering the design of its iconic ketchup bottle label, but only for its products sold in the U.K. And it doesn't stop there.

The classic ketchup brand is just one of many well-known businesses that must make a change to their products. The list ranges widely but includes anyone from small artisans to global chains such as Burberry, Coca-Cola, Johnnie Walker, Cartier, and more (via the Mirror). And although this might mean big cosmetic alterations for a lot of these groups, it's all for a fair reason: the expiration of the Royal Warrant.

Queen Elizabeth II's death has prompted a Heinz shakeup

Heinz is one of many companies that displays the royal coat of arms on its products. As the Mirror noted in September, this is allowed because of the Royal Warrant, an agreement that allows some companies to display the royal crest on their goods in exchange for providing their products to the royal family (via the Mirror). According to the Royal Warrant Holders Association (RWHA), between 20 to 40 of these Warrants are granted each year; however, these Warrants automatically become void if the grantor — in this case, Queen Elizabeth II — dies. 

Per the royal family's official website, the crest is an intricately detailed shield with the royal family's motto "supported by the English lion on the left and Scottish unicorn on the right." The symbol is displayed on over 800 products made by companies around the globe (via RWHA). It includes a statement signifying which reigning monarch granted the Warrant. From 1952 until the time of this writing, it's been "By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen." For Heinz, this symbol appeared on bottles sold in the UK, per the Mirror.

Companies granted a Warrant by the queen now has two years to remove the royal symbol from their products before being able to reapply to King Charles III. They can be approved again if the royal family uses their products and if they have environmental and sustainability efforts in place (via RWHA). Now we'll have to wait to see if the King gives Heinz his stamp of approval.