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Finally! A ketchup packet that's less messy

Heinz introduces larger, easier-to-use package, plus makes health-related improvements to its products.

By Teresa Mears Feb 4, 2010 7:09PM

Now here is an innovation the world has been waiting for: a new ketchup packet that’s less messy and easier to open.


Not being ketchup eaters, we didn’t realize immediately how important this is. But if you think that people were happy with the old flat ketchup packets, just check Facebook for all the groups that have sprung up in support of better (and more) ketchup packets.


"The packet has long been the bane of our consumers," Dave Ciesinski, vice president of Heinz Ketchup, told The Associated Press. "The biggest complaint is there is no way to dip and eat it on the go."


Heinz’s new Dip & Squeeze packet, the first change in ketchup packaging in 42 years, is one of several “ketchup innovations” announced by the company this week. The others are a reduction in sodium in most of its ketchups and the launch of a new ketchup, Simply Heinz, which is made with sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup.


 “Heinz Ketchup’s Dip & Squeeze product is just the latest milestone in our long history of packaging innovation," William R. Johnson, H.J. Heinz Co. chairman, president and CEO, said in a news release. "From the first plastic ketchup bottle to Top-Down and Fridge Door Fit, Heinz continues to lead the industry in ketchup packaging innovation.”

The new Dip & Squeeze package, which will start showing up in fast-food restaurants in the fall, gives ketchup lovers two ways to get to the product inside: They can peel back the lid for easy dipping or tear off the tip and squeeze as usual. And, note to the 110 members of Larger Ketchup Packets on Facebook: The new package holds three times as much ketchup.


To road-test the new packet, the company actually bought a used minivan for the design team two years ago, AP reports, presumably so they could drive around and see if they could eat french fries with ketchup without making a mess.

The new Simply Heinz product will be available in March and joins reduced-sugar and no-salt-added products aimed at health-conscious ketchup eaters. A 15% reduction in sodium in the core ketchup products is coming this summer.


If you want to talk about the new Heinz ketchup, there is no need to form a new Facebook group. Heinz has already created a fan page. The company has even created a new widget you can use to "ketchup" with your Facebook friends.


We can’t wait to hear what Barb and Jim and “The Prairie Home Companion’s” Ketchup Advisory Board have to say. (Who knew ketchup was a cure for depression?) We're sure the lower sodium won't affect ketchup's "natural mellowing agents."


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