AMERICA could be facing a nationwide shortage of tomato ketchup amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The iconic Heinz tomato ketchup brand has warned that the surge in demand for ketchup packets has affected the supply.
Heinz has warned about a shortage of the popular condimentCredit: Alamy
Is there a Ketchup shortage?
On April 6, 2021, Heinz, whose iconic tomato condiment remains the most widely sold, warned that a potential shortage of popular ketchup is near due to the pandemic.
The surge in demand for ketchup packets, driven by the accelerated delivery and take-out trends, has affected the supply.
Heinz said it has already made adjustments to its production processes in order to keep up with the new situation.
But it said that still, “demand was greater than supply.”
Kraft Heinz also stated that it has added multiple new production lines in its factories, hoping this will enable it to increase manufacturing by 25 per cent- to a total of 12 billion ketchup sachets produced in a year.
Another alternative to the supply problem is the installment of “no-touch dispenser” in restaurants for dining in.
The surge in delivery and take-out has left Heinz struggling to keep up with the demandCredit: Reuters
Why is there a ketchup shortage?
The ketchup shortage has been caused by the increasing trend of delivery and take-out food, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The classic glass or plastic ketchup bottle, usually seen in restaurants, has been effectively replaced by individual packets, which often accompany delivery orders.
Essentially the rise of demand because of an increase in delivery orders and take-out due to the pandemic has affected the supply.
In response, the company said it has stepped up production, in a bid to keep up with the new circumstances.
According to the Wall Street Journal, citing business services platform Plate IQ, ketchup packet prices have soared by 13 per cent since January 2020.
In the meantime, restaurants had to find a way to avoid serving fries without the favorite red condiment.
“How can we serve French fries without Heinz ketchup?” owner of the Denver, Colorado restaurant Blake Street Tavern Chris Fuselier worried, according to the Journal.
He asked servers to apologize to customers before switching to a generic brand.