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11 Mar 2022

Heinz vs supermarket tomato ketchup: our tests reveal which is tastiest

It's the sauce some fans say goes well with everything - but how do cheaper supermarket own labels stand up against classic Heinz tomato ketchup?
Chips being dipped into a pot of ketchup

Whether you like yours spilling out of a bacon sandwich, served alongside a bowl of chips or drizzled over a hotdog, tomato ketchup remains one of the UK's favourite sauces. But should you stick with Heinz or try something new?

Many people turn to the big brand for its recognisable sweet and savoury tang, and results from our taste tests reveal why.

Our panel of more than 100 ketchup-lovers blind-tasted tomato sauce from Heinz, as well as nine own-labels, including Sainsbury's, Tesco, Aldi, Lidl and more.

Heinz triumphed, taking the top spot in our taste test - but it's also by far the most expensive.

And while our supermarket sauces didn't quite match the flavour of our branded Best Buy, some of the cheaper own labels still came exceptionally close.

Keep scrolling to find out which supermarket ketchups proved worthy competitors. Plus, we reveal the great value own-brand sauce to look out for.

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Best tomato ketchup

These are the top scorers from our ketchup taste test.

Best Buy: Heinz Tomato Ketchup - 80%

£2.30 for 460g (50p per 100g)

Heinz tomato ketchup 460g bottle with Best Buy sti

Heinz proved it's the leading ketchup brand for a reason after it excelled in our tests, scoring top across the board and earning a Best Buy.

Tasters were particularly satisfied with the balance of sweetness in this ketchup, as well as the strength of its flavour, scoring it five stars for both.

Heinz ketchup was the most expensive though. In fact, it costs nearly three times more than the average bottle of ketchup in our test per 100g - but it does at least deliver the goods, and it's worth keeping an eye out for offers if you're keen to get the king of ketchup for less.

Available from Aldi, Asda, Morrisons, Ocado,Sainsbury's,Tescoand Waitrose.

Best Buy: Waitrose Essential Tomato Ketchup - 78%

70p for 470g (15p per 100g)

Waitrose Essential tomato ketchup 470g bottle with

Waitrose wasn't far behind the leader in our taste tests, with its Essential tomato ketchup taking second place and securing Best Buy status.

Much like Heinz, Waitrose fared very well in most categories. Most notably, the panel thought the sweetness was spot on, with one taster describing it as having just the 'right combination of sweet and tangy'.

And even though this ketchup was rated very slightly lower than Heinz, at 15p per 100g it's more than three times cheaper. So, if you want top tomato taste for less, you're better off opting for Waitrose ketchup instead.

Available from Waitrose.

Other high-scoring tomato ketchups

These cheap and cheerful supermarket tomato ketchups narrowly missed the top spots, coming in joint third place.

Great Value: Sainsbury's Tomato Ketchup - 77%

60p for 460g (13p per 100g)

Sainsburys own brand ketchup

Sainsbury's own-brand ketchup is our best-value pick. It's one of the cheapest we tested and is £1.70 less per bottle than the Heinz winning sauce.

It proved itself to be a strong contender for taste too, scoring a clean sweep of four-star ratings in every category and coming in joint third place overall.

Tasters were particularly satisfied with the colour of this sauce, with three quarters rating it as just right.

Available from Sainsbury's.

Morrisons Tomato Ketchup - 77%

80p for 450g (18p per 100g)

Morrisons tomato ketchup 450g bottle

Morrisons ketchup scored well across the board, tying third place with Sainsbury's.

It scored better than all other ketchups for its colour, with an impressive 90% of our tasters rating its deep red hue as perfectly appetising.

It faltered slightly for taste though, with around half of our panel considering the tanginess to be a little off. Regardless, this own-label tomato ketchup is still a decent option for Morrisons shoppers.

Available from Morrisons.

Do you prefer to dip your chips in mayo? See our guide to the best mayonnaise.

How other tomato ketchups fared

Tomato ketchup bottles line-up

Here's how the other tomato ketchup brands fared:

  • Aldi Bramwells Tomato Ketchup - 75%. Rated well in most categories and was one of the cheapest ketchups we tested. 57p for 650g (9p per 100g). Available from Aldi.
  • Tesco Tomato Ketchup - 74%. The panel liked its colour but it scored more middling marks for smell and flavour. 65p for 555g (12p per 100g). Available from Tesco.
  • Lidl Batts Tomato Ketchup - 73%. The cheapest ketchup we tested, though around half of our panel found the taste too weak. 45p for 500g (8p per 100g). Available from Lidl.
  • Asda Classic Tomato Ketchup - 69%. Scored average in most categories, but its flavour could be better. Nearly half of the tasters found the sauce too tangy. 64p for 550g (12p per 100g). Available from Asda.
  • M&S Tomato Ketchup - 65%. Scored the lowest overall for appearance, with 90% of tasters considering it to be too dark. 75p for 495g (15p per 100g). Available from M&S (in-store only).
  • Co-op Tomato Ketchup - 65%. The second most expensive ketchup we tested. Almost half found the flavour lacking in strength and otherwise underwhelming. £1.40 for 720g (19p per 100g). Available from Co-op (in-store only).

See all of ourbest food and drink, including thebest yeast extract spread, the best instant coffee and the best crunchy peanut butter.

Is tomato ketchup healthy?

Woman browsing tomatoketchup in a supermarket

Tomato ketchup might make for a delicious low-fat dip, but if you're watching your sugar and salt intake it's worth watching how much you load onto your plate.

At 22.8g per 100g, Heinz is the only ketchup we tested that is classed as high in sugar based on the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) guidelines, so while it's tasty, it's one to watch your portion size with.

Aldi, Asda, Heinz and M&S ketchups were also classed as high in salt (more than 1.5g of salt per 100g).

However, there weren't significant differences between them all and none of the ketchups we tested were classed as low in salt and sugar, so not going overboard is probably your best bet. There are reduced salt and sugar versions available.

Is tomato ketchup vegan friendly?

Ripe tomatoes growing on a vine

Heinz, Morrisons, Tesco and Waitrose ketchups are all vegan friendly, as are lots of other ketchups.

If you're not sure, we recommend checking the label before you buy.

Looking for great-tasting vegan foods? See our round-ups of the best vegan bacon and best vegan burgers.

Are tomato ketchup bottles recyclable?

Person recycling a ketchup bottle

Ketchup typically comes in plastic squeezy bottles so you can get the perfect dollop of sauce every time, but can they be recycled?

Most bottles we tested can be put in your household recycling bin. But the plastic cap might be a bit trickier: only some councils or supermarkets will accept this kind of packaging, so it's best to check beforehand.

Good news for Heinz fans: in mid-2021 Heinz announced it had succeeded in making its ketchup bottle caps 100% recyclable after eight years of research.

Thanks to this, the whole Heinz ketchup packaging (the bottle and the cap) is now completely recyclable as of 2022.

For more information on recycling and the symbols to look out for, see our guide on how to recycle in the UK.

How we tested tomato ketchup

We asked a panel of 110 independent taste testers to blind-taste 10 different tomato ketchup brands in February 2022.

Reduced-sugar and reduced-salt varieties were not included in this testing.

Each ketchup brand was sampled using a McCain's chip (Straight Cut Home Chips), and rated in terms of appearance, aroma, flavour and texture. The participants also told us what they liked and didn't like about each ketchup.

Testers did not know which product they were sampling, as this was a blind test. The order they received the samples was also randomised.

*Prices correct as of 10 March 2022.