The owner of a restaurant, Chris Fuselier used to open the Blake Street Traven doors daily, and when customers asked for ketchup packets, he had no problem in giving them an extra packet or a few.
The Denver restauranter said:
“In hindsight, if you’d have asked me eighteen months ago would I have concerns about ketchup shortages, I would have said: ‘Are you crazy?'”
Since then, Fuselier has been on a mad search everywhere to ketchup packets for his restaurant and customers. He says that the shortage is gone so bad that when he goes to McDonald’s or Wendy’s, he will collect the extra packets he can to bring to his restaurant.
However, he is not the only one that is having problems with the ketchup shortage, especially when it comes to the ketchup packets that one gets in their to-go order.
What has caused this shortage? The shortage started when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dissuaded dining in at restaurants and suggested that people should choose options like delivery and takeout to be safe during this pandemic.
All of a sudden, restaurants from all around the coast were packing their customer’s orders, from entrees, side dishes, cold beverages to mains and desserts for people who were working home, and we’re picking it up or delivering it.
Customers wanted condiments. That is why traditional restaurants had to get into competition with fast foods, which also had to close their dining in places and order double their ketchup packet orders.
That caused the ketchup prices to rise and supply to go down.
The largest producer of ketchup, Heinz is at the center of this issue and has been taking steps to solve it. A few days ago Heinz company announced: “a 25% increase in production, totaling 12 billion ketchup packets…a year.”
Kraft Heinz’s president, Steven Cornell said:
“We made strategic manufacturing investments at the start of the pandemic to keep up with the surge in demand for ketchup packets driven by the accelerated delivery and take-out trends; at the same time, we also fast-tracked future-focused culinary and packaging innovations, as well as further manufacturing expansion plans.”
In simpler terms, the ketchup giant does not want anyone to face a shortage when they are looking for flavor as the pandemic disappears.
There are a lot of urgencies when it comes to ketchup packets in Colorado, where the popular restaurant of Fusilier’s is.
In July, the Major League Baseball All-Star game is coming to the town, and they promise a surprise after such a hard year.
To keep committed to having the ketchup supply, he is stocking up as much as he can. He laughs at the fact that he will order as much as he can for July, now, even though it’s a hundred days away.