French's new Caesar mix brings 20 more jobs at Highbury Canco

A spicy new product for the French's Food Company has brought 20 new jobs to Leamington's Highbury Canco.

The ketchup-creating company is pouring resources into a Canadian classic, the Caesar, and is packing the red drink mix in Windsor-Essex.

"We're really excited," said Highbury Canco president Sam Diab. "This is another great example of something new for our facility." 

French's won over many in the area last year by committing to using tomatoes grown in Leamington to make its ketchup.

Now the company will be using southwestern Ontario tomato paste to create its tasty new juice.

"We wanted to make ketchup in Leamington, but we couldn't do that," said French's president Elliott Penner. "We looked back at what we could do in Leamington… and this came up."

Diab said Highbury Canco started bottling the mix in early January and added it has already shown up on the shelves in some local stores.

Plastic bottles are still a pretty new type of packaging for the company, but Diab said he thinks the Caesar mix could be just the start.

"It's something we think we can really build off of because it's a package that consumers are really excited about.," he explained.

French's is offering an "original" Caesar mix and a "fully loaded" version that Penner said isn't your "ordinary mix" and comes with a kick thanks to a shot of hot sauce.

He added as long as Canadians keep guzzling Caesars the company is hoping to bottle a "whole bunch" of the drink in Leamington.