Catch Up on the 7 Best Ketchups (with Guest Taster Josh Scherer)

Going into our best ketchup taste test, some of my coworkers made it clear that they were hardcore brand loyalists for certain ketchup companies. I found this absolutely unhinged. I love ketchup, but I have literally never in my life noticed that one brand of ketchup tastes different from another brand of ketchup. Sure, I wasn’t doing side-by-side comparisons, but I had a hard time believing that ketchups could be so different and I had never noticed. I think I have a pretty good palate! That is why it pains me so much to say that I was absolutely, positively 100% wrong.

There is a huge flavor discrepancy between types of ketchup! Now that I have seen the error of my ways, I, too, am a ketchup brand loyalist and I am here to share my newfound knowledge with you. To help us, we invited Mythical Kitchen’s Josh Scherer (@mythicalchefjosh) into the Sporked office to dip some fries into some ketchups, and here are the results.

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Best of the Best

Heinz Tomato Ketchup

I cannot emphasize enough how blown away I was by the fact that Heinz ketchup was so much better than any other ketchup we tasted. Sporked editor-in-chief, Justine Sterling, warned me as we headed into the taste test that Heinz would reign supreme, but I was skeptical. “How much better could it be?” I thought. I thought wrong! This had a ketchup taste that felt too good to be true. It was bright and zippy and a little sweet. This is what you think of when you think of ketchup.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Walmart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Best Heinz Impersonator

Signature Select Tomato Ketchup

I am convinced that the Signature Select ketchup factory is directly next door to the Heinz ketchup factory. They taste and look eerily similar. Of course, it doesn’t have that same star quality that a brand like Heinz has, but the Signature Select is wonderfully tangy, sugary, and chemically red. If you have a hankering for Heinz but the direct deposit has not hit your bank account yet, go for this Signature Select tomato ketchup.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Safeway

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Josh Scherer’s Pick

Hunt’s Classic Tomato Ketchup

In my humble opinion, Hunt’s lives in the shadow of Heinz ketchup, but not everyone agrees. Hunt’s Classic Tomato Ketchup was Josh’s favorite in our taste test! He found Hunt’s to be “really well balanced” and “a little on the sweeter side,” which he enjoyed. I found that Hunt’s felt more natural because it tasted more like actual tomatoes. The best way I can describe it is that Heinz is banana-flavored candy and Hunt’s is a banana. Both are good, but they’re different!

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

Best Sweet

Trader Joe’s Organic Ketchup

After tasting all sorts of products from TJ’s, I can confidently say that the Trader Joe’s Organic Ketchup is one of the best pantry staple products they sell. Sporked editorial assistant, Naajia Shukri, described it as “sickeningly sweet” in the best way possible and I agree. This ketchup is sweet, sweet, sweet and there is nothing wrong with that. I might not dip a sweet potato fry in these, but they’d add the perfect sugariness to a regular french fry.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Trader Joe’s

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Best Budget

Great Value Tomato Ketchup

This is a totally standard, completely normal ketchup. It falls right in the middle of sweet and tangy. It could please any ketchup-loving palate. It is perfectly smooth in texture and has that bright red color we all want from a ketchup. As the most affordable ketchup on our list, Great Value Tomato Ketchup will keep your wallet and mouth very happy.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Walmart

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

Best Unique

Brooklyn Delhi Curry Ketchup

Did the Brooklyn Delhi Curry Ketchup remind me more of a chutney than a ketchup? Yes. Does that bother me? No! It was still delicious! The label asserts that it’s flavored with roasted garlic, chilies, and ginger, which sing in every single taste. This ketchup is great on fries, but I’m convinced you could put this on almost anything and it would be delicious. Eggs, dosa, avocado toast, lentils—anything that could use a spiced, aromatic punch would be tasty paired with this ketchup.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

Best Organic

O Organics Tomato Ketchup

I was thoroughly surprised by the flavor of the O Organics Ketchup. It hit those notes of sweet and tangy like the other ketchups on our list, but it also had an interesting spice to it. After scarfing down a few more fries dipped in this ketchup, I figured out that it had the faint essence of cumin and star anise (though I can’t confirm that because the label just lists seasonings as “organic spices”). Whatever the spices were, I liked them!

Credit: Ryan Martin / Albertsons

Rating:

6.5/10

Sporks

Find the best energy drink at home and share with us using #SporkedTasteTest for a chance to be featured on our social pages!


About the Author

Jordan Myrick

Jordan is an L.A.-based writer and comedian who believes all food should come with extra sauce. When they're not writing for Sporked, Jordan is at the movies or sharing an order of french fries with their elderly chihuahua.

