A Complete Guide to Ketchup Packaging & Machine - Leverpack

A Complete Guide to Ketchup Packaging

Ketchup is one product nearly all households can’t do without. Due to the persistent rise in demand for processed and fast food across the world, the ketchup industry stands out as a billion-dollar market with a few companies paving the way. 
A unique attribute of ketchup that appeals to customers is its packaging. Regardless of the brand, they are always designed in a way that will reflect the reddish tomato color for customers to recognize at a glance. So it is a fact that packaging plays a crucial role in a product’s success. In this article, we will disclose all there is to know about ketchup packaging, its benefits, and the production line.

Ketchup Market Overview

Ketchup is a sweet flavored sauce or condiment which is prepared using a combination of tomatoes, spices, sweeteners, seasonings, and several additives. The food processing and packaging industry has really saved the world from food waste. Thanks to tomato sauce producers, everyone across the world can access fresh tomato sauce at any time of the year.

According to a report by Grand View Research in 2021, the global tomato ketchup market was valued at $20.9 billion, and it was estimated to have gained a compound annual growth rate of 2.8% by 2028. This high number portrays ketchup as a household product as it can virtually be found across various houses, restaurants, bars, and cafes around.

Due to diversity in terms of customers want, need, and choice, ketchup producers ensured the product came in diverse flavors with respect to the cultural taste in specific regions. The tomato ketchup market is a highly competitive one with lots of big names and local manufacturers striving for a foothold. Some of them include; The Kraft Heinz Company, Nestle S.A, Unilever, Del Monte Foods Inc, etc.

North America is known as a renowned stronghold for the ketchup market. In 2021 alone, North America was able to hold the largest revenue share of over 35% globally. This is a result of constant awareness of the health benefits of tomato ketchup consumption in the region.

The region is composed of people who have different races and cultures. And due to their high employment rate, most people spend lots of time working, leaving them with no choice but to embrace the consumption of processed food. Therefore, a significant amount of households in this region prefer the use of Ketchup to any other type of sauce or condiment.

Packaging of Ketchup

Great packaging is as important as the content within. This is because the type of package used would mark the first impression customers get about the product. Ketchup packaging is made with different types of materials and in different forms to house all sorts of tomato mix.

Below are the appropriate types of tomato sauce packaging, their features, pros, and cons.

Ketchup Jars

Ketchup Packaged in Jars
Source: iStock

Ketchup jars are actually made of glass material which significantly helps to preserve the taste and flavor. It is best for packaging firm sticky ketchup as it can be scooped out easily. This form of packaging increases the product’s resistance against heat, pressure, and other conditions that could damage its content. 

Ketchup jars are equipped with tight-fitting lids that help to prevent air from penetrating. One major advantage of this packaging is its transparency. This feature allows customers to see through the product for defects and also makes it much more attractive on the shelves. The ketchup jar packaging is highly sustainable as it can be reused.

However, glass jars are breakable and can pose a great threat to health when bottle fractures mix with content. Compared to some other forms of packaging, ketchup glass jars can be more expensive.

Glass Ketchup Bottles

Ketchup Packaged in a Glass Bottle
Source: istock

Glass ketchup bottles are common for packaging moderately thick tomato sauce for easy flow movement. These containers may differ from each other because various brands tend to customize theirs in different forms, sizes, and shapes.

The good advantage of the glass ketchup bottle is its impermeable and nonporous nature. It ensures the product remains fresh with a lasting shelf life.

On the flip side, glass bottles will most likely shatter when it hits the floor and it significantly increases the product’s weight leading to an increased cost of transportation.

Squeezable Ketchup Bottle

Hand squeezing ketchup out of a plastic bottle, isolated on white background
Source: iStock

This type of bottle can be used to pack overly thick ketchup as the product can be squeezed out easily. The squeezable ketchup bottle is commonly found in stores and households. The cost of producing this type of bottle is relatively low compared to some other forms of packaging 

The squeezable ketchup bottle is lightweight making it easy and cheaper to carry around in bulk or unit. This type of bottle is extremely durable, and regardless of where it falls from, it won’t break.

However, they are made of plastic, which is one of the highest contributors to waste pollution. When in extreme temperatures, polymer chemical substances might mix up with their content, posing risk to human health.

Ketchup Pouches and Bags

Ketchup in Pouches
Source: istock

This form of packaging is mostly applied to near-liquid ketchup. Pouches and bags are convenient to use and require a lesser amount of space during haulage or storage. They come in various sizes and are made from either plastics or biodegradable materials. 

Ketchup pouches and bags are tightly sealed at all ends leaving no space for moisture or air to penetrate. The cost of producing this package is way lesser compared to others.

The major disadvantage of the ketchup pouch and bag is attached to the seal. Once they are taken off, the product needs to be emptied or permanently refrigerated to avoid contamination. 

How Ketchup Packaging Design Makes Your Business Outstanding 

types of tomato sauce packaging
Source: istock

The type of packaging design used for tomato ketchup is one of the factors that determines how fast it will be sold off the shelf, especially when it is a new product. This is why a reasonable amount of resources is set aside for its design. Below are some packaging ideas that will scale your brand over others.

