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Newly-Designed Heinz Ketchup Packets are Minivan Friendly


Raise your hand if you, or one of your children has ever spilled ketchup in your car. Raise your hand if you’ve ever torn open a ketchup packet with your teeth. I thought so.

After 42 years, the rectangular ketchup packet that seems to yield only a few drops of ketchup anyway, has been redesigned. The new ketchup-bottle shaped package holds about three times as much ketchup, and may soon be buried at the bottom of the bag as you pull away from the drive-thru.

The new “Dip and Squeeze” packet can be opened two ways:  Tear off one end to squeeze out the ketchup, or the other end can be peeled back to allow for dipping.

But why the change? Heinz finally figured out that traditional packets are too hard to open, too difficult to deal with in the car, and that frustration has led to fewer fry purchases at the drive-thru.

Now here’s the funny part:  “To develop the new packet, Heinz staffers sat behind one-way, mirrored glass, watching consumers in 20 fake minivan interiors putting ketchup on fries, burgers, and chicken nuggets.” Mike Okoroafor, Heinz vice president of global packaging innovation and execution, told the Wall Street Journal, “I wasn’t going to use my car—too messy.”

Small chains like Chick-fil-A, Smashburger, and Dairy Queen have already begun using the new “Dip and Squeeze” packets, and Wendy’s plans to use them later this year. McDonald’s and Burger King have also conducted consumer tests with the new packaging, but have not indicated when they will replace the traditional packets.

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