Today’s Illustration: Ketchup

heinz 57.jpeg 

Today’s Illustration:  The Format & Purpose

  • The illustrations are based on true events and/or actual people.
  • The basic facts of the event or person are laid out.
  • Quotations from books and magazine articles about the event or person are included.
  • “Key Illustrative Thoughts” are designed to get your mind thinking about possible ways to use the illustration.
  • The “Key Thoughts” catch some of the keywords and phrases found in the illustrations content which can be carried down into the message.
  • Other general or interesting information which might be of use is provided at the end.
  • Additional links for your own further exploration of the topic, person, or event have been included at the end.  There is plenty more that could be used from the references.
  • We do all the research and work for you!  Dig deeper if you want and let us know about yet other ideas which can be useful!
  • Feel free to use all that is provided as you will.  It is yours to use and benefit your preaching, teaching, and speaking.



And The Most Desired Brand Is . . . . 

On This Day: 1876 The Heinze Company Introduces Ketchup

Is it “Ketchup” or “Catsup” — both work in regards to its spelling of, but there may be only one brand of Ketchup which is considered the real Ketchup.

Howard Moskowitz is what I call a “Taster Geek.”  One of his clients was the Pepsi Corporation who wanted to know just how sweet to make a can of Diet Pepsi.  At the time they hired him, they had already determined that the number was between above 8% and no higher than 12% was the general range.

“He made up experimental batches of Diet Pepsi with every conceivable degree of sweetness—8 percent, 8.25 percent, 8.5, and on and on up to 12—gave them to hundreds of people, and looked for the concentration that people liked the most.”

The results were rather interesting, in fact astonishing . . . .

 “There wasn’t a pattern . . . . There was no such thing as the perfect Diet Pepsi.”

The same results happened when Campbell hired Moskowitz.  Campbell’s wanted to know what was the most desirable “gravy” or “sauce” spaghetti eaters wanted.  The results at the end . . . .

“Moskowitz does not believe that consumers—even spaghetti lovers—know what they desire if what they desire does not yet exist.  Instead, working with the Campbell’s kitchens, he came up with forty-five varieties of spaghetti sauce. These were designed to differ in every conceivable way: spiciness, sweetness, tartness, saltiness, thickness, aroma, mouth feel, cost of ingredients, and so forth.  He had a trained panel of food tasters analyze each of those varieties in depth. Then he took the prototypes on the road—to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Jacksonville—and asked people in groups of twenty-five to eat between eight and ten small bowls of different spaghetti sauces over two hours and rate them on a scale of one to a hundred. When Moskowitz charted the results, he saw that everyone had a slightly different definition of what a perfect spaghetti sauce tasted like.”

The results were the creation of a variety of spaghetti sauces which we now see on the shelves of our supermarkets because there is no “ideal” or “close to ideal” sauce!  It all depends on what people like.

Likewise with coffee, says Moskowitz . . . .

“See what happens?” he said. “If I make one group happier, I [upset] another group. We did this for coffee with General Foods, and we found that if you create only one product, the best you can get across all segments is 60 — if you’re lucky.”

That is one of the reasons that “mustard” brands have become more prolific.  There are at least 101 different kinds, not to mention the many flavored options.  Some of the most well-known include . . . .

  • Dijon
  • Creole
  • German
  • Chinese
  • Sweet
  • American or Ballpark
  • Yellow
  • Honey
  • Whole Grain
  • English

Add to that . . . .

  • Flavored Mustards – with herbs, fruits, horseradish, chili, vegetables, lemon, blueberry, raspberry and 100’s of others


That brings us back to Ketchup . . . .

Somehow there is only one brand of Ketchup that is liked by “all” ketchup lovers  — and it is made by the Henry J. Heinz Company!


There have been numerous attempt to remake ketchup using different spices, ingredients, and different varieties of tomatoes, as well as multiple attempts to create ketchup with different textures.  The results, all have failed!

Heinz is the overwhelming favorite!

Not . . . .

  • Delmonte’s
  • Hunt’s
  • French’s
  • Hellman’s
  • Annie’s
  • Red Gold
  • America’s Choice
  • Trader’s Joe
  • Whole Foods
  • Walmart –  Green Ketchup

. . . . But Heinz! — Heinz’s — #1 — 193 million buyers / out of 225 households sampled.

“It was a conundrum: what was true about a yellow condiment that went on hot dogs was not true about a tomato condiment that went on hamburgers . . . . Moskowitz shrugged. “I guess ketchup is ketchup.”

“What Howard did is he fundamentally changed the way the food industry thinks about making you happy.” — Malcolm Gladwell


The History & Facts:

Early versions were anchovies, shallots, oysters, lemons, and mushroom based.

The Philippines uses bananas in their recipe.

Most include a deep red dye.

Ketchup was once considered a miracle drug.

Ketchup is the most popular condiment — mayonnaise is.

1907 — Heinze produces 13 million bottles of Ketchup.

