23 September 2011
Test driving the new Heinz catsup packet
Chowing down on fast food in the car used to mean going condiment free or wrestling with a foil packet equally as likely to squirt ketchup on your lap as on your french fries. Now, Heinz is offering a solution with their "car-friendly" packet. But does it work? Let's find out.
Introduced as the Heinz Dip & Squeeze package, the sauce maker's been pitching it lately as the only way to eat in the car without getting so much ketchup on your hands it looks like you've just come from murdering a toll booth operator.
The trick that gives the packet its name is the ability to open the packet for regular dipping, or ripping off the top for squeezing.
In order to properly test the packet, I braved the greasiest burgers, sharpest fries, and crispiest onion rings I could find. Conveniently, all of these can be found at Charlottesville's Riverside Lunch. Angina be damned.
Exterior Design: Modeled after the iconic Heinz 57 bottle, the packaging is both familiar and novel. Compared to the often squished and deformed foil alternative, the new design is a revelation. Warning, it's a bit shiny and its size makes it hard to store in your pocket.
Interior Design: Like the fiction of Trollope, the ketchup reservoir is often wider than it is deep. This is fine when dipping a french fry tip, although tricker when trying to douse an onion ring completely in Ronald Reagan's favorite vegetable.
Handling: Unparalleled for dippage, with easy cover removal and storage. Clean. Neat. Simple. Removing the top for squeezing requires slightly more effort and it doesn't compress into that comforting flat sheet of foil at the end.
Acceleration: Generally, we oppose model bloat. In this case I'm behind it 100% because there's no decrease in performance. Your speed in finishing off a small packet of fries will no doubt be increased because you're no longer futzing with those pesky foil packets.
Value: The new packets are supposed to retail for $1.99 for a 10-pack. If you're paying for ketchup you're doing it wrong. If you're given the choice for free (as at Chik-Fil-A and, soon, Wendy's) it's a great deal.
More pix here: http://jalopnik.com/5843251/new-heinz-ketchup-packet-first-drive