Are you a ketchup lover? If so, then let me be the one to break the bad news to you: your taste in condiments sucks.

In the past 30 years, nearly every other condiment has evolved, improved and diversified. But not ketchup. That’s why ketchup is the single most overrated condiment in America. As other condiments progress towards the future, ketchup is stuck in the past.


But let’s not just hate on ketchup, lets hate on the people who love ketchup.

Ketchup sucks because you, and you, and YOU put ketchup on your pasta and your eggs and your mashed potatoes. You slather everything on your plate with ketchup, perfectly content to eat the same exact substance your great-great-grandfather did.

In an article called The Ketchup Conundrum by Malcolm Gladwell, Gladwell explains how in the 70’s and 80’s, mustard, tomato sauce, and thousands of other American food products underwent a drastic transformation, providing wider choice and variety to consumers. No longer were we forced to eat only yellow mustard or only one kind of tomato sauce.

Today you can buy dozens of premium mustards – dijon mustard, honey mustard, horseradish mustard, spicy mustard, raspberry mustard…the list goes on and on. This is because people who are mustard lovers appreciate good taste, and they appreciate taste variety. For this reason, mustard lovers have embraced the improvement and diversification of their condiment.


But ketchup didn’t follow the pattern other condiments did. When you walk into the store, are there 15 different delicious ketchups for you to choose from? No, there is Hunt’s, Heinz and a store brand. No matter which you buy, it’s the same exact substance people were eating during the Hoover administration.

Ketchup lovers are stubborn, naive and have a terrible palate. So they don’t demand a better ketchup. Thinking that ketchup is fine how it’s always been is like thinking that your Commodore 64 is as good as my Playstation 2. It’s not. It sucks ass, no matter how many times you’ve set the high score in Oregon Trail.

So I say to ketchup lovers: Why would you not want to buy a more delicious or unique ketchup? Why not a premium, high-end ketchup? Garlic ketchup or spicy ketchup? A sweeter or a richer, fuller ketchup? Premium, high-end ketchups exist, but they continue to fail because ketchup lovers shut them out. Every other condiment in the world is getting better and more diverse, but not ketchup. It’s staying the same because you are too stupid to know you could be eating something better.

So consider this a call to action for all casual eaters of ketchup out there. I’m talking to those of us who think ketchup is mediocre, but squirt it on our fries because we don’t have anything better available. Every time you see someone lathering up their eggs with ketchup, spreading ketchup on their turkey sandwich or squirting a heaping mound on a slice of pizza, explain to them that they are the problem, and they need to be part of the solution.
If we all work together, we can reach a point where there are dozens of high-end ketchups in the grocery store for us to choose from. And you know who else will appreciate that? Ketchup lovers. Because right now, they’re too stupid to know what’s good for them.

48 Responses

  1. Doug

    If it ain’t broke, Eick, don’t fix it. What about the classic ketchup + Mayo sauce? If there’s anything better, I don’t want to know about it.

  2. McGorty

    I tried the Baconator long before all its hype hit the airwaves. It instantly clogged all arteries and put me in a virtual coma for the remainder of the work day. So yes it was basically the greatest thing ever.

  3. Andy

    I’ve been dying to get my condiment idea off the ground, but without proper motivation, funds, and the fact that Hunt’s/Heinz have cornered the market, my “HotSup” (paten pending) spicy catsup or ketchup if you prefer will never see the light of day besides when I mix Tabasco and ketchup on my plate.

  4. Christa (aka MoFo Jones)

    Hi Jon! I’m LOVING your blog – and I’m ashamed to admit that I am a ketchup lover. I put it on leftover mac-n-cheese to “spice it up a bit”. Kelt gives me copius amounts of crap about it but I just can’t help myself.

    Doug, whoever you are, I couldn’t agree with you more! We lovingly refer to it as Fry Sauce on the west coast. Represent!

