WSJ: Restaurants Facing Shortage Of Ketchup Packets

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Supply chain problems are reaching into a far corner of the business universe: Ketchup packets. After enduring a year of closures, employee safety fears and start-stop openings, many American restaurants are now facing a nationwide ketchup shortage.

Restaurants are trying to secure the tabletop staple after Covid-19 upended the condiment world order. Managers are using generic versions, pouring out bulk ketchup into individual cups and hitting the aisles of Costco for substitutes.

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.

NBC News reports:

As a result of the supply chain shortage, many restaurants are limiting the number of packets they give to customers or resorting to purchasing generic ketchup brands they normally don’t use.

Some popular fast-food chains like Long John Silver’s and Texas Roadhouse have even had to reach out to secondary suppliers for the packets.

Ketchup packets are simply the latest shortage in the wake of the pandemic. It started with everyone running out to buy toilet paper at the beginning of lockdown. Meat shortages soon ran rampant and home bakers also bought up flour and yeast in droves.