Value for Money: All things ketchup

We’ve tried all of these tasty sauces and the home-produced variety are worth consideration

Heinz: €3.89 for 650g; €5.99 per kg

Highs: There is a reason this has been the market-leading ketchup all over the world for donkey’s years. It is a very high-quality product and one which is both utterly reliable and available pretty much everywhere. It ties for first place when it comes to the number of tomatoes in the mix — 148g for every 100g of ketchup. It is not overly salty and has a comparatively low level of sugar in the mix. It pours easily and will not be found wanting when it comes to adorning almost any food you can care to mention.

Lows: If there is an elephant in the room, it might be a euro-shaped one. It is considerably more pricey than the own-brand option and while it is certainly nicer we would have to ask ourselves if it is almost five times nicer than the cheapest alternative on the market.

Verdict: Unsurprisingly good

Star rating: * * * *


Chef: €3.45 for 740g; €4.67 per kg

Highs: We are always happy to don the green jersey when it comes to product reviews because — all things being equal — we reckon we are better off buying Irish than buying from giant multinationals who don’t give a rashers about us. The good news is that championing Chef is not a stretch, for starters it is a good bit cheaper than the market-leading brand. We also love its tomatoey taste which is gorgeously sweet and pleasingly sharp.

Lows: The packaging tells us it is made using Chef’s secret recipe but a glance tells us that one of the secret ingredients might well be salt — this is the saltiest of the products tried. Given the volume you are likely to be using that might not be much of a concern but it is worth noting all the same. It also has the highest sugar content of all the ketchup reviewed.

Verdict: Top quality

Star rating: * * * * *

Tesco Ketchup: 67 cent for 555g; €1.20 per kg

Highs: This is more than 10 times cheaper than the dearest ketchup we trialled and almost four times cheaper than the next most inexpensive brand. On that basis, it is very hard to beat. Does it taste as good as most high-end options? No, no it does not. Does it taste good enough to adorn any class of burger or chip you might fancy eating? It absolutely does. If you are on any class of budget or are simply watching the pennies as we head into what promises to be a very challenging winter, then this is certainly worth looking out for.

Lows: There is a pretty strong vinegary kick here, one which almost completely takes over from the tomatoes. You will also find yourself limited to one store if you are partial to this.

Verdict: Excellent value

Star rating: * * * * *

Cali Cali Ketchup €3.99 for 265g; €15.06 per kg

Highs: This is great-tasting, Irish-made ketchup. It has a low sugar content — as much as 60 per cent lower than some rivals, its makers say — and you’d not miss the sweetness. It has a rich tomatoey flavour and, all things being equal, we’d be more than happy to give this five stars every time and we’d always reach for it first.

Lows: Sadly, all things are not equal and we can’t escape the elephant in the room — and that is the price. At more than €15 per kg it is wildly more expensive than the cheap-as-chips option on the market and comes with a price tag that will place it out of reach for many people. The size of the bottle is also a concern and we reckon we’d need to buy a bottle a week to keep us going.

Verdict: Great but …

Star rating: * * *