    A coworker sent me a link to his friend’s website dedicated to writing about burritos – I thought you’d enjoy the Intestinal Apocalypse Monthly at

  5. Kelt

    She does you know. Ever seen ketchup on mac-n-cheese? It looks exactly like 5 minutes into Saving Private Ryan.

    Dean and DeLuca’s Stone Ground Mesquite & Stout Ale Mustard FTW!

  6. Jon Eick

    That’s a myth that needs to be put to rest. BBQ sauce is a condiment all on it’s own, with many different variations and high end varieties.

    Fancy, high-end or gourmet ketchups DO exist, they’ve just never been able to break into the condiment market because ketchup lovers are committed to the classic blend.

    • [email protected]

      I find your whole argument naive and arrogant. I am an excellent cook with extremely diversified tastes. I cook Thai, Indian, Persian, Mexican, Italian, French, Vietnamese and Chinese food, all in an authentic manner, and yet I do love ketchup. To say that I have a poor palette and to assume that I dump it on everything is absurd and idiotic. By I guess opinions are like @$$holes, everybody has one.

  7. Catch Up Lady

    By “ketchup lovers” you must mean a vast majority of the population. I’m sure if a true market segment existed for variety ketchup someone – probably Heinz – would have exploited it by now. But, all they have done is low carb and organic ketchup, which they endeavor to keep as close to the original as possible for a reason…

    How can I explain it so you can understand? It’s like republicans and democrats. The two party system may blow, but no one wants Ross Perot as President…

  8. Patty

    I hope I never get involved with you…ever… as a friend or boyfriend or coworker or as anything really. If you get this mad and insulting over Ketchup I can’t imagine what other stupid things you get mad at. I’m sorry your mommy and daddy didn’t love you and teach you different strokes for different folks but must you be that insulting? I hope you get kicked in the balls and marry a ketchup lover! I also hope a bunch of ketchup packages burst in your car and stink for a long time!!! LONG LIVE KETCHUP!!! I LOVE IT !!!

  9. Not Larry Sabato

    Patty, that was the first thoughtful thing I read on this dispicable blog post.

  10. Tyler

    When they are ready to hit the market with the first big variety ketchup it will be Old Bay and Ketchup, it will be called “Ol’Chup.” That will start the new trend for ketchup lovers!

  11. Chutlu

    We Europeans have variety when it comes to Ketchup. We have Curry Kethcup, Garlic Kethcup, I’ve even seen one labeled as an African flavor (couldn’t pay me enough to try it) as well as the plain Jane variety. All made by Heinz too. There is a good reason kethcup hasn’t changed it’s ways in such a long time. You try one of the other ‘varieties’ we have over here and you’d stick with the original as well! Well, the curry one is pretty tastey on a wuerst but that’s about it.
    Mustard is a FAR superior condiment in my opinion anyways.

  12. James

    I love ketchup. But, I’m not some kind of culinary freak that puts it on eggs, hash browns, or (may they die painfully for doing so) pizza. Ketchup has its place.

    Ketchup is for burgers, fries, hotdogs, etc.

    Or, before I forget … ketchup is NOT FOR STEAKS YOU IDIOTS! If you need a sauce for your steak, whoever cooked it needs to learn how to cook and season. If you MUST put a sauce on your steak, make it HP Sauce.

    One of the nice things about ketchup is that it has remained static. One can use it as a basic ingredient in dishes.

  13. JP

    “It’s staying the same because you are too stupid to know you could be eating something better.”

    I would agree that a gourmet Ketchup is needed. However, you missed the point of Gladwell’s article, he highlights that the 2 ketchup giants have made the ultimate product; all 5 palatable senses are encompassed in one bite. This has not been accomplished by the “gourmet” brands and Galdwell would argue that they in a sense, are inferior products and will become monotonous.

    I like where you were trying to go with it, but I feel the big 2 are going to dominate until a “Grey Poupon” of ketchup’s comes along delivering the same 5 palate pleasing senses.

