How to Make Your Own Ketchup and Beat the U.S. Shortage

The U.S. is experiencing a shortage of ketchup—and it's all down to the pandemic. The popular condiment is the latest product to become hard to buy, following toilet paper and aluminum cans.

Restaurants have reported shortages of ketchup packets partly because COVID-19 guidelines recommend individual sachets over bottles, while stay-at-home orders around the country have led to an increase in sales for bottled ketchup.

Heinz dominates U.S. ketchup sales, with a market share of nearly 70 percent, but the company has struggled to meet demand. It intends to open manufacturing lines and increase production by 25 percent in April.

In the meantime, consumers may have to take matters into their own hands. There are many recipes for homemade ketchup to be found with a simple Google search.

However, if you're hankering for the Heinz taste, you may have to look a little harder. Newsweek has found two potential recipes that might satisfy Heinz fans.

Recipe 1

One website offering a guide is Tom Wilbur's Top Secret Recipes. Wilbur describes himself as a "chronic food hacker" and his site, topsecretrecipes.com, hosts a huge number of recipes, many designed to replicate favorite dishes and flavors.

"For 30 years I've been deconstructing most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home," says the website.

Here's what you'll need to make Wilbur's copycat Heinz ketchup recipe.

Ingredients

6 ounce can of tomato paste

Half cup of light corn syrup

Half cup of white vinegar

Quarter cup of water

1 tablespoon of granulated sugar

1 teaspoon of salt

Quarter teaspoon of onion powder

Eighth of a teaspoon of garlic powder

Method

Wilbur recommends combining all the ingredients in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and whisking them until smooth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and then simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat and cover until cool. Then chill the mixture and store it in a covered container. Wilbur says this should make 1 and a half cups.

Recipe 2

Lifestyle website The Whoot offers its own copycat Heinz ketchup recipe from contributor Steve Owens. The ingredients and method are slightly different. Here's what you'll need.

Ingredients

170g/6oz tomato paste

Half cup of hot water

Half teaspoon of onion powder

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Quarter teaspoon of mustard powder

Quarter teaspoon of cinnamon

Quarter teaspoon of salt

Pinch of clove

Pinch of all spice

3 tablespoons of white vinegar

Method

Owens recommends tipping the tomato paste into a bowl and mixing the onion powder with the hot water. Then add all the other ingredients to the water except the vinegar. You can use the hot water to rinse out the can of tomato paste and add what's left in it to the bowl.

Next, add the vinegar to the bowl and stir it thoroughly. According to Owens' recipe, the ketchup can be used straight away, but it will take a day or two to develop its full flavor.

Those are just two of the many ketchup recipes available online. If you can't get your hands on your favorite brand, try making your own.

Heinz Tomato Ketchup Bottles
Heinz tomato ketchup bottles. The U.S. is currently experiencing a ketchup shortage. Scott Olson/Getty Images