The McDonald’s Ketchup Mystery!

This factoid is unverified but has been making the rounds for quite sometime.  I have yet to confirm this with Golden Arches but I thought I’d share this with you anyways.  So, please don’t take this as the gospel truth for now.

Did you know that your common McDonald’s ketchup packaging are numbered from 1 to 8?  You will see the superscript marked on the upper left corner of each packet.

Rumor has it  that there is actually a reason for this.

McDonald's Heinz Ketchup

They say each respective number corresponds to the ketchup’s “sweetness to sourness” level.  “1” being the sweetest of the bunch while “8” being the sourest.

To put this to the test, I did my own taste experiment.  I got a few McDonald’s ketchup packets and tried to verify it by tasting them myself.

Packets 1 and 7

I opened the packets with numbers that were farthest from each other (1 & 7) in order to distinguish their  taste differences.

Packet 1True enough, there were distinctions in taste…

The packet numbered “1” was indeed sweeter than that of number “7” which tasted somewhat sourer.  I was actually surprised myself!  But the differences were very minute, if any.  You would hardly even notice the difference had you not known that there was a meaning to these packet digits.

Packet 7Then again, I could be mistaken and it could all be psychological due to the fact that I proceeded with this test pre-conditioned and knowing that there could be a difference.

Consider this post incomplete for now until I can get more concrete answers to these unverified facts.

I will not delay, so check back soon.


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10 Comment

  1. Dian says: Reply

    This is true.. 🙂 I worked for McDonald’s.. 🙂

  2. That’s quite interesting. If there are differences in taste, shouldn’t they let their customers choose?

  3. antonette says: Reply

    wow!!!! amazing! ^_^

  4. […] on Heinz’s courtship with McDonald’s. (Interesting too, here’s a tasty bit of trivia on McDonald’s brand of ketchup.) Trouble is, the new packaging is more costly to produce, and when ketchup is generally thought of […]

  5. I have to try this next time I eat at Mcdo

    Can I repost this? Ill give your website its due credits promise!
    Its just too good not to share 🙂

    1. If you’re trying it,make sure to get the packets numbered farthest from each other like 1 and 7. Sure! you can re-post this. 😉

  6. ihateketchup says: Reply

    Get like five friends and google double blind experiment and do that, I’d be really interested to see if there was any consistency in the results

  7. eec says: Reply

    the real answer is…

    the number refers to which batch it came from….


    to which machine the ketchups came from..

  8. kukaii says: Reply

    upon trying the number 1 is sourest.

  9. j says: Reply

    this just sounds needlessly complicated for the manufacturers

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