Food & Drink

Heinz Is About To Start A Mustard War

The kings of one wealthy dynasty, emboldened by a key alliance, have set their sights on a powerful rival's territory that's almost as lucrative as the one they already control. It sounds like an exciting plot line from the new season of HBO's "Game of Thrones" -- but, in fact, it's a surprisingly dramatic turn of events in the normally placid world of condiments.

Heinz, the ketchup giant, recently announced plans to expand its reach in the $400 million mustard market by relaunching its mustard and selling it for the first time in grocery stores across America. Heinz has been making several varieties of mustard for years, but selling directly to food service buyers, such as restaurants and stadiums, rather than to consumers.

The big kahuna in the American mustard industry right now is British-owned French's, which The Wall Street Journal says holds a 30 percent market share. Heinz has an even firmer stronghold on the $750 million ketchup industry, with a reported market share of 60 percent.

To break into the mustard market, Heinz has retooled the formula for its yellow mustard to include all-natural ingredients. Bloomberg reports that the company is also launching a cheeky national TV ad campaign that features a man in a Heinz ketchup costume breaking up with a woman dressed in a costume reminiscent of a French's mustard bottle.

Last month, the Pittsburgh-based company -- which is owned in part by Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway -- announced plans to merge with Kraft, the packaged food conglomerate.

It's probably not a coincidence that this Heinz announcement comes so soon after the news about the company's merger. Heinz's new partner Kraft produces both Oscar-Meyer hot dogs and Grey Poupon mustard, so the new Kraft Heinz Company has a strong position in its fight against French's. Still, as a great Westerosi knight once said, it's going to be a long war.

On Potatoes
Julie Toy
Mustard adds a nice tang to your classic potato salad recipe or try a whole grain mustard dressing on your potatoes for a different kind of potato salad. It doesn't stop there -- mix in a spoonful pf mustard into mashed potatoes to awaken the flavor.
In A Glaze or Rub
Mustard is amazing rubbed on meats like pork, or brushed onto a fish fillet before baking. The mustard creates a flavorful crust that's hard to match.
As A Marinade
Add a bit of mustard to your marinade for fish or meats. It will lend a unique tanginess that everyone will be asking about.
On Eggs
Mustard is a traditional ingredient in deviled eggs, but just a dollop can also add flavor to scrambled eggs when stirred in. Or use mustard as a simple topping on hard boiled eggs or omelets.
In Barbecue Sauce
Simply Recipes
Mustard, either bottled or dry, is a key ingredient in many barbecue sauces (both homemade and store-bought), but in South Carolina they make a barbecue sauce that's all about the mustard (recipe from Simply Recipes).
For Breading
New Media Publishing
Coat meats, especially pork or chicken with mustard, and you've got some flavorful glue that will help adhere breading for an oven-fried dish.
On Vegetables
New Media Publishing
Whether it's steamed or roasted vegetables, mustard adds a nice flavoring that's more complex than just salt and pepper. Toss some mustard on your steamed carrots, green beans or peas. Try it on roasted root vegetables.
For A Serving Sauce
New Media Publishing
After you've seared chicken or steak, don't throw away all the nice browned bits in the pan. Add some broth and mustard and scrape it up to create a delicious gravy-like serving sauce.
Vinaigrettes And Dressings
The reason for using mustard in a salad dressing or vinaigrette may seem obvious, but it's not just for flavor -- mustard acts as an emulsifier, uniting the oil and vinegar so it doesn't separate.
In Stews And Casseroles
Many classic stews call for a spoonful of mustard -- that's because it adds flavor and works as a thickener. Add a spoonful of mustard to your beef stews and casseroles, like chicken pot pie.
WATCH: Cooking With Mustard
Curtis Stone explains how mustard is made and how to use different varieties for cooking.