Resealable Ketchup Packaging 

Adopting resealable ketchup packaging like pouches, cans, or jars can help win new customers over. A lot of people prefer a ketchup product that can be opened and closed multiple times due to the convenience that comes with it. This form of packaging can be sealed whenever it’s not in use to protect its content from air and moisture. 

A resealable ketchup pouch on its own comes with a whole lot of benefits. It helps to improve product safety due to additional layers of polyethylene packaging films. This packaging film also ensures tomato sauce freshness and flavor stays intact, as well as prolonging the product shelf life.

Nowadays, most people are aware of the environmental dangers attached to waste pollution. Hence, the adoption of a resealable ketchup packet will help to drive more customers to your product. And according to an estimate from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), about one-third of produced human food is wasted yearly. But with this packaging, food waste can be reduced.

Resealable containers are lightweight and portable. They can be designed to have a gusseted bottom which is a beneficial feature to both manufacturers and users. To the manufacturers, this feature allows the bottom area of the pouch to expand when the ketchup is being poured into it, without losing its ability to contain and maintain its quality. To the users, this feature provides great stability during storage and can be versatile for other packaging needs.

Well-sealed Ketchup Packaging 

On every occasion, well-sealed ketchup packaging will ensure that the color, flavor, and taste are fully preserved for end users. The packaging hinders oxygen and contaminants from finding their way in. This way, the product’s shelf life is prolonged, customers are satisfied, and food wastage is reduced.

With a well-sealed glass ketchup package, customers trust you more as they are able to see the content before paying. Apart from this, glass jar packaging allows for designs that are unique and appealing to the eyes. It ensures that the reddish tomato color is easily sighted from afar, instilling a positive first impression in customers.

There are also well-sealed tin packaging that offers a hundred percent resistance to leakage and any form of external contaminants. This package is top-notch in terms of safety. It can be transported through harsh and rough terrains without getting damaged. Also, it can withstand extreme cold or hot temperatures, while enabling users to open or close the can multiple times as the tomato sauce stays preserved.

Eco-Friendly Glass Ketchup Packaging 

Utilizing glass material for ketchup packaging is highly sustainable. Glass is permanent material that can be recycled infinitely to reduce waste and save natural resources. Businesses that adopt the use of eco-friendly glass packaging stand a high chance of minimizing their carbon footprint and promoting a more sustainable society. 

Recycling glass material consumes a lesser amount of energy than is needed for actual production. Energy burnt during production emits carbon dioxide which is harmful to both humans and its environment. Recycling is in fact a big win for businesses as it minimizes the negative impact they have on their customers and society at large.

Eco-friendly glass ketchup packages can make your business stand out and ahead of competitors who still make use of conventional packaging. Going through this route will also help your brand win the hearts of customers who are conscious of their environment. 

Made from natural raw materials, glass ketchup packaging is designed to be impermeable and non-porous, making it impossible for unwanted substances to penetrate.

Ketchup Packaging Machines: To Improve Your Ketchup Production Efficiency 

Full use of machines to achieve efficient packaging, save production costs. Ketchup packaging is a stage-by-stage process, and each of these stages requires different types of machines. These ketchup packaging machines make the whole production process fast and efficient to meet customer demand. Details on these machines are discussed below.

Ketchup Container Cleaning Machine

Before commencing any packaging operation, most especially for food products, cleaning is mandatory. This ketchup machine ensures that the necessary materials needed are free from debris and dirt.

Ketchup container cleaning is an automated process designed to clean in and out of containers, using water, water-based cleaning compounds, air, vacuum, and steam. It undergoes various processing stages which include; container feeding, container inverting (opening down), rinsing, detergent washing, rinsing, draining, drying, and container inverting (opening up).

To begin with, containers are fed into the machine using a conveyor belt. Then they are inverted to be cleaned using high-pressure water jets for the removal of underlying residues. After this, cleaning compounds are used to wash the container again for assurance. And Finally, all containers are dried up using hot air and a vacuum to prepare them for the next stage.

Ketchup Filling Machine 

Levapack Viscous Liquid Filling Machine
Source: Levapack

The sole purpose of this machine is to ensure ketchup sauce makes its way into the container, it could be jars, cans, bottles, or bags. 

There are several types of ketchup filling machine. The most popular is the High Viscosity Piston Fillers which are specifically made to handle thick food contents like ketchup. The table-top piston filler machine needs an operator to execute the packaging process, while the automatic piston fillers function using an operator interface.

The amount of ketchup packaging you’re willing to produce per day will determine the type of piston filler to go for. Those willing to produce high numbers should go for a product with the high amount of adjustable nozzles and vice versa.

For a good job, the pathway to the fillers must maintain a constant temperature to ensure an even amount of ketchup is distributed into each container. Apart from this, the piston filler makes use of volumetric filling machine principles to ensure equal ketchup is dispensed.

Ketchup filing helps to eliminate the need for manual fillers. It is capable of filling a high amount of containers in a short while and it ensures food wastage is curbed to a manageable level.