2012 — Heinze produces 650 million bottles of Ketchup.

Heinz’s — #1 60% market share.

Hunt’s — #2  with less than 20% of market share.

Each person consumes about 3 bottles a year.

Typically used for such foods as french fries, hamburgers, hot dogs, tater tots, hot sandwiches, and chicken tenders.

Kids and Teens eat the most.

It flows at a rate of .028 mph or 1/2 inches per second.

Carly Simon’s commercial song in 1972  — “Anticipation” — was one of the most popular sons of the 20th century.

Because Ketchup is acidic, it is used to clean tarnish from copper or brass — cover with Ketchup for 10 minutes on a copper pan and 1 hours for a penny

Even though Heinz’s corporation produces more than 57 different condiments, it continues to use the slogan of “57 Varieties.” The number “57” is an amalgam of the two lucky numbers of Mr. & Mrs. Heinz — 5 and 7 respectively.

Tap on the sweet spot of the bottle to get it to begin to flow out of the bottle.  The sweet spot is the number “57” on the bottle.  “The New York Times has also claimed that the tapping the “57” mark is the best way to cause Heinz ketchup to pour smoothly.”

“A typical five-year-old consumes about sixty percent more ketchup than a typical forty-year-old, and the company realized that it needed to put ketchup in a bottle that a toddler could control.”


Howard Moskowitz is the one who realized, that for most products, there was not a “perfect” or “ideal” this-or-that condiment or food, but a span of many different variations of that condiment — but not when it comes to Ketchup.  Why?  Because . . . .

  1. Most people were started on Heinz as a child, and that became the standard.
  2. It was the mix of salt, sugar, sour, bitter, and umami all in one
  3. It was a way for children to change the taste of food that they may not have liked.

“There the three-year-old was, confronted with something strange on his plate—tuna fish, perhaps, or Brussels sprouts—and he wanted to alter his food in some way that made the unfamiliar familiar. He wanted to subdue the contents of his plate. And so he turned to ketchup, because, alone among the condiments on the table, ketchup could deliver sweet and sour and salty and bitter and umami, all at once.” — Gladwell


Key Illustrative Thoughts:

A lifetime of finding out what people prefer
All people are different.
Different gifts for working in the ministry.
Because we are all different.
Different strokes for different folks
Sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami all at once
Changing the taste to make the unfamiliar familiar
Changing the taste to make less, more acceptable
Ketchup didn’t follow the same road map as mustard
Tap here — “57” — to get it to move / flow
The goal: Making you happy
Multiplying Options
“The Bliss Point”
Customer Satisfaction
One group happy, the other is then upset.
Failed over and over — to produce an equal or more popular brand!
Texture matters as well.
Different definitions of “perfect.”
Multiple choices now available because people have different tastes.


Other Information & Links:

Born in 1844, Henry John Heinz began helping his mother with her gardens along the Allegheny River, just east of Pittsburgh, when he was nine years old. He learned business practices while working as a bookkeeper for his father’s brickyard and at night school. By his teens, he was employing three women to help process garden products and bottling his mother’s horseradish for distribution. Heinz distinguished his horseradish from his competitors by using clear glass bottles to emphasize the product’s purity.

Twenty years later, Heinz was operating another family food processing firm. Riding the New York elevator one day in 1892, he saw a sign advertising 21 varieties of shoes. He took the concept, came up with a figure of 57 because he thought it was a memorable number, and created the catch phrase “Heinz 57 Varieties.”

In 1893, seeking to bolster attendance at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Heinz distributed thousands of small tokens throughout the fair grounds. The tokens were redeemable for a free Heinz souvenir, a watch charm in the shape of a pickle, at the food pavilion, which was soon overrun with visitors. The “pickle pin” went on to become one of the best-known corporate souvenirs in history, with over 100 million distributed.

In 1898, Heinz bought the Iron Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey, renamed it the Heinz Ocean Pier, and operated it until 1945 as a free public attraction with antique displays, lectures, concerts, and motion pictures amid the displays of Heinz products and souvenirs.”  — William S. Pretzer —

“Dr. Howard Moskowitz has written and edited more than 20 books, published over 300 articles and serves on the editorial board of major journals. You can now purchase some of his best books from a lifetime of distinguished thought leadership.”


“The Bliss Point”:

“I recently appeared on documentary called The Secrets of Sugar, in which I asked the interviewer if she liked coffee with milk and sugar. She admitted that she liked it with milk.

“So if you add more and more milk you like it more and more, up to a certain point where you like it the most. Add a little bit more milk and you say ‘oh, it’s too milky, gosh!’ and add a lot more milk and that’s horrid”.

This is the bliss point. It’s what the food industry thrives on finding, because they know that tapping into customer bliss points means they will buy more products. The secret Goldilocks and other industries are discovering is that bliss points also apply to furniture, electronics, credit card offers and so on.” — Howard Moskowitz

William S. Pretzer —

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