Thoughts? Questions? Complete disagreement? Leave a comment!

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  • Totally nailed it.

    Reply
  • Well, at least we agree on the ketchup.

    I’m still not dipping my scrambled eggs in that. Hash browns, yes, but eggs and Cholula are bae and no one will convince me otherwise.

    Reply
  • I like the ranking of the product but It would be nice to show the Ingredients on the product too so people know which one to get. People will check the nutrition label before buying the product for themselves.

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  • Please do Mayo I need to know if the Dukes hill I’ve chosen to die on has a bunch of other dead people on it.

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    • Oh, mayo is coming (and I’m with you on the Duke’s hill)!

      Reply
  • Portland Ketchup needs to be on the list. As a self-proclaimed ketchup addict, this list feels incomplete without my favorite ketchup of all time. Could be the best organic or best unique or even best overall.

    Reply
  • This is great! I’d love to see rankings for sugar-free/ no-sugar-added options for diabetics!

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  • I’d love to see different coffee mate creamer rankings!

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  • Nope, Whataburger ketchup is the absolute best. So good and popular in fact, that the fast food chain commercialized it and sells it in supermarkets.

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  • I had to go and google what kind of ketchup McDonalds used back in the day. (Heinz, btw.) I’d never thought about it before, but apparently old-school McDonalds ketchup is king and I’m super nostalgic for it.

    Reply
  • I need a barbecue sauce one of these. Also Heinz or nothing Pittsburgh represent!

    Reply
    • It’s coming! Keep your eyes peeled!

      Reply
  • Whataburger ketchup, you can buy it online or at selected stores, It is the best.

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  • As a Pittsburgh-er, I was ready to revolt if Heinz wasn’t on the top of this list! And am pleased that my cities intense brand loyalty is not misplaced.

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  • I would have agreed completely with the ketchup ranking 2 years ago, But then I discovered Red Gold. I think it should be added to the ranking.

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  • Heinz is the best, I’ve tried so many ketchups in my 43 years of life and I always go back to old faithful. I no use the no sugar added, which reminds me more of the Signature Selections. Also just like to add that 90 % of store brand foods are the actual brand name, they get them wholesale/auction type deal ( kind of like how dollarstores get their inventory) and that’s why sometimes you’ll get a store brand and be like oh this tastes exactly like Heinz but the next time ( next batch) will taste like the Hunts. https://www.moneycrashers.com/name-brand-vs-generic-products-grocery-store/

    Reply
  • Very close, but you guys missed red gold. I did my own independent taste test a few years ago with Heinz, Red Gold, Great Value, Trader Joe’s, Kroger, French’s, Helman’s, and Hunts. The number one spot was by far Red Gold. Heinz was a firm second though. After those two, ketchup is mostly the same and you are probably best just going with the cheapest you can find.

    Reply
  • I’d like to know all the brands you test also! Mainly because I can’t believe 78 Red ketchup didn’t win. So I have to assume you didn’t taste it. 🙂 They also make a spicy version.

    Reply
  • As someone who doesn’t like ketchup (never have) Hunt’s is what I buy for recipes that call for ketchup as an ingredient. My husband doesn’t seem to mind.

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  • I haven’t had it in a while, but I remember really liking Red Gold when I had it at a restaurant.

    Reply
  • My favorite is Heinz too but they make a version called Heinz-Simply which replaces corn syrup with cane syrup and that is my favorite of the Heinz brand line.

    Reply
  • Try Maggi Indian Ketchup, it’s incredible.

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  • Was this a blind taste test? I used to be a Heinz guy but we did a blind test in my house and were shocked that we all preferred Hunts. It literally is much more natural tasting.

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  • I cant believe Sir Kensington Ketchup is not on this list. And….AND near the top. Josh man you’re slippin!

    Reply
  • Hunts All Natural is my go to. I don’t like ketchup that tastes like pure sugar.

    Reply
  • Sir Kensington’s is woefully missing from this list!

    Reply
  • What about French’s Ketchup? It’s the 2nd best selling ketchup in the U.S. & Canada and it went unranked? (also it happens to be my favorite)

    Reply
  • What about Geffen? Got some on the clearance rack and was pleasantly surprised!

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  • Ya’ll need to order a bottle of whataburger spicy ketchup. You will never go back. My wife hates ketchup with a passion and loves Whataburger Spicy Ketchup

    Reply
  • Have given up on ketchup. Pizza sauce’s so much better

    Reply