Stephen: Ketchup packets lasted product subject to pandemic shortages


Remember last year when people were throwin’ elbows inside grocery stores to claim rolls of toilet paper?  Well, revisit that same scene, only this time imagine two people risking jail time for ketchup packets. Much like the TP, yeast and flour shortages that have come and gone during the pandemic, the high demand for take-out and delivery has caused a similar demand for the humble ketchup packet.

No one saw this shortage coming, not even ketchup’s most famous maker, Heinz.  They’ve ramped up production to meet the demands, opening up new production lines and extra shifts. One Heinz exec said its doing its best crank out some extra ketchup, telling The Wall Street Journal “We’re busy doing everything we can” and adding that the company’s even moving resources from other condiments to meet the demand.  Sorry, mustard.

Ketchup packet prices have also increased by 13% over the last year.  Fish chain Long John Silvers said the small increase has cost them an additional half-million dollars, with a spokesperson saying “Everyone out there is grabbing for ketchup.” How long before we see $500 ketchup packets on eBay?




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