Your suffering may finally be over, fast food fiends. No more awkwardly torn ketchup packets and tomato-soaked fingers. No more dipping your fries into a dollop of ketchup on a napkin or burger wrapper. NO. Heinz has introduced the ketchup packet 2.0, and the future looks…well, remarkably like the containers of McNugget dipping sauces McDonald’s has been using since the ’80s. But it’s still an improvement.
This bold technological breakthrough took a lot of research.
Heinz struggled for years to develop a container that lets diners dip or squeeze, and to produce it at a cost acceptable to its restaurant customers.
“The packet has long been the bane of our consumers,” said Dave Ciesinski, vice president of Heinz Ketchup. “The biggest complaint is there is no way to dip and eat it on-the-go.”
Designers found that what worked at a table didn’t work where many people use ketchup packets: in the car. So two years ago, Heinz bought a used minivan for the design team members so they could give their ideas a real road test.
The team studied what each passenger needed. The driver wanted something that could sit on the armrest. Passengers wanted the choice of squeezing or dunking. Moms everywhere wanted a packet that held enough ketchup for the meal and didn’t squirt onto clothes so easily.
Fun fact from the article: Heinz sells 11 billion packets per year. That’s an awful lot of fries, and that’s just Heinz.