Ketchup Sealing Machine

The sealing machine is used to make seals on the necessary edges or follicles of the ketchup container. Each type of container, be it glass, bottles, jars or pouches have different sealing techniques. With the aid of heat sealing technology and a set of rollers for pressure, container lids are heated up to form an impermeable seal.

After the container has gone through the filling stage, they are moved using a conveyor belt to the sealing point where the two jaws of the sealing device (one fixed and the other moveable) come together to form the seal. Once the container gets in between the jaws, the machine is turned on to apply heat and pressure which fuse together a melted plastic to form a seal.

The ketchup sealing machine may be adjusted in a situation where a container of a different size or shape is being used. This automated machine will help to boost a company’s productivity as regards time and labor.

Ketchup Capping Machine 

The primary function of a ketchup capping machine is to place a cover on the container. After the sealing stage, the conveyor belt moves the package down to the capping section.

The capping machine is equipped with two other features – cap sorters and cap elevators. Cap sorters work with the caps to orient them correctly before being sent to the machine for placement. While cap elevators are used to boost the process efficiency by rotating the caps until they are firm.

There are various types of capping machines namely; snap cappers, screw cappers, and automatic cappers. They perform the same function but their mode of operation is different.

The ketchup capping machine will not only speed up the production process, but it will ensure lids are well-cleaned to prevent content from manual handling contamination. It also helps save time and liquid resources.

Ketchup Labeling Machine

Labeling is one of the most important parts of product packaging. This aspect holds the whole information customers need to know about a product such as a name, flavor, nutrients, business contact details, etc. 

Once product capping is done, the conveyor belt transports the ketchup containers to this section. A labeling machine‘s mechanical system includes a drive wheel, reel, and labeling wheel. The drive wheel moves the label belt used in pulling the label reel out from the spool, and then the labeling wheel presses the label against the ketchup container. Labels can be attached to whichever part of the container, as long as it is visible for users to see.

Automation of the labeling section makes the whole process fast and reliable, it reduces the amount spent on manpower and also ensures labels are attached to the packaging without wrinkles or overlaps.

Ketchup Coding Machine

The sole purpose of the coding machine is to print expiration dates, batch codes, and all other necessary product information. This is executed using inkjet or thermal printing method, as the coding head prints the codes on the containers.

The coding head contains a thermal printhead or several nozzles which print all codes on the ketchup container with the aid of ink or heat. One good benefit of this process is that it helps manufacturers and storekeepers keep track of all inventories, and also ensures that nearly expired goods are noticed early. The machine does its work automatically leaving no room for human errors.

Ketchup Packaging Line

Ketchup packaging line consists of the whole stages and machines necessary to complete the packaging process. All these machines, which include cleaning, filling, sealing, capping, labeling, and coding work hand in hand as their functions are crucial for successful packaging.

A similar feature among these machines is automation. They are programmed to carry out tasks with respect to the current packaging need and they can be customized when different container size or shape, production capacity, and packaging material is required. 

Adopting the use of these packaging lines is one good way to boost productivity for your ketchup business. They are relatively fast and cost-saving. These machines ensure customers enjoy products that are safe from human errors and contaminations. This will boost customers’ confidence and also help your business meet up with food regulatory organizations’ requirements.

Levapack – Your Custom Ketchup Packaging Line Manufacturer

Levapack Logo
Source: Levapack

Levapack is a Chinese company focused on manufacturing quality machines to meet your ketchup packaging needs. For over 14 years we have satisfied our customers across the world with different machines that handle cleaning, filling, sealing, capping, labeling, and coding.

Our well-experienced team of engineers has helped us to remain one of the leading packaging line manufacturers across the world by always meeting up with the current ketchup packaging trend. We have a quality control unit to oversee the use of high-quality raw materials during production. And over the years, we have acquired certifications such as ISO, CE, and CSA that ensure all our automated machines are fit for application. 

Our factory is situated on a 2000 square meter area, containing a series of advanced CNC machines. Considering the product properties and sanitary requirements, we offer our clients options for customizable ketchup packaging lines to meet their daily production demands. 

We are open to supplying both small and large-scale businesses, offering both linear and rotary ketchup packaging lines. Both packaging lines are designed to handle all types of ketchup fluidity. Our machines are packed carefully with plastic wraps before placing them in a specially fabricated wooden case for haulage. And to prevent damage from shock during transit, all machines are padded properly. 

Added to our wide range of services is a one-year warranty, as well as an online/onsite installation and training on the operation and maintenance of the machine. To save you the stress of downtimes, we provide high-quality spare parts kits.


When your ketchup is placed on store shelves, the type and quality of your packaging will determine if it remains there or ends up in customers’ trolleys. As a brand, you need to understand that the commitment given to your packaging is just as important as the product itself. Appropriate packaging will help preserve the product’s taste and keep customers wanting more.

Nearly all packaged food industries are highly competitive. So finding yourself in the ketchup business, without the appropriate machines to boost your proficiency above your peers will leave your business struggling.

For more information about the best ketchup packaging line for your brand, you can contact us.

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