A Ketchup Shortage Is Coming for Your Fries

Packets are particularly hard to come by.

Start thawing out that giant bottle of ketchup you bought for your last cookout in 2019, you’re gonna need it. Or, don’t, because apparently you should only keep it for about six months, but we had to back into this article somehow. 

Ketchup is the latest in a series of pandemic-era shortages including pepperoni, cereal, cheese, cookies, and cleaning supplies, according to the Wall Street Journal. Ketchup packets in particular have become increasingly hard to come by, thanks in part to increased demand and a 13% price hike since January of 2020, the outlet reported. Even ketchup giant Heinz has struggled to keep up, company execs told the paper. 

Heinz is working to plump up supply, however, making efforts to increase packet production by more than 12 billion units a year, USA Today reported. Both papers point to the past year’s increased demand for takeout and delivery as one reason for the shortage. Renewed interest in single-serving, disposable items further exacerbated the packet paucity. 

Today’s ketchup shortage is sure to be but a blip in the condiment’s storied history (really!), which you can read all about right here.

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