Is Ketchup the New Toilet Paper?

With the news of COVID-19 entering the US, citizens panicked and bought toilet paper in bulk, resulting in a Nationwide shortage of toilet paper. Toilet paper was the most prized possession of 2020. Now that the year is 2021, there is a new shortage of everyday products: ketchup (or catsup).

In the midst of the global pandemic, restaurants reduced their dining room capacities, which increased the amount of take-out orders being placed. In an average year, a person orders take-out 3 times a month. In a year with reduced dining room capacities, the average person orders take-out food 2-3 times per week.

Because of the sudden increase in take-out orders, many restaurants are trying to buy ketchup packets in bulk; however, ketchup manufacturers, like the well-known brand Kraft Heinz, are struggling to keep up with the high demand of ketchup. 

The Wall Street Journal reported that retail ketchup sales in 2020 were about 15 percent higher than in 2019.

The Kraft Heinz company released a statement saying that the “demand [for ketchup] was greater than the supply,” and in an attempt to increase the supply of ketchup, the Kraft Heinz company added multiple new production lines to its factories.

“To catch up with the ketchup shortage,” reports Newsweek, “Heinz plans to open new manufacturing lines, beginning with two in April, with the aim of increasing production by 25 percent and bringing the total of ketchup packets produced per year to 12 billion.”