Thursday, April 15, 2021

Ketchup Packet Supply Delays Results in Packets Being Sold on Ebay

COVID-19 lockdown-related supply chain distortions have reached the Ketchup packets market.

Packet prices are up 13% since January 2020, and their market share has exploded at the expense of tabletop bottles, according to restaurant-business platform Plate IQ.

The pandemic turned many sit-down restaurants into takeout specialists, making individual ketchup packets the primary condiment currency for both national chains and mom-and-pop restaurants, notes The Wall Street Journal.

Now those with personal stashes of saved ketchup packets are listing them on eBay Inc. and Facebook Inc.’s Marketplace.

The Journal reports:

Lindsey Cohen, a retiree from Indianapolis, logged onto eBay and posted 20 Heinz ketchup packets for sale for $8 after The Wall Street Journal reported April 5 on restaurants’ squeezed ketchup supplies. Ms. Cohen, who said she amassed her collection during fast-food stops on a recent road trip, typically uses eBay to clear clutter from her house but thought hawking ketchup sounded like fun.

About 12 hours later, the packets sold. “I’ve never gone so far as to sell condiments,” said Ms. Cohen. With ketchup, she said, “I jumped on the bandwagon.”...

The prices in dozens of ketchup-packet listings posted online range all the way from a quarter to $5 each, the latter in a lot of 20 packets for $100. Each has about a third of an ounce of ketchup.

Kent Reining, a Facebook Marketplace seller from Danville, Ill., offered packets for $4 each, or a bargain price of 20 for $50.

“There’s a shortage,” he wrote. “Don’t try to lowball me, I know what I’ve got.”...
Ms. Cohen, the eBay seller from Indianapolis, said when she heard about the ketchup squeeze, experience taught her to move quickly. She recalled how following the death of writer Maya Angelou in 2014, she sold a signed book of Ms. Angelou’s essays for $130.
“It’s all about supply and demand,” she said.



  1. Ketchup is for children, with all that sugar. I'll take mayonnaise, sriracha or hot mustard over ketchup any day (paraphrasing Carl Menger).

  2. I guess price inflation is starting to ketchup to the money printing...

  3. Now everyone will scramble on this like beanie babies and fast food places will have to stop giving them away.