Culture

Heinz's burger-ruining sauce was inspired by lawless TikTokers

The Kraft Heinz Company’s “Dip & Crunch” combines a spicy puree with potato chips to create a nightmarish au jus.

As the main purveyor of a condiment called Ketchup (you may have heard of it) Heinz is a truly American institution. But just because it holds a vice grip on burgers and hot dogs everywhere, doesn’t mean Heinz always rests on its laurels. The brand often takes its cues from social media to devise products that are as boundary-pushing as they are chilling and mesmerizing.

In that vein, Heinz just announced the introduction of a condiment that functions like some kind of bizarre au jus, called “Heinz Dip & Crunch.” There are two components involved in this hybrid condiment; the sauce itself, which is “a decadent burger sauce made with tomato puree, molasses, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic powder, tamarind concentrate, onion powder, and spices,” as well as a package of “crisp potato crunchers.”

The creation of Heinz Dip & Crunch is primarily the result of the company’s research and development strategy, which “deploys an insight-based innovation engine,” to zero in on products that consumers are supposedly clamoring for. In other words, a team of strategists at Heinz recognized a TikTok trend wherein users were dipping their burgers into a range of chip and sauce combinations and decided to capitalize on the moment.

Trial run— The Dip & Crunch sauce was first implemented at a select handful of Jack in the Box restaurants on the West coast. After a successful trial period, the product received a national release and can be purchased at a variety of retailers, including Wal-Mart and Target.

As noted by FastCompany, Sanjiv Gajiwala, the North American chief growth officer for Kraft Heinz, shared some insight into the development process for these products:

“For us to hear that debate online, then bring it to life, is an example of how we’re listening differently, how consumer taste is evolving, and how that listening is helping us react . . . [to be] ready for when people are ready to experience these things.”

That strategy has led to other attention-grabbing products like last year’s ketchup-extracting keychain, and Mayochup, another hybrid-sauce that combines mayonnaise and ketchup.

Who knows what will be next, the only guarantee is that it won’t be dull — or as unappetizing (at least in my opinion) as the Dip & Crunch, which I will try to avoid for the rest of my time here on Earth.