Kraft Heinz has partnered with drinks brand Pernod Ricard to produce a pasta alla vodka sauce.
The collaboration was inspired by model Gigi Hadid after she sparked a social media trend by sharing a spicy vodka pasta dish on TikTok in 2020.
Heinz has admitted being “ridiculously” late to the pasta sauce category and said it was “predictably late to the pasta alla vodka party”.
Created in partnership with Absolut Vodka, Heinz said: “The vodka is the magic that unlocks the flavours and intensifies the aroma of this rich and creamy tomato, basil and cheese sauce.”
The company said the collaboration was “the latest example of Kraft Heinz’s transformation”.
“The company is expanding its capabilities and entering new categories through unexpected collaborations with cutting-edge innovators and brands to redefine best-in-class and lead the future of food.”
Heinz’s first ever pasta sauce range launched in 2022.
Caio Fontenele, new ventures director at Kraft Heinz for UK and Ireland, said: “While it may have taken over 150 years of tomato expertise to launch our first Heinz pasta sauce, we’re determined to continue innovating and delighting consumers with delicious flavours, at the speed of social media trends.
“We are thrilled with the partnership between these two centenary brands, bringing the first tomato vodka pasta sauce to major UK supermarkets. The iconic combination of Heinz’s high-quality tomato sauces and Absolut’s premium vodka is set to offer fans the ultimate pasta alla vodka experience.”
Leanne Banks, marketing director, Pernod Ricard UK, added: “It’s only natural that we’d partner with Heinz on this ultimate collaboration between two iconic brands, with two iconic bottles.”
The marketing campaign for the sauce was produced by Wunderman Thompson Spain. Art directors were Sergi Boixadera and Carlos Galán. Copywriter was Albert Xifra. The media agency was Carat.
Paco Badia, executive creative director for Wunderman Thompson Spain, said: “This a very exciting launch for us, as we’ve had the opportunity to pay homage to one of the most recognisable campaigns of all time – the Absolut adverts from the early 1980s.
“In fact, the bestselling Absolut Book, which delves into the thinking and strategy behind the campaign, has provided creative inspiration throughout my professional career, long before we started working on this project. It’s a privilege to be able to honour such an iconic campaign, and I would like to think that Richard W Lewis, author of the book and creator of that campaign, would approve the latest iteration to celebrate this exciting collaboration between two of the world’s leading food brands.”
The sauce is another example of marketing innovation by Heinz after the company tracked down a sailor named Elvis Francois from Dominica in the Caribbean, who was lost at sea for almost a month earlier this year and told rescuers he survived by eating Heinz Ketchup.
“We found Elvis Francois with the help of local reporters in Dominica and our teams in the US have been able to connect with him and discuss the best way help support him and his family,” said a Heinz spokesperson.