This is why the number 57 appears on every Heinz ketchup bottle

Why does that number never change?

By Asda Good Living, 04 November 2016
This is why the number 57 appears on every Heinz ketchup bottle

Have you ever stopped to study that bottle of Heinz tomato ketchup sat in your cupboard?

The '57 varities' slogan was actually the result of a train ride taken by founder Henry J Heinz back in 1896

We're guessing probably not - you're way too busy putting it on your chips to spend too much time studying the bottle, aren't you? 

However, if you were to pause and take a look at that bottle once in a while - or indeed any Heinz product - you might wonder why they all feature the slogan '57 varieties' prominently on their labels. 

After all, there are way more than 57 Heinz products available across the world these days - there are, in fact, over 5,000. So what does the slogan mean? 

Well, in the week when we're celebrating the 140th anniversary of Heinz Tomato Ketchup (if you didn't already celebrate it, go on, treat yourself to a bacon butty in its honour), people have been revisiting the brand's archives and it transpires that the '57 varities' slogan was actually the result of a train ride taken by founder Henry J Heinz back in 1896.

While riding a train in New York that year, Henry saw a sign advertising '21 styles of shoes', which he thought was quite clever - an odd number that would stick in your head. Even though Heinz was already manufacturing more than 60 products at that time, Henry thought 57 sounded like a lucky number and began using the slogan '57 varities' in all his advertising.


A photo posted by Heinz Singapore (@heinzsingapore) on

It stuck and although the company now sells more than 5,700 products around the globe, it continues to use that magic '57' on everything. 

And here's another top tip: if you're still buying the glass Heinz Tomato Ketchup bottles, instead of the squeezy ones, you'll probably have noticed the '57' etched into the glass on the neck - that's not just for show; it's to help you get the sauce out of the bottle.

Instead of spending hours desperately shaking it to try and get some sauce out, the folks at Heinz say you should just hold your ketchup bottle at an angle and hit the little 57 spot to get the sauce flowing.

'To release ketchup faster from a glass bottle, here is a little secret from Heinz,' a spokesperson explained. 'The sweet spot to tap on the Heinz bottle is the 57 on the neck. All you need to do is apply a firm tap where the bottle narrows, and the ketchup will come out easier.'

That really is magic.