I have long been an aficionado of Heintz ketchup, which, I long ago concluded, tastes strongly of tomatoes, whereas competing brands generally have a strong vinegar flavor. My family in New Orleans, where I grew up, was every bit as loyal to this product as are many Pittsburghers, who live in the city that hosts the headquarters of H. J. Heinz Co.
Although I always buy Heinz ketchup, I am not particularly attached to any one package. Instead, I approach buying ketchup with a calculator. I choose whatever container allows me to buy the condiment at the lowest cost per ounce. If necessary, I will buy more than one unit. I don’t much care if the container is glass or plastic, roundish or some other shape.
When I went to the supermarket the other day with ketchup on my shopping list, I discovered that the best value was provided by a plastic 46-ounce bottle that was tall, wide, and not too deep. The front label contained the words “FRIDGE DOOR FIT” and a small picture of such a bottle sitting on a refrigerator door shelf.
I find it interesting that Heinz would market such a container. I know that some people do indeed store their ketchup in the refrigerator, but I never have. Many restaurants leave ketchup bottles out on their tables, and McDonald’s and other fast-food restaurants dispense ketchup from large, unrefrigerated vats. Nowhere on my current bottle of ketchup (or any other Heinz ketchup container I have seen) is there a warning such as “REFRIGERATE AFTER OPENING.” I checked the Heinz Web site and could nowhere find an admonition to refrigerate ketchup.
So why the refrigerator-friendly bottle? Some people, I guess—perhaps even a lot of people—are going to store their ketchup in the refrigerator whether it’s convenient or not. Heinz probably decided to make their lives easier. Those folks probably put their ketchup bottles in the refrigerator because their parents did. After all, I put mine in the pantry because that’s what my parents did.
By the way, although I assume the bottle does a fine job of fitting on a refrigerator door shelf—I haven’t bothered to actually try it—it is not particularly ergonomic as far as dispensing product is concerned. The bottle is attractive, however, and may fit more comfortably in the hand of someone bigger than I. Oh, and the ketchup bottle has a cool round cap with a flip-top cover in the shape of the Heinz 57 keystone logo, which is embossed, white-on-white, on the plastic.