22 September 2011

The future of ketchup packets (on the left)

Some people rip off the corner of the packet with their teeth. Others, while driving, squirt the ketchup directly into their mouth, then add fries. Some forgo fries at the drive-through all together to keep from creating a mess in the car.

After observing these and other "compensating behaviors," H. J. Heinz Co. says it spent three years developing a better ketchup packet. Heinz says the new "Dip and Squeeze" packets will begin replacing the traditional rectangular ketchup packets later this year...

As the name promises, "Dip and Squeeze" ketchup can be squeezed out through one end or the lid can be peeled back for dipping. The red, bottle-shaped packets hold three times the ketchup as traditional packets. The new containers are more expensive than the old sleeves, but Heinz hopes customers learn not to grab more than one or two.

To develop the new packet, Heinz staffers sat behind one-way, mirrored glass, watching consumers in 20 fake minivan interiors putting ketchup on fries, burgers, and chicken nuggets...
Heinz believes traditional ketchup packets are so annoying that they stop people from ordering fries at drive-thrus.
More at the Wall Street Journal.  I guess Heinz' staff/management should be commended for their innovation, but personally it bothers me that this is being done to make it easier for people to eat while driving a car.


  1. In an ideal world we'd drive without distractions. At least this mitigates one (minor) source of driver distraction.

  2. The Whataburger dippable ketchup container has been around for over forty years.

    Here it is on video:


    Heinz is not really being innovative.

  3. I prefer salsa over ketchup at all times.

  4. I already knew this because two days ago it was a feature story on the ABC "news." Not an advertisement, of course.

  5. When there is such a delectable condiment as chili sauce, why anybody ever uses ketchup, I can't imagine.

    In any case, fries should taste good enough to eat without any condiments.

    --Swift Loris

  6. First, barbecue sauce is the grown up version of ketchup.

    I don't see how this is encouraging people to eat WHILE driving. Eating in the car is an unfortunate by-product of our society. But there are people other than the driver eating and many people eat while stationary in their car (as do I on occasion.)

    The person with a whopper in one hand, a coke in the other, driving a 5-speed down the highway is a threat, no doubt. But their habits will not change because there is a ketchup packet that won't explode when you try to open it.

  7. The Heinz dippable packets have been at Chick-Fil-a for a few months now. I think they are great.

  8. What a great idea! :(

    It only means more waste. At least with the current packaging you can squeeze out every drop of ketchup.

    More Waste = More Profit :)

  9. I think Japanese 7-Eleven ketchup and mustard packets are my favorite.


  10. I got some of these from Chick Fil'a a while back and loved them. I really like the new packaging.

  11. It makes sense. My mother used to go in and order at the counter, partly because she gets a little rage-y taking to drive-through speakers. She'd then get a few little paper cups of ketchup and use them while driving.

    On another note, please consider boycotting Chic-Fil-A. If you have any sensitivity toward the gay/lesbian/bisexual community, then you are doing an inconsiderate and harmful thing to them by spending money at this chain. They contribute to anti-gay causes and have been accused of discrimination on multiple occasions.


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