Classic Heinz Ketchup bottle - Detail - © Stewart Williams

Ketchup Bottle Tricks And Technology

I’ve been hearing a lot, lately, about proposed solutions to the eternal problem of getting Ketchup out of the bottle. In honour of the mid-summer long weekend and all the backyard and cottage-front BBQing that is taking place, I present a compendium of approaches to the Ketchup Bottle conundrum…

Classic Heinz Ketchup bottle - © Stewart WilliamsThe real, insider’s secret to getting Heinz Ketchup out of the bottle has been
staring you in the face all along…

Okay, it’s a slow news day, in the middle of a long weekend. So I’m digging into my just-in-case bag of topics for one that just may make your holiday BBQ dining easier and more pleasant…

Old school methodology

We all know the trick about tapping the classic ketchup bottle on its neck to get the red river flowing. It works most of the time. But not all the time. I think it must require a lot of practice and just the right twist of the wrist to ensure success. And this technique works best on only one type of bottle – the one used for many decades by Heinz.

A new take on tapping

Last week, I ran across a blog post updating the ‘tap’ technique and revealing a secret heretofore known only to Heinz insiders. It seems the key to getting every last drop of Heinz Ketchup out of the bottle is to tap once, firmly, on the ’57’ moulded into the glass with the bottle neck tilted downward. The Heinz ‘Trivia’ Web page also says only about 11 per cent of us know the secret of the glass bottle ‘sweet spot’. Why has Heinz not capitalized on revealing this ‘secret’ in its marketing endeavours? Maybe there are some things that are so sacred that you don’t debase them by getting them involved in the crass quest for filthy lucre…

A sure but dangerous approach

I once saw a guy eating alone in a classic old school diner go after his ketchup using a drinking straw. He stuck the straw into the bottle all the way to the bottom, picked up the bottle tilting the neck slightly downward. Then, he puffed some air in, through the straw, forming a pressure pocket at the highest point of the bottle – at that point, the bottom. A couple of puffs and out she came! But if you puff too hard, you could trigger a ketchup explosion. One plus for this technique: It works on any ketchup bottle, glass or plastic.

The rocket science technique

This one relies not on anything the user does, but on the material on the inside of the bottle. Dubbed LiquiGlide for commercial purposes, the MIT invention consists of a coating with a ‘permanently wet’ surface that lets any substance slide off effortlessly. Naturally, Ketchup bottles would be one of the first applications. But the coating is also being used in a wide variety of packaging and manufacturing applications. Is this the ultimate solution to th3e Ketchup bottle conundrum?

Or, you could just purchase your Ketchup in plastic squeeze bottles.

~ Maggie J.