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Heinz ketchup-do you prefer any other?

  • h

Is there really any other nationally distributed ketchup other than Heinz that you think is superior? They seem to have great brand loyalty, and have such quintessential brand association like Jello gelatin or Scotch tape, that it's no wonder that Theresa Heinz Kerry sits so comfortably in her multi-million dollar mansions.

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  1. Cooks Illustrated did a ketchup test and discovered the obvious -- Heinz came in first because Heinz simply has become what ketchup tastes like. It is therefore immune to competition.

    5 Replies
    1. re: sbp

      ...not that CI's tastings's conclusions are to be blindly trusted.

        1. re: wally

          That's not the point -- wouldn't you agree that the flavor of Heinz is what comes to mind when you think of ketchup? Hunts has far more tomato flavor, but it just doesn't taste like what I know as ketchup.

          1. re: sbp

            Ketchup is superior to catsup. For years only Heinz could use this spelling. Simply, it is a taste that I grew up with.

            1. re: Joe H.

              >"Ketchup is superior to catsup. For years only Heinz could use this spelling. Simply, it is a taste that I grew up with."

              Agreed! Ketchup is infinitely superior to catsoup. (PETA alert!) "Even Cats like our Catsup!"--a Del Monte jingle.

              But cornchops (Hunts in Iowa) is even better. As for ketchup, for years only Heinz would consistantly use that spelling. (Hunts Ketchup west of the Mississippi.) It's not like Heinz had some monopoly on the word.

              Heinz, Hunts, or Del Monte's? I just prefer ketchup not in squeeze bottles. Ketchup bottle shaking is an interesting socio-scientific phenomenon no one should do without.

    2. I saw Organic Heinz Ketchup at the store today. $1.49 for a 12 oz squeeze bottle. Cheaper than the same size, non-organic Heinz.

      1. Short answer - no! I only like Heinz.

        1. I actually like Del Monte best. I know, I may be the only one but its what I grew up on so I still buy it to this day.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Wendy8869

            Nope, you're not the only one. In side-by-side taste tests, I prefer Del Monte. I really dislike Hunts. Heinz is ok if Del Monte's not available.

          2. I found this article by Malcolm Gladwell very interesting. It directly addresses your query.

            Link: http://www.gladwell.com/2004/2004_09_...

            2 Replies
            1. re: ericf
              Amin (London Foodie)

              Eric, the article you linked, was immensely
              interesting, informative, and educational.

              1. re: ericf

                Great article. Thanks!

              2. I prefer Brooks made in Canada. Spicier and more robust than Heinz or Hunts

                1. For the record, I prefer Heinz probably b/c it's what I'm used to. Squeeze bottle at home, but like the retro slow-pouring glass bottles at diners. Ran out at home, so it's on my shopping list.

                  To shift discussion a bit, what do those who live abroad, say in Europe or Asia, prefer? I know that ketchup is really an American condiment, but w/ all those fast food places cropping up around the globe and cuisines becoming globalized, what brand of ketchup is preferred or available to those living outside of the US? Does Heinz have world domination?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Carb Lover

                    Until about 6 -8 years ago I couldn't care less about ketchup, I bought store brand. But I loved the McDonald's packets and, eventually, started to buy national brands and really do prefer, in fact, always buy now, Heinz. It has a brighter, more acidic flavor than the cheapies and I prefer it to Hunt's and Del Monte (which, I actually never think to buy.)

                    So, is Heinz the purveyor to McDs or do they have their own formula? Anybody know?

                    1. re: berkleybabe

                      Not sure about '04 (when this question was posed) but now McDonald's ketchup is packaged by Red Gold.

                  2. In Europe McDonald's charges extra for Ketchup. In Belgium and France a tartar sauce type of condiment is served with french fries. Excluding McDonald's I would argue that the best french fries in the world are not Thrasher's in Ocean City, MD or Dick's in Spokane, WA (McDonald's ORIGINAL) or any other, rather they would be what is found in one of several stands in Brussels.

