Episode 153: Colt Reichart
Apr 30, 2021, Updated Jun 11, 2021
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All it took was one small statement from Heinz ketchup and the world was worried our fries, burgers, steaks and more would have to be consumed without our favorite condiment.
Thankfully, the false alarm of there being a ketchup shortage has worked in Red Gold’s favor. The only American owned, grown and made ketchup brand, Red Gold, has gained six new, large accounts from former Heinz customers alone, not to mention the need to purchase new packaging machines to keep up with ketchup packet demand.
“The Red Gold ketchup is the only ketchup that can claim it is American owned, grown and made. That’s an amazing accomplishment.” – Lori Taylor (3:33-3:40)
Red Gold got its start by Colt’s great grandfather, Grover Hutchison, in 1942. Hutchison was a retired cannery owner, who reopened a canning factory when World War Two started to supply the troops with peeled tomatoes, tomato puree and tomato juice. Four generations later and Colt got his start sweeping floors, reconditioning barbeque sauce and manning the bottle washing station at the Red Gold Elwood, Indiana facility.
Red Gold, the first tomato brand to be packed in non-BPA BPS lined cans and certified by the non-GMO project, has grown into many other consumer brands and partnerships, including their Tuttorosso, Italian inspired brand, RedPack and Sacramento. They’ve just launched a Redneck Riviera barbeque sauce with John Rich, the Tomato Love brand which is a green tomatoes and green chilies product (recently picked up by Kroger nationwide), and have licensed Tuong Ot Sriracha to make sriracha flavored products. Their tomatoes are the freshest, canned around, with production from field to can sometimes happening in as little as ten minutes!
So is there actually a ketchup shortage? Not really. Heinz Ketchup launched a press release saying there is a shortage of ketchup packets… keyword being packets. There’s plenty of ketchup to go around! In fact, Red Gold has been running at full speed, 24 hours a day, seven days a week before and during the pandemic. Considering the company was formed around chaos and during a war, they’ve always been on their “tippy toes and never on our heels,” as Colt likes to say.
What’s with the rise in ketchup packet usage? The changes the pandemic has forced upon restaurants. When restaurants were closed, people had to use packets instead of eating at the restaurant table with a ketchup bottle, and many restaurants are still relying on carryout versus dine in options, eliminating the use of bottles.
“Remember, the position of the FDA as well as the health and food safety agencies in Canada and Europe remains unchanged. COVID-19 does not spread by food or food packaging, which would include a ketchup bottle.” – Lori Taylor (10:41-10:59)
What’s Colt’s favorite way to eat tomatoes? Take it from someone who eats tomatoes daily, Colt suggests an easy snack like Red Gold salsa with chips, or cottage cheese with Tutoroso’s Southern Vineyard, white wine flavored, petite, diced tomatoes. Lori loves the juices inside they’re chipotle seasoned tomatoes and adds them to her salsas and sauces at home. Red Gold has a new, flavored paste they’re launching this year with basil and garlic, a great addition to any Italian-inspired dish.
Not only are you getting fresh, pure, delicious tomatoes from Red Gold, they’ve partnered with Folds of Honor so that proceeds from every bottle purchase goes towards the organization which gives scholarships to families who have loved ones fallen or been injured in combat.
How to get involved
- Join The Produce Moms Group on Facebook and continue the discussion every week!
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