Menu Menu

Heinz unveils Fortnite island to highlight soil degradation

Tomato and bean producer Heinz has unveiled a new community-built Fortnite island that highlights soil degradation. Named ‘S.O.S Tomato Island’, players will be able to explore a reconstructed Heinz tomato farm.

Fancy learning more about Heinz tomato production? Need an excuse to jump back into the marketing juggernaut that is Fortnite?

Heinz has announced a new playable community-built island called ‘S.O.S Tomato Island’, where players can learn about soil degradation and tomato production.

Made in collaboration with events organisation Druid Gaming, this playable map incorporates a faster ‘storm’ limit than Fortnite’s regular modes, whereby the safe zone shrinks much quicker in order to reflect the ‘rapid rate in which soil health is declining.’

Credit: Heinz

This means you’ll need to be extra strategic if you want to be victorious – while also considering the ramifications of poor soil health, of course.

In a press release, Heinz said that S.O.S Tomato Island ‘demonstrates just some of the sustainable and regenerative practices that [we] support in the real world.’ In addition, the company explained that ‘according to environmental experts, our soils are at risk and could be gone in as little as a generation if we don’t act.’

So, what is Heinz doing to help preserve soil health?

According to its website, Heinz aims to grow 100% sustainable ketchup tomatoes by 2025. Three years ago, the company pledged to improve its tomato processing, purchasing, and growing techniques, joining the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform.

In Spain, for example, the company intermittently planted different crops to improve topsoil conditions, doubling tomato yields in eight years. Heinz also says that it is ‘future-proofing’ tomato yields, developing seeds via its research centre that can handle drier conditions.

Alongside its plant research, Heinz has vowed to contribute to the protection of an extra 13.5 million squared acres of soil. It says that it has made ‘additional funds of $100,000 USD available’ for this island map, and that the money raised comes as a ‘direct result of this game.’

Why is Heinz making playable islands in Fortnite?

While it might seem a bit odd for a company like Heinz to collaborate with a video game brand, this isn’t actually the first time it’s dabbled in this market.

Last year, Heinz joined forces with Call of Duty Warzone to provide players with hidden ‘safe spots’ that could be used to eat and game simultaneously. While admittedly slightly less of a noble cause than S.O.S Tomato Island, it served as an effective strategy to target Gen Zers.

There’s no doubt this latest Fortnite effort is a further attempt to reach young consumers. Heinz has made a notable effort to modernise its traditionalist image over the past few years, following in the footsteps of similar brands such as KFC, Wendy’s, and McDonald’s.

It frequently publishes quirky videos on artificial intelligence, new ‘dip’ products, and collaborations with big musicians in order to appeal to Gen Z.

So, all this talk aside, do you fancy jumping into S.O.S Tomato Island?

You’ll need to input the code ‘1877-1435-6432’ on Fortnite’s ‘Discover’ screen. Before you play, keep in mind that this launch is not officially associated with Epic Games or Fortnite, but rather a community-driven event. You’ll be doing some real world good by getting involved, though, so the more of us jump in, the better.