Trader Joe's New Ketchup Seasoning Has Finally Arrived

Trader Joe's has been stocking the spice cabinets of avant-garde foodies with products like Everything But the Leftovers and other creative seasoning blends for a while. Now, culinary iconoclasts, keep rejoicing: Trader Joe's new ketchup seasoning has finally arrived. 

According to Instagram fan account @traderjoeslist, the release of TJ's ketchup seasoning coincides with the release of another similar new product: pizza seasoning. Per the account, both seasonings have already completely sold out at some stores within the first day of hitting shelves.

The ketchup seasoning's release doesn't come as a surprise. According to TJ's subreddit r/traderjoes, the product was first announced in December 2022 but is just now hitting shelves. 

A mod comment on the original post indicated, "Note: A few Crew Members and some of the comments have shared that the Pizza Sprinkle Seasoning Blend and the Ketchup Flavored Sprinkle Seasoning Blend will likely not be available until after January 9, 2023, but arrival dates may vary by region." Now, the subreddit is back with the latest update: As of January 10, 2023, the ketchup seasoning is officially in stores — and it's "Like ketchup, but in a sprinkle form."

What is ketchup seasoning?

Per the post by @traderjoeslist, Trader Joe's ketchup seasoning consists of tomato powder, sugar, kosher salt, vinegar powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and rice concentrate. In classic TJ's form, it's a lineup of straightforward ingredients for $2.99 a bottle. The Instagram account describes the ketchup seasoning as surprisingly salty but not overwhelming, bearing an uncanny likeness to the classic ketchup flavor. 

Reddit mentions TJ's discontinued Ketchup Flavored Spud Crunchies, theorizing that the new ketchup seasoning could potentially be used to recreate the beloved snack. Many other social media comments come from folks who want to use the seasoning to bypass the high sugar content of normal ketchup. Heinz ketchup contains four grams of added sugar per tablespoon. 

Although, for many fans, the new ketchup seasoning has yet to hit shelves. Several Instagram users report visiting their local Trader Joe's but being unable to find the seasoning, either because it's sold out or perhaps hasn't come to their regional stores yet. 

Worth the wait?

Trader Joe's is no stranger to divisive products (like the highly controversial limoncello gouda), and its new ketchup seasoning is no exception. Some folks think it simply doesn't sound good, and indeed a ketchup-flavored seasoning might not suit every shopper's palette. Still, even the most negative reviews are nothing too scathing; the product's divisiveness seems to be mostly a difference in taste preferences. 

By comparison, commenters seem to universally like the pizza seasoning. Trader Joe's is far from the first manufacturer to come out with a pizza-flavored seasoning. Pizza-flavor-dusted Goldfish crackers and Pringles chips have been longtime characters in grocery store snack aisles. But, the ketchup varietal is perhaps less approachable — or, at least, potential uses for it require a little more imagination. 

One Instagram comment asks, "What do you even do with the ketchup one?" Comments on the @traderjoeslist post suggest sprinkling the seasoning over popcorn, potatoes, or fries. Other comments express excitement to try it on mac and cheese and tacos. You could use it on eggs, mashed potatoes, or over fish like Old Bay seasoning. As the label of the seasoning puts it, use it "whenever you'd think to use ketchup."