Primal Kitchen Ketchup Review

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Medically reviewed by:
Dr. Jennifer Hughes, MD

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Primal Kitchen's Ketchup beats any other competitor in terms of ingredients and is only subtly different in taste than what most people are probably used to; but will you pay more for it is the question.

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Our Rating:

A

» Rating Methodology

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Our Rating Methodology

We determined this rating by evaluating the following factors:

  • Ingredients and Nutritional Quality: A+
  • User Experience: A
  • Brand Experience: A
  • Value: B+
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Welcome to our Primal Kitchen Ketchup review! 

As innocent as a squirt or two of ketchup may seem, most run-of-the-mill grocery store ketchups are actually loaded with high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, and low-quality tomato concentrates.

Especially for parents, it’s vindicating to see more upstanding options like Primal Kitchen Ketchup surfacing, but how does Primal Kitchen stack up against the rest of the new wave?

After plenty of sampling and a gripping blind taste test, we’ve awarded Primal Kitchen Ketchup an A in our review for excellent flavor and an above-par ingredient list.

Primal Kitchen Ketchup
  • Description

    This vegan, USDA organic, and keto-certified ketchup provides a cleaner alternative for any diet.

  • Ingredients:

    Organic Tomato Concentrate, Organic Balsamic Vinegar (Organic White Wine Vinegar, Organic Grape Must), Less than 2% of Salt, Organic Onion Powder, Organic Garlic Powder, Organic Spices

Pros and Cons

  • Pros
  • Excellent taste
  • More organic ingredients than high-end competitors
  • Cons
  • Premium price
  • Changes in taste and texture (con for some)

Ingredients and Nutritional Quality

Summary:

Grade: A+

A largely organic ingredient list completely free of added sugars and fillers makes this vegan-certified ketchup a clean option for any diet.

Here is the ingredient list for Primal Kitchen Ketchup:

Organic Tomato Concentrate, Organic Balsamic Vinegar (Organic White Wine Vinegar, Organic Grape Must), Less than 2% of Salt, Organic Onion Powder, Organic Garlic Powder, and Organic Spices. 

This all-organic ingredient list (not counting salt) leaves little to criticize, both in terms of its core ingredients and any questionable additives like added sugar or preservatives, which are nowhere to be found.

Most high-end and even some low-quality ketchups will at least provide a bit of nutritional value with tomatoes (lycopene is pretty awesome), vinegar, onions, and one or two spices, but Primal Kitchen is a definitive step up with the addition of garlic, balsamic instead of regular vinegar, and a variety of additional spices.

We also noticed that most competing ketchups across the quality spectrum contain 15 calories per tablespoon serving, where Primal Kitchen sticks to 10 calories per serving, a rare win for the calorically liberal brand.

As for the other noteworthy nutrition facts, Primal Kitchen Ketchup contains 105mg sodium and 2g of carbs per serving, none of which count as added sugars.

Once again, we see slimmer numbers in a good way, as competing ketchups tend to range between 150-200mg sodium per tablespoon, 3-4 grams of total carbs, and 2-3 grams of added sugar.

At the risk of sounding biased—but hey, numbers and ingredient lists don’t lie—we find ourselves once again lauding Primal Kitchen for another spotless ingredient list and nutrition fact label.

We’ve got no minor or major gripes whatsoever, so it’s an A+ for ingredient and nutritional quality. 

User Experience

Summary:

Grade: A

Our Primal Kitchen Ketchup arrived undamaged and on time, tasted excellent, and was very easy to learn about and order on the site.

We didn’t plan for it, but circumstance and a whim came together on an evening of finger food indulgence to kick off the inaugural Nutrition Insider blind ketchup taste test.

We saw fries, probably too much ketchup for one home, and an opportunity to pit Primal Kitchen Ketchup against multiple competitors.

Between Primal, a popular fast food chain’s brand of ketchup, and a very popular grocery store brand, we picked Primal Kitchen in the blind taste test as the definitive winner

Most ketchups have a subtle undertone of vinegar going on, but we noticed that Primal’s was more potent, and the garlic stood out as well.

As our editor in chief described, “It was much more than the usual ‘Here’s some mushed up tomatoes.’” 

It didn’t taste like a health food item that had the sugar sucked out and/or cheaply replaced; we’ve noticed over multiple reviews now (check out Primal Kitchen Mayo!) that Primal is especially adept at recreating classic flavors while swapping out problematic ingredients with multiple organic and/or high-quality replacements.

We did notice that the texture departed from the norm of homogenous smoothness into a bit of a “less processed, real food” (“grainy” isn’t quite right, but close) texture, which could be good, bad, or neutral depending on your preference.

As for the standard minutia surrounding our purchasing and using experience, no major issues occurred—the product arrived on time and in undamaged packaging.

The bottle, lid, and label were durable and informative, and held up throughout our use of Primal Kitchen Ketchup.

In light of the excellent taste and a complete lack of any major issues throughout the buying and reviewing process, we award Primal Kitchen an A for user experience.

Brand Experience

Summary:

Grade: A

Primal Kitchen maintains a pro-consumer approach to their customer service, shipping/return policies, and informative site content, though we found a couple opportunities for improvement.

