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Although it is less than two weeks into the 2023 Major League Baseball season, a rebellion is brewing amongst Red Sox fans. It has nothing to do with the team itself, and everything to do with condiments.
Let’s break it down.
Back in November of 2020, Boston announced a new partnership with True Made Foods, a startup company that is set out to transform the condiment world forever. It does not use any added sugars or artificial sweeteners.
True Made Foods’ founder and CEO, Abe Kamarck, is a Navy veteran and father of four. He knew that traditional ketchup was essentially just red sugar, so he started making his own. And in lieu of sugar, True Made Foods sweetens its condiments with vegetables like butternut squash and carrots.
Kamarack’s vision is admirable. His product provides an alternative to sugar-pumped ketchup and it is something that fills a void in the condiment market.
HOWEVER, Red Sox Fans aren’t thrilled.
When Red Sox fans get to Fenway Park and purchase a hot dog, there is a large contingency who would prefer to have a sugar-filled ketchup option. Not because they disagree with what Kamarack is doing, but because of the taste.
Many have said that it’s just not the same. Not that it’s bad, necessarily, but different.
Some fans are even bringing their own ketchup packets to the games.
Prominent Bruins writer Joe Haggerty was especially harsh on the ketchup at Fenway.
His comments led to a larger discussion with Kamarack.
Kamarack made an interesting, profound point.
His product is extremely important. It allows people to consume ketchup that is not packed full of sugar and high fructose corn syrup. There are some fans who are unwilling to consume the unhealthy ketchup and are forced to eat their hot dogs dry at ballparks that do not offer True Made Foods condiments. They should have an alternative option.
However, as Kamarack pointed out — the concession business model does not allow for multiple condiment contracts. In turn, he hopes that others will keep an open mind.
Perhaps the Red Sox fan rebellion toward ketchup will help spark change within the concession space. Is there not any way for Boston to serve the sugar-filled ketchup and the healthier True Made Foods option?