There are a number of things which came into and ended production during this site’s lifetime that I really wish I archived, but few products provide such a sense of lost opportunity more than Heinz’s EZ Squirt brand. In short: Ketchup in wild and crazy colors. I’m frequently depressed by the fact that I was webmastering X-E when these came out and didn’t do a damn thing about it. Woe is Matt.
The concept seems to have taken on a general air of failure in more recent years, meaning that most people assume that that the green, orange, purple and blue ketchups weren’t a collective hit. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Heinz began the collection in 2000 with “Blazin’ Green,” likely because green is a nearly natural color for something edible, and not as offensive as, say, purple. The product’s success was absurd. Kids ate the shit up. Smartly, the “EZ Squirt” bottle was designed with a very tiny blowhole, which allowed ketchup eaters to properly draw faces all over their hamburgers with a manageable stream of jet-powered green ketchup.
With sales so high, Heinz waited a while before debuting the other colors. In fact, they waited around two years. The follow-up colors weren’t as much of a smash hit, but I think that had more to do with parents finding blue ketchup disgusting than kids not being into it. With green, it’s been said that many consumers assumed that Heinz used green tomatoes — weird but acceptable, if totally untrue. Blue ketchup, sadly, had no organic roots to cling to.
Sucks, because I can think of nothing more in the world that I’d love to cradle in my arms right now than a squeezy plastic bottle full of blue ketchup. I’m so enamored with the idea that I refuse to accept that it’s a dead brand. There are times when I’ll think something’s out of production, only to find that it’s just out of production where I live. If I find out that I’m wrong and 25 of you call me idiots as you squirt more purple catsup on your fries, I’ll be totally okay with that…so long as you’ll mail me a bottle or three.
What’s so strange is that the products arrived with so much fanfare and attention, yet died with a whimper and left almost no trace of their existence behind. It’s hardly an exaggeration to say that I’ve visited every page of the Internet looking for information on the brand, only to come up with a handful of news reports and barely enough images to consider what’s below as an impressive photo gallery:
Then again, perhaps EZ Squirt’s vanishing act and subsequent mystique plays into why I write out long love letters to Heinz on a nightly basis. If I could still buy blue ketchup today, would it really be that special? Amazing as the product was, I tend to think that something like weirdly colored ketchup could get old. Maybe we’re better off without it. The world may have thrown out their Nevermind albums if they saw Kurt Cobain in his 40s, and the world may have shat on blue ketchup if they tried to eat it for five years straight. Yes, yes, let’s run with that.
EZ SQUIRT DOLL, STOP JUMPING AROUND YOU R MAKIN ME PICTURES COME OUT NOT FOCUSSSED!
ALL BETTER NOW, PADRE