  14. Big Stapes

    Eick, seriously? Was this just a hurried attempt to meet a deadline? “Fie, all yea ketchup lovers, for enjoying a product that’s been enjoyed for a long time now.” Perhaps next you should do a social commentary on Pepsi, and why its derivatives are not enjoyed as much as the original?

  15. Big Stapes

    If you really are dedicated to this more than just to fill a page, perhaps you should use ketchup as a base ingredient and create your own versions of different flavors,.

  16. Eick

    @ Big Stapes.

    Hurried attempt to meet a deadline? This was one of the inaugural blog posts when the blog first launched so I was under no rush…plus, as the owner and operator of this blog, I ain’t got no deadlines.

    As for the suggestion I use ketchup as a base ingredient and create different flavors – well, that’s kind of the crux of my argument. It should not be ME that has to mix and create new ketchup flavors, food companies should be doing it already – just like the food companies for virtually every single other condiment on the market have done.

  17. Amber

    No diversity? Haven’t you heard, Heinz makes green and blue ketchup now, as well as red!
    They probably taste the same of course.
    I wouldn’t know, I hate ketchup, or “tomato sauce” as it’s called here.

  18. Raiders757

    Ketchup is good stuff, but I don’t use it very often. Still your rant is just plain silly. There is no need for ketchup to evolve. It is what it is.

    The great thing about it, is you can “evolve” ketchup on your own, and to your tastes. Texas Pete and ketchup? On a burger? Oh yea, man, it kicks ass. On a fried chicken sandwich? Even better. Mayo can’t even touch it with a ten foot poll.

    To be exact…

    If anything needed such a rant, as the one you gave here, it’s those who put that nasty white goo on everything under the sun, and those who believe that every sandwich creation on the planet needs to have some sort of mayo based “secrete sauce”. Mayo sucks balls. It was created to hide the taste of bad meat in the days before refrigeration.

    It’s really bad for your health, and tastes like ass.

    Anyone who likes Mayo, yet rips on those who like Ketchup, has no room to talk. It is by far the worst condiment ever, yet you rag on ketchup lovers?! Give me a break!

    Mayo lovers are far worse than ketchup lovers. I see them drown everything they eat in the crap. Salad, burgers, subs, cheesesteaks(WTF?!! SIN!), ground beef, hot dogs, french fries, fish, veggies. If anyone deserves the rant you gave here, it is these nasty sorts. Not ketchup lovers.

    Better yet, rant on those who demand putting condiments on your food, and not letting you do it yourself. Nothing should come with condiments placed on them ahead of time. Even “special sauce”. It should be up to you and I as to how much we want.

  19. RomanShower

    I like my ketchup cheap and unchanging! And I will say no to unnecessary high-end ketchup

  20. Vianna’s unchanging BECAUSE it’s that good. It’s a classic, idiot. Anyways ketchup has lycopene and is actually good for you. Also, who the hell do you think you are to judge or tell people what they should do or not do with their food? What a stupid blog post. Get over yourself.

  21. Eick


    Who the hell do I think I am to judge or tell people what they should or should not do with their food?

    I’m Eick, So Good food blogger, that’s who. This blog would be pretty boring if I didn’t voice strong opinions and call out the insanity of certain food eating habits.

  22. big steve

    ketchup is the poor man’s condiment.

    enjoy having terrible taste you ketchup loving rednecks.

  23. Ann

    Gourmet Ketchup is like flavored coffee. Tastes much worse than it sounds.

    If you want to rant about ketchup, rant about the stupid flip-top squeeze lid now on Heinz bottles that has a plastic flange in the hole. It takes three hands to squeeze hard enough for it to come out and then you get a quarter cup gush.

    p.s.- since rants, by their very nature are emotional, irrational outbursts, it’s funny reading all these posts containing
    how dare you,
    who the hell are you to say something different than I say,
    mayo sucks worse – well that might be true – long live Miracle Whip – LOL

  24. Eick

    @Lulu which raises the question whose life is more empty, the guy who writes an impassioned blog post about the shortcomings of ketchup, or the person who takes the time to leave a comment on that blog post

  25. Injun Trouble

    While I don’t really care who likes ketchup, I personally despise it. Nothing pisses me off more than to be at a fine steakhouse and hear someone ask the waiter/waitress for ketchup. On a FILET MIGNON??? REALLY!!???? I just wanna stab them right in the neck with their steak knife.

