Playing Ketchup With The Times


As probably the most iconic fixation on an American dining table, Heinz ketchup has almost become synonymous with the term ‘condiments’ when referring to food. While I only prefer to use a moderate amount for my fries and nothing else, I’ve witnessed more than a handful of people who dump ketchup on pretty much everything they eat. It’s easy to see how this is possible as ketchup is readily available almost everywhere there’s food. A little over 40 years ago in 1968, the first ‘rip and squeeze’ packets were unleashed upon the fast food world – something we in the Westernized world are more than familiar with as well. It seems as though these tiny packets with the zigzag lines have gotten a bit of a makeover.

Here’s a quick look at the packaging from CBS News.

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The old package was fine to say the least. It was convenient and did its job – holding ketchup. However, in the current day and age, there’s been much more emphasis put on functionality of products, and Heinz has taken heed. The new revamped design allows for users to apply ketchup either through dipping (by peeling off the removable top) or squeezing (by tearing off the removable tip). Well sure, although this doesn’t change life drastically for people, it nonetheless makes it a lot simpler for users and shows that companies like Heinz are giving a lot more attention to what end-users want. They actually tested the packet in a mini-van to see how easy it would be to use; not that we encourage you to be doing this while driving in the first place, but you get the point.

While the current package isn’t recyclable, Heinz claims that each of the new packets contain 3 times as much as it did in the old ones thereby saving on packaging. But we definitely hope that Heinz will be continually looking towards becoming more ‘green’ (ie. using biodegradable materials vs. plastic). Although I, myself am not a big fan of ketchup, I have to give Heinz credit for examining an old product and reworking it around functionality and practicality.