There is a Ketchup Shortage in America as More Restaurants Offer Takeout and Delivery

Apr 9, 2021 | News

Image: Miguel Andrade via Unsplash

Heinz, the largest ketchup producer in the United States, recently announced “a 25% increase in production, totaling 12 billion ketchup packets…a year.”


With so many Americans ordering takeout during the pandemic, there has been a surge in demand for single ketchup packets creating a shortage of the popular condiment according to recent reports.

The demand for ketchup in the single-serve packet started when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance discouraging traditional, dine-in service at restaurants and calling on consumers to observe more pandemic-friendly dining options such as delivery and takeout rather than risking exposure in public places.

“Avoid using or sharing items that are reusable, such as menus, condiments, and any other food containers,” the CDC said. “Instead, use disposable or digital menus (menus viewed on cellphones), single serving condiments, and no-touch trash cans and doors.”

Ketchup Supply Plunges

This trend caused traditional restaurants across the country, who ordinarly don’t give out single-serving condiment packs to complete with local fast food places that also shut down their dining rooms. The result: more restaurants than ever before started ordering single-serving packets.

Heinz, the largest ketchup producer in the United States, recently announced “a 25% increase in production, totaling 12 billion ketchup packets…a year.”

“We made strategic manufacturing investments at the start of the pandemic to keep up with the surge in demand for ketchup packets driven by the accelerated delivery and take-out trends; at the same time, we also fast-tracked future-focused culinary and packaging innovations, as well as further manufacturing expansion plans,” said Steve Cornell, president of Kraft Heinz’s enhancers, specialty and away from home business unit., told CNN.

According to Retail Detail, ketchup lovers in Europe have nothing to worry about, nothing that supply problems in the US have had little to no impact there.

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