  26. John

    Mustard is gross, so people keep trying to make it better.

    There was once Green ketchup. So to say it hasnt changed at all is missing a fact.

    Theres nothing to change about ketchup. It’s perfectly good without having to keep trying to keep people interested in it.

    PS, I don’t put ketchup on eggs, mashed potatoes or pasta. GROSS. Ketchup is for burgers and hot dogs. and french frieeeeees

  27. jacob horton

    you are freaking retarded. ketcup rocks. and you are stupid not to think so. get a brain you idiot.

  28. helizond

    Well. I was going to comment about the green and blue versions, but I was beat to it –albeit I just remember reading about them, I’ve never seen one in a store.
    Now, if you can’t tell the difference between Heinz and Hunts ketchup, you’re in trouble. It’s like saying that Pepsi and Coke taste the same. There are stubble but important differences, and that’s where the secret lies; are you able to tell the difference. Now, as about any teenager can tell you, if you’ve ever been to a fast-food restaurant with one of them and be really observant as they get their drinks, if they don’t make what you want, make it yourself! And for those of you who might read this and don’t have a teenager around, what most of them usually do is get a bit of one drink, a bit of another, a bit of another one, and yet some more of another one in the same cup and make their own flavor!
    I see here there are some mayo haters, some ketchup haters, and some mustard ones… For all of you, DEAL WITH IT. Enjoy what you like and let others enjoy what they do. Personally, I don’t like the taste of ketchup on eggs; I cringe when I see somebody I’m with does it. Do I sermon them? No; I just try to concentrate on what I’m having and enjoy it to the max. I suggest you do the same; you might even feel better.

  29. Kris T

    I have had balsamic ketchup which is wonderful. But why blame us? If they put it out there in more flavors, I’m sure we will buy it…

  30. Brittany Wright

    Your kind of negative… People aren’t attracted to negative people.

  31. kevin f

    well i must say that i have found all this very interesting. i do agree that mayo is way overrated – however we do need a little miracle whip once and awhile.
    now ketchup on the other hand is what i like to call “the nectar of the gods” – could anything be more perfect – i truly can say i do put ketchup on my ketchup. mustard is just a wierd thing all together. the next time i go down to my local Rita’s water ice i am taking my kethcup with me – they have none for the soft pretzels.

    love it on mashed potatoes, great with applesauce when your cleaning up the plate {can’t wast it now.}
    Kris t. – balsamic kethcup sounds great.
    i may even try it on angel food cake when i get the chance. peace

  32. Diane

    Update for Ketchup lovers: Sir Kensington’s scooping ketchup has entered the market and is the best ketchup you will have ever tasted. Amazing on fries. You can also try the spiced flavor.

  33. Ernie

    This post is great and I agree that people really need to start branching out with their ketchup. I put it on everything, but have started trying the newbs on the market. So far, my newest favorite ketchup is Elevation Ketchup I got it at a Denver farmers market a few weeks ago and I really cant stop the ketchup love. It’s pretty great.

  34. Grglend

    My fellow cooking friend,

    Thanks for sharing your input on the world of Catchup. Now I can share alittle of my opinion on it. I think that catchup is a wonderful condiment. If you got the time, one can always make their own version of it for a change. But the store type that we are used to seeing has long been a strong seller for years and years. Kind of like Coke. Why in the world would these companies want to change something that brings in lots of money. Can they change it to where we need to add all kinds of different flavors to Catchup. Maybe but when you have one item that is so good on so many different food items, that is the true naturel of a good condiment. Plus you can always add or less to it but it’s a good starting point and people’s tastes are what they choice to used it for. Hamburgers and fires any one?


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