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Whataburger Ketchup (and mustard) at HEB

I've heard people rant and/or rave about Whataburger's ketchup. Now it's available in 20oz retail bottles at HEB. Standard or Spicy ketchup ($2.25), and Mustard ($2).

http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb20...

I'm more of a ranter. I don't visit Whataburger often and have only tried their ketchup once. I HATE those damned containers that they use. When I use ketchup I use a LOT of ketchup and those plastic bucket containers simply suck for serious ketchup fans. I know I'm not alone, either. Why don't they at least put a bulk dispenser in the dining room rather than having to dole out those individual user-unfriendly containers like that?

Anyway, I broke down and bought a bottle of the spicy ketchup today and either french fries or tater tots will be on the menu tonight. Maybe the new packaging will make me a raver.

-sw

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  1. They're so you can set them on the center console! :)

    1. Yeah, you can put lipstick on a pig, but........

      The packaging makes it taste better than it actually is. It's a marketing ploy, and like most whataburger ads, a pretty good one. I'd hire they're marketing firm, but there is nothing noteworthy about the franchise.

      1. I like WB. It's one of my favorite hamburger chains. That said, I never noticed anything different about their ketchup or mustard.

        2 Replies
        1. re: TroyTempest

          Well, maybe I was too harsh on the chain in general - just got burned there recently at the Parmer location, so I still have a bitter taste in my mouth!

          Anyhow, FWIW, here's a ketchup review.

          http://austin.culturemap.com/news/foo...

          I LOVE Central Market's Organics ketchup. It starts off with a bright tomato flavor, and then has a lingering not too sweet finish.

          Let us know what you think, Sqwertz. Don't read the review first.

          1. re: rudeboy

            They think the WAB Spicy Ketchup is "almost a hot sauce"?!?! I totally forgot I was eating spicy ketchup until I put the bottle away. That kinda discredits anything else they may say in their reviews.

            I thought the ketchup was tangier and less sweet than Heinz, my 'ol standby (I was raised in Pittsburgh, PA for 16 years). It was OK, but I would consider it just a small notch beneath Heinz.

            After I finish this bottle I'll stick to what I've been doing the last 16 months - buying HEB branded HFCS-free ketchup and adding 1/7th part malt or balsamic vinegar to it, and sometimes sriracha. Stir and enjoy.

            -sw

        2. I kinda like their 'chup. It reminds me of Del Monte, supposedly made with pineapple vinegar. However, for serious ketchup I recommend going to World Market for Melinda's habanero ketchup.

          1. I can't speak to their current practice, but when I worked at Whattaburger -- back in 1976 and 77 -- the ketchup packaging was the pretty much the same as it is now, but it was Heinz that was on the outside of the carton all the little cups came in.

            Surely nothing in the world has changed since 1976 has it!!?? ;)

            Seriously, they now say "Mgf. for Whattaburger, San Antonio, TX." Any idea who makes it?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Mike C. Miller

              Probably the same people who make HEB's ketchup. The bottle shapes are identical. HEB makes and imports a lot of their own products (more than any other grocery store chain), but their ketchup says "Made with pride and care _FOR_ HEB". On HEB-made products (Ice cream, some snacks) the wording is "Made with pride and care BY HEB").

              FWIW, their import/manufacturing company is called "Parkway Manufacturing and Trading Company". You will find this company mentioned on all sorts of products at HEB - from pork to candy to baby food to housewares. Sub brands of that company are ChefStyle and GTC.

              They also own Metrix360 Labratories, a food testing and product evaluation company. It's not clear if they actually do outsource work for companies other than HEB.

              It's unusual for a grocery chain to operate companies such as these and produce some of their own products, They don't advertise any of this, but it would seem to make good business sense to set up companies like this.

              -sw

            2. If such a thing matters to you, they use HFCS in the HEB bottles, but regular corn syrup in the packets. I wonder if there's a difference in taste if you compare them... I bet the HEB stuff is sweeter.

              1. I like WB's spicy ketchup, but it's frankly nothing that knocks me off my feet, certainly not enough to own a big bottle of it that takes up more room in my fridge.

                I'm also a sucker for Heinz. It's just what I (and probably the majority of Americans) grew up with, so I guess my allegiance lies in sentimentality.

                In terms of more gourmet ketchup, that Sir Kensinton's stuff is quite tasty. I've had the regular and spiced varieties... I prefer the regular.

                1 Reply
                1. re: popvulture

                  I really love Heinz organic, and honestly am quite irritated that CM has stopped carrying other brands. I just bought a bottle of CM organic ... it's OK, but it ain't Heinz. Heinz really knows how to make ketchup. I need to make a point to buy it elsewhere. And fill out a comment card.

                  (CM also just stopped carrying Dannon, which is what I buy for my dogs ... and I gather from the look on my dog's face that what I can get at CM in a large carton is much more tart. She is not a fan.)

                2. And now their "Whatafries" are available aty HEB, (or at least Central Market). These are not like the puffed Andy Cap fries., They appear to be solid strips potato, fried crispy and somewhat hard. Good for dipping in cheese sauce, at least.

                  $2.50 for a 7.8oz bag, the bags prominently proclaim they are an HEB product at the top - unlike the ketchup. Fine print on the back: "PRODUCT OF SPAIN". A lot of the HEB and Central Market-branded products come from unusual places (such as frozen Brussels sprouts from Belgium and pizza from Italy - who would have guessed, eh?)

                  -sw

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: sqwertz

                    Brussels sprouts from Belgium? That's crazy! Funny that Freedom Fries are from Spain - those damn French didn't support us in 2003 anyhow.

                    1. re: sqwertz

                      I bought a bag of these at HEB, and they are delicious. I usually fish through my french fries for the overly fried crispy ones and these Whatafries taste exactly like that.