Now is the time to start digging in your fridge to find that half-worn ketchup bottle hidden in the back (it’s okay, we all have one)
America’s favorite condiment is the latest to join a series of pandemic-era shortages that include pepperoni, cereals, cheese, cookies, toiletries and cleaning supplies, reports Thrillist
Packets of ketchup are particularly scarce, as restaurants have become dependent on takeout orders over the past year, with the pandemic shutting down their dining rooms, The New York Post reports People add that many restaurants have tried to stock up on packets since the CDC recommended they suspend the use of reusable items such as menus and condiment containers.
Some restaurants like Texas Roadhouse – a chain that used more than 55 million ounces of ketchup in 2020 – are turning to wholesalers like Costco to restock in packages as their regular suppliers are running out, the New reported. York Post
Addressing the situation, Texas Roadhouse spokesman Travis Doster said, “We feel like the bottom of the barrel” (via the New York Post)
The price of ketchup packets has risen 13% in the past calendar year, Fox News says. The site adds that Heinz plans to increase production of “ketchup” by about 25% in response to increased demand
Kraft reported that at the start of the pandemic, overall restaurant demand for ketchup plummeted, but soon after, the company saw a shift towards take-out and delivery and pivoted to meet demand. these requests, reports USA Today For example, the site adds that Heinz decided to scale back the production of less popular condiments to focus on ketchup, but demand still eclipsed the company’s supply even after these changes.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Steve Cornell, president of Kraft Heinz’s Enhancers, Specialty and Away from Home division, said: “We are busy doing whatever we can”
News from the World – United States – Why a Ketchup Shortage is Occurring Across the US Today