Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

There once was a world without ketchup. A sad, sad plain hotdog and hamburger world. Thank goodness for H.J. Heinz! 

In 1876 H.J. Heinz looked at some tomatoes, “mustard” up some creativity, and said: “I’ll catsup to the needs of the people! I must smash these tomatoes into a hard to pour bottled goo. Millions will clamber for these tasty red drippings!” ...or at least we like to think he said that. 

But seriously, while known for its “57 Varieties” we’re ever so grateful that ketchup is among them. National Geographic has referred to it as the “Hero of American condiments” and we totally agree. Heinz Ketchup is a pantry and party staple. Hosting a shindig? Bring the Heinz. Tailgating? Yup Ketchup!  (PS. “57” was just a marketing ‘click-bait’ number; they actually produced 60+ varieties at the time.)

Evolution, much like pouring ketchup, is a slow-moving process. It wasn’t until 100+ years after first developing it that Heinz evolved the tomotoey paste into squeeze bottle options along with new varieties such as organic, simply, and even “veggie blend”. 

Significantly, H.J. Heinz is credited with implementing some of the first food safety standards in the United States. With some gumption (and Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley) Heinz figured out how to make ketchup without including chemical preservatives in the recipe. Heinz was the first to use natural pectin and vinegar to elongate ketchup’s shelf life. 

On top of that Heinz was the only manufacturer to support President Roosevelt’s Pure Food & Drug Act –which helped create standards for quality and cleanliness in factories. Do you like eating non-contaminated food? Do you like knowing what ingredients are in the food you eat? Thank Heinz. 

So the next time you lather up a burger in a glop-agus island of ketchup or wedge too many toppings into your hotdog bun, take a moment to nod (then whack) your bottle in a toast to H.J. Heinz.

BONUS! Tongue Twister: Pick a pack of pickle pins and pin them on a pack.

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
Mo Macel

Mo is a pun-loving Pittsburgher who likes to take photos and write. She blogs at and

1 Comment
  1. Heinz manufactures all of its American tomato ketchup at two plants: one in Fremont, Ohio, and another in Muscatine, Iowa.

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