                    1. I knew a ketchup distributor who told me that Hunt's is the favorite of Chinese restaurants that use ketchup in sweet & sour and other sauces. Apparently, it is somewhat sweeter than Heinz.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sku

                        I was at a hamburger restaurant that serves Hunts just last night (Islands), and made the same observation to my sister. Hunt's is noticeably sweeter than Heinz.

                      2. I always use Red Gold. It tastes great and, living in Indiana, I like supporting a local company.

                        Link: http://www.redgold.com/index_f.html

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Matt

                          My mother (still lives in Indiana) swears by all their products. I don't see them on the East Coast, though. Or perhaps I'm not looking in the right place?

                        2. Here is a link to a fascinating article about ketchup.

                          Link: http://www.gladwell.com/2004/2004_09_...

                          1. absolutely not. it's heinz all the way. ketchup by any other name is sacrilige.

                            1. Nothing worse than going to a friend or relative's house and they break out the bottle of hunts. You know you're getting some Hydrox for dessert at that point. Heinz 4ever!

                              1 Reply
                              1. Actually, in Cook's Illustrated they rated Hunts ketchup to be the best. Not Heinz. This was a few months ago.

                                1. Hienz Ketchup is like Kikkoman Soy Sauce. On the table, no other brand will do.

                                  Hunts is a close second though.

                                  1. My wife buys Hunt's if she is shopping on the day we run out of ketchup.

                                    Tastes fine to me.

                                    1. To answer the OP, N-O. I like Heinz 57 when I want ketchup. Of course, when I want ketchup, i'm not usually going too high-brow with my food. I only use the cheaper ones when making rootbeer bbq sauce where you can't taste it anyway.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: amyvc

                                        When we shop Trader Joe's their organic brand is what we bring home.
                                        Runs a close second to Heinz.

                                        1. re: Gio

                                          Do you find it tastes enough like Heinz for you? I actually saw this on the shelf today at TJ's, and the local sign artist has of course added "Tastes like Heinz" to the shelf tag because in this town (Pittsburgh) there is no other ketchup that anyone will ever buy. I dunno why they even sell store brands in the stores. I don't know anyone who buys them.

                                          Anyway, we hadn't been using much ketchup recently so we didn't actually buy a bottle, but I was curious if it really tastes like Heinz or they're just joking a bit on the shelf tag. ;-) I've actually been using mostly the One Carb Heinz (now rebranded last I looked as Low Sugar Heinz, but looks like the same formula with Splenda). I tried it back to back once with regular, and there is a difference in taste, but it's not enough to make me not like it.

                                          1. re: CrazyOne

                                            I recently attended a taste testing for Hellmans who now make a ketchup (and yellow mustard) for foodservice concessions. They put a cup of that and a cup of Heinz out for a blind taste test. They swore no one would know the difference and asked us to vote. They were very very wrong, it was obvious which was which. Heinz has a vinegar flavor that is so much better than all those other sweet ketchups. Don't believe "It tastes just like Heinz" I don't think that's possible.

                                      2. After reading the CI article I tried a bottle of Hunt's and I love it - it is tangier than Heinz. My only reservation is that they use corn syrup and not sugar.

                                        1. I've recently switched to Heinz organic as part of my campaign to rid my kitchen of high fructose corn syrup. We like it more than regular Heinz.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                            Cisco burgers in Long Beach serves organic Heinz and I usually don't use ketchup, but since it was there, I tried it. I am converted. If I do have to use ketchup, from now on it will be the organic stuff.

                                          2. heinz,heinz,heinz! it just tastes better. more spice and punch. the others are just tomato flavored water.

                                            1. I had always preferred Heinz for exactly the reason given: it tasted like ketchup was supposed to taste like. I became curious after a blind tasting and did, indeed, prefer the Canadian brand E. D. Smith. Smith's is now my favourite, but I'll take Heinz over anything else.

                                                1. I've always been a Hunts fan, but now that I have three kids I have to buy the industrial size bottles, Heinz is the only one that makes them, at ltast that I can find.