Hunt's ketchup has humble beginnings. The Hunt's Company began as a small family canning business, the Hunt Brothers Fruit Packing Company. In the early 1940s, the company merged with Val Vita Food Products, and eventually, much later, became part of the ConAgra Foods family. During that time, Hunt's ketchup was developed and produced, under the company's mission of providing consumers with the highest-quality tomato products. Hunt's ketchup now comes in three varieties, having similar but distinct nutritional qualities.
Growing and harvesting tomatoes to capture the most flavor influences the overall nutritional quality of Hunts Ketchup. Hunt's Company farmers grow 55 different tomato varieties and use tomato experts to identify the ideal variety for each product, including their ketchup. Selection criteria for tomatoes include sweetness, texture, and flavor profile. They do not pick unripe tomatoes, but rather wait until they are completely red and at their peak of ripeness, enhancing the tomato's nutritional profile.
Hunts uses a proprietary natural steam process to prepare and pack their tomato-based products, including ketchup. This avoids chemical treatments and preserves the tomatoes close to their natural state. Natural steam increases the overall nutritional value of the tomatoes, and ultimately the ketchup from which those tomatoes are made, by preventing premature spoilage and decreasing the inadvertent incorporation of trace chemicals into the ketchup.
Hunt's ketchup is available in several different varieties. Regular Hunt's Ketchup contains tomato concentrate made from vine-ripened tomatoes, high fructose corn syrup, distilled vinegar, corn syrup, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and natural flavors. There are, however, no-salt versions and non-high-fructose corn syrup versions as well. In the non-high-fructose corn syrup version, sugar is used instead of high fructose corn syrup. In the no-salt version, no sodium is added. All versions are labeled as 100% Natural Ketchup referring to the fact that Hunt's uses only natural ingredients when making their ketchup.
The regular serving size listed on the Hunt's Ketchup bottle is one tablespoon. There are 20 to 25 calories per tablespoon. All varieties are fat-free and cholesterol-free. They also all contain 4 g of sugar, with or without the high-fructose corn syrup added. Regular Hunt's Ketchup and non-high-fructose corn syrup Hunt's Kethcup both contain 190 mg of sodium, while the no-salt version contains no sodium. Regular and high-fructose corn syrup-free versions contain 5 g of carbohydrates, while the no-sodium version contains 6 g of carbohydrates.
Additional Product Information
The formula for Hunt's ketchup has changed over the years. Consumers are increasingly more health conscious and, even with condiments, prefer products with simpler ingredients. These preferences have led to development of the no-salt and non-high-fructose corn syrup varieties. In addition, Hunt's Ketchup is certified kosher by the OK Kosher Certification, identified by the "Circle K" kosher symbol on the labels.