The Treehouse + The Cave

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Thursday, January 20, 2005

Ketchup Packets


Ketchup packets are poorly conceived. They don't contain enough ketchup, and when you do try to harvest what little Heinz they hold, you can only ever squeeze half out. It's such a waste of ketchup.

Why doesn't ketchup come in creamer cups? The kind with the thin plastic shell and foil peel-away top. They would hold a lot more ketchup; it would be a lot easier to squeeze out; and it is a fucking cup in which to dip your French fries (a la the pleated paper cups at Wendy's). You could get every last bit of ketchup if you wanted, using your French fry as a tool, like a chimp. It would be so much better.

I know I'm promoting disposable plastic, but it couldn't be much worse than the current packets, right?

Blogger Timothy Ryan Enright thought:

This change in ketchup packet design is very important to me, and I support you 100% in your journey to create a better one. However, what if ketchup came in just bigger packets. Just double the size, it would still be wasteful yes, but I would no longer need 300 to finish my burger and fries.

January 21, 2005 at 12:11 AM - Comment Permalink  
Blogger Andy thought:

You are correct, it would be nice to use 15 packets instead of 30 per periodic fast-food binge.

However, even with packets that hold twice the volume, you're still wasting about the same amount of ketchup. That's not even to mention an argument I left out of my initial post, which is the cleanliness factor.

One of my biggest issues with the packets is that, as you tear them open, you're pretty much guaranteed to get ketchup on your hands. If you survive that step, you have to avoid a mess when you squeeze it out, and then again as you clean up whatever surface you squeezed the ketchup onto in the first place.

With the creamer cups, you'd never have to touch ketchup, and you wouldn't even have to remove the ketchup from the cup if you didn't want to. The only messy part is the circle of foil you'd peel away as you open the cup. They're infinitely cleaner.


January 21, 2005 at 9:28 AM - Comment Permalink  
Blogger hipp-o thought:

i like the creamer pack idea.

first, we all know that the wendy's ketchup cups are one of the many reasons why dining there is infintely better than drive-through(excuse me, drive-thru) or god forbid, eating at mcdonalds (though some mcd's have stolen wendy's idea).

all of the eateries that delivered my daily sustenance while i was a sad, sad investment banker at 388 greenwich street figured this out too. they were all competing for all those banker $20 dinner orders, and the good eateries decided to fuck the packets and include plastic tubs of ketchup with handy lids - just like mexican eateries deliver sour cream. mass producing these - ie, the creamer idea - is a good one.

love hipp-o

if you assume the amount of ketchup wasted in a packet is relative to its surface area rather than its volume, the larger packets tim proposes would reduce the amount of ketchup wasted, as volume increases (length)^3 vs. (length)^2 for surface area. its the same reason why a human cell can only grow so large, at some point the amount of plasma membrane available for diffusion is too small to support the more faster increasing volume of the cell, leaving the center devoid of needed nutrients.

January 23, 2005 at 2:24 PM - Comment Permalink  
Blogger Forms thought:

Thats a great idea. I am sure it would save space when shipping the ketchup as well.

January 23, 2005 at 6:46 PM - Comment Permalink  
Blogger Sarah thought:

I just stumbled upon your blog and I'm addicted.

As for the ketchup factor, I couldn't agree more. My problem is I'm one of those eat-while-you-drive types. And those packets are not at all conducive to this reckless way of life. When I get fries from Wendy's, I always go inside and I always pump a little pleated cup of ketchup , balancing it on one knee or in an empty cupholder or something while I eat & drive. You can't do that with the packets. Sometimes I contemplate using the bag it all came in, but generally I avoid that since I need the bag for trash at the end and it would be way too messy.

Ahh... the complexities of fast-food life.

January 24, 2005 at 4:18 PM - Comment Permalink  
Blogger Jeremy thought:

they work a little better if you tear off the edge completely. sometimes that torn edge gets in the way. i'm writing a blog about it now.

December 21, 2008 at 7:33 PM - Comment Permalink  

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