Ketchup looks to be the latest product falling victim to the pandemic-related shortages of essential items, and this comes after we've already been through toilet paper, aluminum cans, and (worst of all) pepperoni.

Now, due to the pandemic-related issues included shifting consumer behavior - like panic buying - as well as constantly changing safety guidelines around dining, restaurants are facing ketchup package shortages.

Heinz obviously dominates the ketchup industry, but they've been hit with the shortage as well, forcing restaurants to other alternatives.

The problem mostly stems from the switch of a majority indoor dining to majority being takeout. The switch changed from tabletop bottles to individual packets.

Additionally, restaurants that are dining indoors are also facing the same problem with the packets, since most COVID-19 guidelines say they should use packets instead of tabletop bottles.

The CDC recommends: "Instead, use disposable or digital menus (menus viewed on cellphones), single-serving condiments, and no-touch trash cans and doors."

On the flip side, bottle sales have gone through the roof with people who order carryout that bought their own bottles to use. The Wall Street Journal reports were around 15% higher.

To catch up with the shortages, Heinz says they plan to open new manufacturing lines, upping production by about 25%.

Read more at Newsweek

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