When considering this category, we factor in every major intersection between brand and consumer, including the following at a minimum:

  • Depth and breadth of website content
  • Online shopping experience
  • Customer service
  • Shipping/return policies
  • And more

Customer service testing didn’t really apply in this particular case—we had no reason to contact customer service relating to the ketchup order(s)—but extrapolating from our other experiences with Primal Kitchen, we know their customer service is solid.

Primal Kitchen has live messenger, email, and phone support, and in the past, we’ve been able to reach a helpful and polite human being via the phone line with very little hold time.

The free shipping cutoff at $50 for subscribers and $25 for non-subscribers adds a nice incentive, and our products arrive consistently on time.

As for site content, though there are info-rich blog posts and podcast episodes to peruse, there isn’t really a consolidated “start here” or “keto/Primal 101” resource for newbies to quickly educate themselves on the basics while forming a complete impression of the brand.

The shopping experience is very simple and engaging, aided by easy drop-down menus that parse out their rather large catalog (80+ products) into categories.

Every product page is well designed and amply stuffed with helpful content without feeling cluttered, and the “this much more to free shipping” meter that waits patiently in the sidebar while you shop is as convenient as it is clever from a dopamine feedback perspective—we see you, Primal Kitchen.

The two most significant complaints we have in the brand experience category are Primal Kitchen’s policy of not paying return shipping and the aforementioned issue of beginner-friendly information consolidation on the site.

Taken all into account, it’s an A for brand experience.

Value

Summary:

Grade: B+

While Primal Kitchen Ketchup outperforms most high-end competitors on ingredients, the premium is still enough to deter more casual shoppers.

Not to be confused with their Organic Unsweetened Squeeze Ketchup, Primal Kitchen’s Organic Unsweetened Ketchup in a glass bottle retails on the site for $6.49, which reduces to about $0.57/ounce. 

By the way, for palates of a more picante persuasion, Primal Kitchen Spicy Organic Unsweetened Ketchup layers some jalapeno heat over the same clean ingredients for the same price.

Now for our usual disclaimer about linear product comparisons across brands—we don’t take them too literally, as there’s too much variability in ingredients and other factors, but they at least provide a framework for assessing value.

In analyzing the competition, we found there are basically two tiers of elevated ketchup: “We just took the corn syrup out” and “We took the corn syrup out and used much better ingredients across the board.”

The first camp gets as low as $0.16/ounce, but again, you’re getting zero organic ingredients, fewer natural ingredients in general, and, in many cases, added cane sugar.

The higher end of competitors that more closely mirror Primal Kitchen’s Organic Unsweetened Ketchup (organic spices and tomato paste, little to no added sugar, etc.) are charging just under this $0.57/ounce threshold at about $0.52-$0.55/ounce.

We found that Primal Kitchen beat all of these competitors narrowly on the number and quality of natural ingredients, but on the other hand, we acknowledge that ketchup has a relatively low ceiling in terms of how much of a difference it can really make, considering the smaller quantities consumed and other factors, so we’re sticking with a B+ for value.

FAQs for Primal Kitchen Ketchup

Is Primal Kitchen Ketchup healthy?

With less sodium, sugar, and calorie content than most competitors, including zero additives or preservatives, Primal Kitchen Ketchup is much healthier than most ketchups.

How does Primal Kitchen Ketchup taste?

Our review team found that Primal Kitchen tastes much like most conventional ketchups, but less artificially sweet, and with more potent notes of vinegar and garlic.

Does Primal Kitchen Ketchup need to be refrigerated?

Yes, Primal Kitchen recommends refrigerating the ketchup after opening and abiding by the “best by” date.

Is Primal Kitchen Ketchup vegan?

Yes, Primal Kitchen Ketchup is certified vegan.

Our Verdict

Primal Kitchen Organic Unsweetened Ketchup delivered few surprises on the ingredient front, keeping to Primal Kitchen’s standards of organic, high-quality ingredients and little to no additives or added sugar.

The taste overcame two popular competitors in a blind taste test, and though most first-timers may notice a few discrepancies (stronger vinegar and garlic), they aren’t so extreme as to throw off the classic ketchup flavor.

Taking into account Primal Kitchen’s customer service response, site content, shipping and return policies, and other customer-facing elements, we came away with an impression that they want to actively engage and accommodate each customer.

Finally, you’re definitely paying a premium for Primal Kitchen products (whether ketchup, mayo, or Primal Kitchen Buffalo Sauce) and you can find close competitors that charge a few pennies less per ounce, but if it’s nothing but the best for your ketchup game, then we didn’t see anyone outperform the ingredient list.

We award Primal Kitchen Ketchup an overall grade of A, and will recommend this product to anyone looking for a tasty, healthy alternative.

Primal Kitchen Ketchup
  • Description

    This vegan, USDA organic, and keto-certified ketchup provides a cleaner alternative for any diet.

  • Ingredients:

    Organic Tomato Concentrate, Organic Balsamic Vinegar (Organic White Wine Vinegar, Organic Grape Must), Less than 2% of Salt, Organic Onion Powder, Organic Garlic Powder, Organic Spices

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