Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo

NYT:Heinz Wants Runners to Refuel With Ketchup

Cooked Crack

Recommended Posts


You can put ketchup on a burger or fries, sure. It’s a key ingredient in Russian salad dressing and meatloaf. Ketchup was once even declared a vegetable by the U.S. Agriculture Department under President Ronald Reagan. 


Now a new video from Heinz insists that “runners everywhere are using Heinz ketchup packets on their runs.” The company has also created running routes in the shape of its branded keystone logo in several cities, including New York, marking restaurants where ketchup packets are available for eager runners to grab. 


But are runners in fact suddenly consuming ketchup? So much of it that they need to stop at fast food joints to reload? And if so, is that really a good idea?


“I’m totally skeptical,” said Amy Stephens, a sports dietitian for the New York University track team. 


There are no known studies on the effects of ketchup on long-distance runners, Ms. Stephens said. But the “gold standard” for refueling on longer runs is between 30 and 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour for any run more than 90 minutes, she added. Runners can get this sustenance from one to two packets of energy gels or chews from brands like Gu or Science in Sport. 


A ketchup packet has just two grams of carbs, meaning that in order to fuel up adequately on a long run, runners might have to consume at least 15 of them. And at 90 milligrams of sodium per pack, she added, that’s “too much sodium.” she said.


“I absolutely can’t see this catching on,” said Laura Fountain, a running coach and writer. She raised another concern about their practicality and ease of use while moving. “So unless you want ketchup all over your face midrace and the paramedics to get worried, I’d stick to a gel, or if you want a cheaper, easily available alternative, candy.” 


Ms. Stephens agreed. “I have a hard enough time opening my gels. I can’t imagine opening 15 ketchup packets. I don’t know where you’d put those.” (In the Heinz video, a runner is seen with pouches on both arms to hold her ketchup.) Ms. Stephens recommended two or three honey packets as a better option.


Heinz did not respond to a request for comment on the ad campaign.  It’s not the first time Heinz has looked for new uses for its ketchup.


In 2007, users submitted ads for a company-sponsored contest showing people using ketchup as acne cream, toothpaste, shampoo and shaving cream.



  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...