Ketchup Shortage Hits Restaurant Industry – Cerritos Community News
By Brian Hews • April 7, 2021
The pandemic has caused shortages of pet food, pasta, cereal, toilet paper, paper towels, disinfectants, cleaning supplies, appliances, furniture, meat and more again.
Now, pandemic-related supply chain issues are affecting America’s favorite condiment: ketchup packets.
Restaurants have had to rely heavily on take-out orders to survive, which has boosted demand for the now popular packs
Kraft Heinz Co. is the king of ketchup, with a research firm claiming that Heinz has nearly 70% of the US retail market for the condiment. But the 150-plus-year-old brand was unprepared for the pandemic.
Ketchup sold in the United States is typically made in large domestic factories with tomatoes often grown in California’s Central Valley. Heinz uses tomato varieties that he creates as a hybrid of certain types to achieve the flavor and texture he desires.
Kraft Heinz couldn’t keep up with orders for its sachets – the industry term for ketchup packets.
The ketchup conundrum strikes at a cornerstone of American diets. Tomato spread is the most consumed table sauce in American restaurants, with about 300,000 tons sold last year.
In the meantime, they say to use cups and put the condiment in them for now; the shortage is only in the packets.
There is good news: Kraft Heinz preaches patience; the company plans to open two new manufacturing lines in April, and more thereafter, increasing production by around 25% to a total of more than 12 billion packs per year.
The company said it also launched a new product last fall – the touchless dispenser. The distributor went from “design to pilot” in four months, 75% less time than normal.