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Ketchup Guide
Ketchup is the most widely used condiment in the US.
Over 97% of American homes have at least one bottle of ketchup. Let’s hold off on the Salsa vs. Ketchup debate until a little later in this Ketchup Guide.

Ketchup History

The word “ketchup” comes from the Chinese “ke-tsiap”, which simply means 'sauce. It seems those guys get credit for a lot of our foods. Ketsiap has been around in China since the 1690s. At that time there were no toHeinz and Hunts Ketchupmatoes in the condiment. Ketchup originally was a fish sauce consisting of anchovies, walnuts, mushrooms and kidney beans. From Asia, the condiment “Catsup” found its way to England in the 17th century, perhaps with sailors traveling from Indonesia. The British used Catsup to pickle anchovies and oysters.

Today, Ketchup is a sauce made up of Tomato Puree or Tomato concentrate, water, vinegar, sugar (orcorn syrup) salt, spice and herb extracts (including celery), garlic , Cinnamon and Allspice. Tomatoes are native to South America and more specifically Peru. It is believed that Spanish conquistadores living in Mexico may have introduced the tomato to catsup and carried this new blend to Europe in the early 1700. In the late 1700s New Englanders added tomatoes to the blend. Early ketchups were more watery than what we know today. Ironically, today China is the largest producer of tomatoes in the world.

According to, “Elizabeth Smith published the first ketchup recipe in her 1727 book "The Compleat Housewife", and included anchovies, shallots, ginger, nutmeg, and lemon peel in her recipe. In 1830, for less than 50 cents a bottle, you could buy a New England farmer's version of ketchup”. The first ketchup recipe that included tomatoes is believed to be a recipe published in an 1801 American cookbook called the “Sugar House Book”.

Modern Ketchup

F & J Heinz debuted its Ketchup at the Philadelphia Fair in 1872 and four years later (in 1986) launched their tomato Ketchup commercially. The recipe is essentially unchanged even today. It became so popular that other manufacturers hurried to launch their own Ketchup, Catsup, Catchup, Katsup, and many other names.

Two other major producers quickly introduced ketchup as a result of the craze.
  • Hunts – started by Joe and Will Hunt, opened a canning business in 1888. Hunts did not decide on a single spelling and produced with the names of Hunts Catsup (east of the Mississippi), Hunts Ketchup (west of the Mississippi), and Hunts Tomato Cornchops (in Iowa only).
  • Del Monte Catsup - fouKetchup Market sharended in San Francisco in 1916.
The U.S. Federal Government declared “ketchup” as a vegetable for school lunches in the 1980's. Because Del Monte sold “catsup” and not ‘ketchup” they were not allowed to sell their product to the schools as “catsup” was not an approved vegetable. Del Monte then changed their product's name to Del Monte Ketchup.

Today, Heinz dominates the Ketchup market with about 60 percent (over $265 Million annually) of the Ketchup market.

Heinz commands a higher price point and is the favorite of American homes with household incomes above $100,000.  Because Heinz enjoys such a competitive lead, a) it benefits from Del Monte's and Hunts' advertising and b) it charges a higher price.

Ketchup Facts

  • 97% of American households have ketchup in their kitchen
  • About 3 bottles of ketchup are consumed per person each year
  • One tablespoon of ketchup has 16 calories and no fat
  • Four tablespoons of ketchup have the same nutritional value of medium tomato
  • The world's largest ketchup bottle is in Collinsville, Illinois and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It was built in 1949 and stands 170 feet tall.

Ketchup Health Benefits

  • A 1999 report from The Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that ``high consumers of tomatoes and tomato products are at substantially decreased risk of numerous cancers (especially reduced risk with prostate gland, lung and stomach),although probably not all cancers.''
  • Ketchup has an ingredient called lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant that is believed to prevent cancer. It should be noted that the amount of lycopene in Ketchup is small. However, other studies have shown that organic Ketchup has up to 3 times more lycopene as non-organic varieties.
  • According to the New Scientist (23 December 2000), lycopene has been shown to help protect against breast, pancreatic, prostate and intestinal cancer, especially when eaten with fatty foods.
  • A study from the Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health showed reduced risk of prostate cancer in 47,000 men whose diets contained large quantities of lycopene.
  • Studies co-conducted by the University of Carolina suggest that lycopene can reduce the risk of: Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Rectal Cancer and Uterine Cancer
Of course it wouldn’t be fair if we didn’t mention the other side of the health debate. Many argue that because Ketchup includes sugar and salt, these ingredients offset any potential benefits. The following is Ketchup nutritional information is from Wikipedia and the USDA Food Nutrient database:

Ketchup vs. Salsa

We have all heard the debate. Is Ketchup or Salsa the number one condiment? From what we have read, it depends on how you want to measure the data. Is number one based on the number of bottles sold or total sales dollar? You can probably find just as many reports suggesting Ketchup is number one as Salsa is number one.

There is no doubt that with the growing Hispanic population and adoption of Mexican and Tex-Mex foods in America that Salsa is more popular than ever. A 1996 report from AC-Nielsen indicated 75% of American households purchased Ketchup vs. Salsa purchases at 63%. But, things keep changing and it’s 12 years later. American homes keep a bottle of ketchup in the kitchen about 30% (or 15 days) longer than salsa. Additionally, Salsa probably commands at least twice the price of a bottle of ketchup.

Who is number one? According to The Number’s Guy, Salsa outsold Ketchup in dollar sales, but Ketchup outsold Salsa in pounds sold in 2007. Another website,  writes that a 2006 report from the US Department of Agriculture indicates that Ketchup is still number one with sales over $400 million. You can decide for yourself

Modern Ketchup and Ketchup Trends

For the most part Ketchup had not changed very much in the last hundred years. The Ketchup that my kids eat is pretty much the same as the same ketchup my Grandma ate.  That is all changing now.Curry Ketchup

"Spicy Ketchup" is now emerging as a modern trend and there are various varieties now on the scene such as Heinz Hot & Spicy Kick'rs Ketchup (with Tabasco), Intensity Academy Chai-Tea Infused Curry Ketchup and Intensity Academy Chai-Tea Infused Chipotle Ketchup (Florida), Spiceitup! Jalapeno Ketchup Medium (Texas), Tony Packo's Sweet Hot Ketchup (Ohio); World's Real Onion Catsup (Massachusetts), Jufran Hot Banana Sauce (Philippines), Peppers of the World Mesquite Ketchup (Texas) and more. Using your favorite search engine, you can also find recipes for Blueberry Ketchup and Tomato-less Ketchup.

Here at, we are proud to offer both great
Salsas and Spicy Ketchup as part of today’s emerging trends.  Why not try our Curry Ketchup?  All of our products are backed by our 100% No Risk Customer Satisfaction Guarantee

Don't just take our word for how good these spicy ketchups are, Chai Chipotle has already won six awards.

  • 2009 Fiery Food Challenge Third Place
  • 2008 America's Best New Gourmet Product First Place
  • 2008 America's Best All Natural Condiment First Place
  • 2008 First Place Scovie Award
  • 2008 The Hot Pepper Awards Condiment First Place 
  • 2007 The Hot Pepper Awards Condiment Second Place 

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