Red Gold, the second largest manufacturer of tomato products in the United States, sets the record straight on reports of a pandemic-related ketchup shortage. Red Gold wants to make it clear; there is no shortage of ketchup.
Over the last ten months, the increased demand for ketchup in single-serve packets used for restaurant take-out and delivery exceeded inventory capacity for some suppliers.
As Red Gold prepared for the surge, the company developed two new pre-portioned ketchup items on other manufacturing lines, while continuing to keep the ketchup packet lines running at maximum efficiency. In May 2020, the Midwest tomato manufacturer created a production plan that doubled capacity.
Red Gold and its many Foodservice Distributor partners stepped in with their brands to ease the pain that was felt by many foodservice operators allocated early on by the other national brand.
Nearly a year later, the surge in ketchup packet demand has not subsided and only continues to increase as the fear of the ‘Next Toilet Paper Shortage’ arises in customers and buyers across the country. There is no shortage of ketchup at Red Gold, however capacities for producing ketchup packets are temporarily strained due to demand for all manufacturers. Red Gold is actively working with foodservice operators on alternative ways to package their ketchup for their customers.
Among consumers purchasing ketchup for home use at supermarkets, Red Gold branded ketchup saw a 34%* growth in the past year, growth that exceeded the ketchup category according to data monitor IRI. A recent Wall Street Journal article** had stated that the retail market share for Heinz to be as high as 70%, however IRI reports that Heinz’ share was much lower at 57% volume share, followed by private label store branded ketchup.
This, more accurate, IRI data indicates that consumers have actively demonstrated their acceptance for other brands of America’s favorite condiment. Red Gold encourages you to be loyal to the brand that’s loyal to you. Among restaurant customers, a survey by Datassential*** found patrons frequent a particular restaurant because of its menu and its service, not because of a brand of ketchup that it serves.
Red Gold, American owned and manufactured entirely in the U.S., has been producing ketchup and tomato products for nearly 80 years. The business started in service to American heroes fighting in WWII and will ready its team to support the Foodservice Operators fighting to bring their business back all across the country.
Red Gold applauds Foodservice Operators for their flexibility, ingenuity and perseverance as they have managed the changes in operations through the pandemic. Red Gold has plenty of ketchup and plenty of alternatives for packaging ketchup for use by operators for dining in, take out or delivery. For more information on Red Gold foodservice products visit RedGoldFoodservice.com.
*Source: IRI Market Advantage POS, Total US MULO, L52 WK 3-21-2021, Ketchup
**Source: Wall Street Journal, The New Shortage: Ketchup Can’t Catch Up, 4-5-2021
***Source: Datassential Consumer Ketchup Survey, 2018