Sir Kensington's Announces It Will Stop Producing the Ketchup That Made it Famous
When it comes to ketchup, major companies like Heinz and Red Gold have long reigned supreme. But smaller and newer brands can still manage to make a splash when they enter the ketchup market with something innovative and delicious.
One of those smaller brands, Sir Kensington's, unfortunately seems to have suffered the consequences of outside factors like the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation. The company has announced that it will no longer produce its popular ketchup, the flagship product of its brand.
A Feb. 21 post titled "Sir Kensington's Ketchup: A Eulogy," shared on Medium by Sir Kensington's co-founder Scott Norton, explained the disappointing decision to discontinue the condiment.
"Food is a low-margin business that works at high volume. Through the pandemic, international war, and inflation of the past three years, ketchup faced price pressure and cost pressure that was untenable," the post read. "To make change in the food system, products ultimately need to be profitable and resilient enough to be economically sustainable, otherwise, the change is temporary."
The post also noted that Unilever bought Sir Kensington's a few years back, a move that gave the food giant the decision-making power "on what products to launch, what to keep, and what to cut."
Norton continued, "We can't be naïve to think there won't be tough choices, even if we don't always believe a decision was made in the best interest of the brand… It's easy for us to be disappointed, but we knew the risks, and we must take the good with the bad."
Unilever was contacted for comment on the halt in production but did not immediately respond.
Sir Kensington's differentiated itself from other major ketchup brands by eliminating both corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup as ingredients. And customers seemed to love Sir Kensington's unique take on the quintessential condiment. The brand's classic ketchup has an average rating of 4.5 out of five stars on the Sir Kensington's website, while the spicy variety has an even higher average rating of 4.7.
Additionally, Sir Kensington's very nearly scored the top spot in our Eat This, Not That! taste ranking of different ketchups, coming in second place behind only Heinz.
But despite its popularity, another Sir Kensington's condiment has actually grown to surpass the fan-favorite ketchup. According to the Medium post, Sir Kensington's mayonnaise now accounts for 75% of the company's business, while the ketchup has dropped to 10%.
"It's a reminder that you may not yet have invented your defining product, and it might not be the one you were founded on," the post read.
Though ketchup production has halted, the brand will continue to sell its mayo, mustard, and "everything" sauces moving forward. In the meantime, Sir Kensington's ketchup fans should act quick to snag any lingering bottles on grocery store shelves, "because once it's gone, it's gone," the post said.