Marketing Wonders: Foods That Never Expire

By Ben Steverman - 2012-07-18T13:27:07Z

Photograph by Scott Eells/Bloomberg

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Heinz Ketchup

Anyone up for some mushroom ketchup? How about a "catsup" made of walnuts, or a "catchup" of seafood and stale beer? Originally, ketchup was a table sauce with a variety of spellings and an even wider variety of flavors. Now, tastes have narrowed to the point that the writer Malcolm Gladwell calls it the "ketchup conundrum": Not only is all ketchup made from tomatoes, most consumers stick with just one brand: Heinz. The company introduced its tomato ketchup in 1876 and by 1907 it was selling 12 million bottles per year. Today it sells about 650 million bottles per year.