Kraft Heinz and other processors are scrambling to meet increased demand for ketchup, especially single-serve packets, during the pandemic.
Restaurants across the U.S. are finding it tough to find single-serve ketchup, from mom-and-pop places to big chains like Long John Silver’s, according to the Wall Street Journal. The price of packets has gone up 13%, and their share relative to bottles has “exploded,” the Journal says.
The demand for takeout during the pandemic has made single-serve packets the only viable packaging for ketchup in many places. Even with sit-down service, some local laws forbid traditional glass bottles on tables for sanitary reasons.
Kraft Heinz will open two new lines this month, and more later, to with a goal of increasing production by 25%. Nonetheless, some hardcore Heinz ketchup fans, both restaurateurs and consumers, are turning to alternatives out of necessity.
A spokesperson for a Texas restaurant chain told the Journal: “I’m a Heinz person. But you can’t be loyal forever.”
Steve Cornell, president of Kraft Heinz’s Enhancers, Specialty and Away from Home business unit, said in a statement that the company made “strategic manufacturing investments at the start of the pandemic to keep up with the surge in demand for ketchup packets.”