You may need to stockpile Heinz ketchup.

(Via Hot Air)  You know, when Heinz ketchup became (bizarrely enough) a minor issue during the 2004 campaign I sneered wholeheartedly at the idea of switching brands just because the stuff was tenuously maybe-linked to the Democrats.  Politics was one thing; my freaking ketchup was quite another. So I feel that I am in a position to fulminate about the fact that Heinz is about to cut the salt content of their ketchup in order to satisfy the ninnies* at Bloomberg’s National Salt Reduction Initiative.

For the first time in 40 years, Heinz ketchup is changing its famous recipe — by lowering the salt content in an effort to appeal to more health-conscious consumers, the company said yesterday.

Company officials have taste tested the new blend and believe it will be as popular as their old recipe, which has a 60 percent share of the ketchup market.

But Heinz fans fear that the company may be messing with perfection and that the switch could wind up a flavor debacle equal to the infamous rollout of New Coke.

I fully expect that the pushback on this will be what I will christen a Green Eggs and Ham defense: “How will you know that you’ll hate it before you even try it?”  To which I reply, “Who gave you permission to restrict my life choices as if I was a four-year- old?”  If I want low-sodium ketchup, I’ll buy some.  If not buying low-sodium ketchup interferes with your health care rationing scheme, well, I never gave you permission to impose that on me, either.

Anyway, you have until the summer to stock up on this stuff; it looks like it’ll last for a year in storage, which should hopefully be long enough for Heinz to notice that they aren’t selling as much ketchup as they used to.

Moe Lane

*I originally misspelled this as ‘nannies’… and then I realized that, no, it works this way too.

Crossposted to RedState.


  • Skip says:

    Unopened ketchup bottles very likely have a shelf-life measured in years, not the 15 months that Heinz suggests. When foods are shelf-stable they tend to stay that way.

    There was actually a court case on this recently, although not with ketchup. IIRC, it was salad dressing. A dollar store had acquired a supply of some that had exceeded the ‘best if used by’ date. The store put stickers on the bottles that covered up the date and showed a new ‘best by’ date of 18 months later. The FDA charged them with selling expired food, and won in district court, but it was tossed out at the appeals court level. Part of the reason was that ‘best by’ was a value judgement, and one that in large part was there to get customers to throw away product and replace it, even when there was nothing wrong with it.

    I plan on having probably at least 6 bottles saved up before this goes live. I just hope there’s at least one company who makes good ketchup with the guts to tell nanny Bloomberg to shove it, though.

  • Moe_Lane says:

    Good to know, Skip.

    Apropos of nothing, it’s fascinating how many people are upset that I publicly objected to this particular bit of nanny-statism…

  • Rob Crawford says:

    Moe, the ferocity of the left’s defense of this policy is stunning. I don’t think it’s based on an actual intellectual assessment of the policy or its merits, but reflexive “they’re agin’ it, I’m for it”.

  • physics geek says:

    When Coke made New Coke, I not only stopped buying Coke, I stopped buying ALL Coke products, many of which I liked. I see many other Heinz consumers making similar choices in the near future.

  • What is Heinz going to put into this new ketchup. What toxins and/or chemicals are they going to use to replace something all natural like salt? Have these chemicals been tested? Alone in combination? Will they become toxic when combined with other ingredients or the human body?

  • I always preferred Hunt’s ketchup over Heinz, but that might just be me. Maybe that’s because we always bought the cheaper of the two when we ran out as a kid and Hunt’s was different.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the fast food folks, considering that just about all of ’em use Heinz brand packets. The only burger joint I can think of that does not use Heinz is Texas based Whataburger (they make their own! and hand it out in dippable cups!). Maybe Whataburger will use the increased market share to make more voice-over cowboy guy commercials. Just thinkin’ about that makes me want a Honey Barbecue Chickin’ Sandwich on Texas Toast.

    As for the preservative question, I imagine Heinz is going to up the dosage of whatever artificial preservatives they throw into the ketchup already to replace the salt’s non-taste function. They might add some sea salt (Potassium Chloride for the chemistry nerds) as a taste substitute; the salt boogieman IS Sodium, after all.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Site by Neil Stevens | Theme by