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An open letter to Campus Dining

| Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Dear Campus Dining,

I just have one question — what’s stopping you from serving Heinz ketchup?

I know this might seem like a trivial request, but just imagine the utopia we could create by replacing the ugly, inferior Red Gold dispensers with the gold standard of tomato-based dipping sauces.

Rest assured, I’m not the only one with a preference for Heinz ketchup. According to the most statistically sophisticated experiment in existence — yes, a whiteboard dorm poll — the women of Pasquerilla West Hall clearly favor Heinz. Even Taste of Home agrees: Heinz is superior.

Unfortunately, the ketchup situation has grown so dire that I have resorted to bringing my own bottle to the dining hall. In fact, I may be growing a reputation for it. While this fun fact has served me well for the last year, it might be getting old. Perhaps it is time for both of us to turn in the towel and find a way to make Heinz an integral part of the dining hall experience.

And speaking of (terrible) towels, did you know that Heinz operates out of the city of Pittsburgh, home to the best team in the NFL? Several former Notre Dame footballers, including the legendary Chase Claypool play for the Pittsburgh Steelers at none other than Heinz Field. Need I say more? If Notre Dame’s golden child wide receiver isn’t a foolproof reason to serve Heinz, I don’t know my vinegar from my sugar. The good news is, Heinz does.

Compared to Red Gold, the ratio of vinegar to sugar is much higher in Heinz ketchup than other brands, giving it a more balanced flavor profile and less of a sickly sweet tomato taste. When viewing the ingredients lists of both brands, which list ingredients in order of descending weight, Heinz lists distilled vinegar as the second ingredient. For Red Gold, sugar is the second ingredient and vinegar the third. To myself and many other tang-seekers, sugar’s second-place position is a complete disaster. How can we be expected to reasonably substitute Red Gold for Heinz when the two products have so little in common?

So the question remains: Why not replace Red Gold with Heinz? Maybe Red Gold provides a more affordable option for the dining hall; however, when comparing the prices of Red Gold and Heinz from one data point, 32-ounce bottles sold at Walmart, Heinz is $1.12 cheaper per bottle. I know you may have a contract with Red Gold; however, I would strongly encourage you to reconsider any such agreement as soon as possible.

Now that I’ve made my case, let me express that I am very grateful for the dining halls, especially the cheerful and welcoming workers who often make my day. At the end of the day, I would prefer to dip my french fries in Heinz over Red Gold, but I thank you for providing the student body with a place to gather for food and camaraderie either way. If I have to keep lugging my own personal bottle of Heinz ketchup to North Dining Hall each day, I will do it with pride.


a concerned ketchup lover

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About Maggie Eastland

Maggie Eastland currently serves as Editor-in-Chief. When she's not working in The Observer office or writing business news, you can find her reading a book, going for a run or drinking her sixth cup of SDH coffee.

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