Debunked: Why Some Packets of Ketchup Are Labeled as ‘Fancy’

Contributor
Looks like this ketchup wasn’t made for the rich and famous, aka me eating fast food
Why Ketchup Is Fancy
Jane Bruce

"Fancy" is a classification set by the USDA.

Have you ever wondered why some ketchup packets are labeled as “fancy”? It turns out there is a method to the madness.

“Fancy” is a classification made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to Business Insider. It’s also known as US Grade A, and it has to do with the weight of the ketchup.

Ketchup is “fancy” if it has a minimum of 33 percent tomato solids and meets other criteria having to with color, consistency, and the absence of defects. It is the highest grade of ketchup in the United States, and, as you could probably guess, there are also Grade B and Grade C ketchups, which contain 29 percent and 25 percent tomato solids, respectively.

The USDA even has a whole manual for grading ketchup on their website that’s been in effect since 1992.

Unfortunately, most ketchup packets still contain high-fructose corn syrup, which could raise questions as to whether these ketchups are actually fancy. But at least now we can put one of our important childhood questions to rest.

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