One of the most popular condiments in the US is in short supply thanks to the coronavirus pandemic
Ketchup sales have reportedly increased 300% since the start of the pandemic, causing shortages, especially of single-serve sachets used by fast food chains, the Wall Street Journal reported Demand for larger bottles of ketchup increased by 15% more modest
As Americans have turned to take-out over the past year, demand for ketchup has exceeded supply, the newspaper reports
One company, Kraft Heinz, supplies 70% of ketchup sold at retail in the US, according to the Journal, adding that the company began to ramp up production and slim down its product line at the start of the pandemic
“The unmatched consumer love for our iconic HEINZ brand, as well as our long-standing partnership with the restaurant industry, are two responsibilities we take very seriously – which is why we have made the investments strategic in manufacturing at the start of the pandemic to stay up to date with soaring demand for ketchup packets due to accelerated delivery and take-out trends, ”wrote Steve Cornell, president of Kraft Heinz’s Enhancers, Specialty and Away from Home business unit, in a email to NBC News
And the company is still trying to keep up with demand, telling the Journal it would add 25% capacity to produce 12 billion packets of ketchup
The increase in demand led to a 13% price hike, according to the newspaper, leading some restaurants to try other suppliers or put ketchup from large bottles into smaller containers.
A fast food restaurant chain, Long John Silver’s, told the newspaper it had increased its ketchup spending by $ 500,000 in the past year due to demand
At another chain, Texas Roadhouse Steakhouse, which said it used 55 million ounces of ketchup in 2020, executives told the newspaper it was looking for other suppliers.
Since the pandemic began a year ago, several commodities have experienced shortages in the US, including toilet paper, meat, baked goods, and even refrigerators
World News – United States – Ketchup Shortage Hitting Restaurants Across The United States