Inside INdiana Business

Hoosier tomato processor presses for patriotism

Red Gold has branded some of its trucks with the Folds of Honor campaign. (photo provided)

ELWOOD, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — As the nation prepares to celebrate its independence on July 4, Elwood-based tomato processor Red Gold Inc. hopes people will honor military veterans through its “Ketchup with a Cause” program.

The company announced in January its partnership with the nonprofit Folds of Honor Foundation to help raise money to provide scholarships to family members of those who died or became disabled while on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces

A percentage of ketchup sales go towards the program.

“When we saw what Folds of Honor was doing with education, it took us not even a day and we were in,” said Colt Reichart, Red Gold director of marketing and fourth-generation canner.

Reichart says for the first time in company history, it unveiled a new ketchup bottle label to showcase its partnership with Folds of Honor.

Since the launch of the program, sales of the Folds of Honor ketchup have seen incremental growth.

“It was only supposed to on one bottle size. We’re already at five different bottle sizes and two portion control packages. It’s really taken off,” said Reichart.

Folds of Honor says in addition to the economic and emotional burdens families of fallen or disabled service members already face, the current COVID-19 pandemic is placing additional financial stress on many living on a one-household income.

“We are proud to partner with a company like Red Gold that shares our same passion and drive for supporting American military families and communities,” said Ben Leslie, executive vice president at Folds of Honor.

Reichart says Red Gold heritage is deeply rooted in patriotic and military tradition. It was founded in March 1942, early on during WWII, when the federal government asked citizens to step up and help the war effort by supplying food for the troops.

“My great grandfather was retired when all that happened,” explained Reichart. “He purchased a burned-out cannery and started supplying tomatoes to troops overseas.”

Now as the U.S. marks 75 years since the end of WWII, the company shows no let-up in its support of service personnel and their families.

“Giving back to those in need is a foundational element of our family history at Red Gold,” said Reichart. “The Folds of Honor mission is a natural fit for us.”

Red Gold sources its tomatoes from 40 farmers in Indiana, southern Michigan and northwest Ohio, growing more than 11,000 acres of tomatoes and employing approximately 1,300 workers.

Click here to learn more about the Folds of Honor program.

Red Gold Marketing Director Colt Reichart tells Inside INdiana Business the decision to embrace the Folds of Honor campaign was easy.