Red or Brown

Ketchup hailed as condiment King

  • One in twenty (5%) of Brits admit they put ketchup on EVERY meal!
  • Vinegar is the North’s chip topping of choice (21%)
  • Heinz and Hellman’s pull in the votes when it comes to brands

It’s one of life’s unanswered questions that has torn apart friendships and families for decades, but can finally end the debate, revealing that the UK’s number one condiment for chips is officially… ketchup!

Putting to rest years worth of arguments,’s research has found that tomato ketchup reigns supreme with 21% of participants listing it as their favourite chip sauce, beating vinegar (20%), gravy (6%) mayonnaise (8%), and even salt (19%) for the title of the UK’s favourite chip condiment.

Brown sauce, vinegar, mayonnaise, curry sauce and gravy were all in the running for Britain’s top topping but ketchup came out the clear winner, perhaps explaining why an estimated 281 million kilograms of the red stuff was sold in the UK last year[1], equivalent to almost 23,500 double decker buses*!

The nation’s favourite chip toppings are:

  1. Tomato ketchup - 21%
  2. Vinegar - 20%
  3. Salt - 19%
  4. Mayonnaise - 8%
  5. Curry sauce - 7%
  6. Gravy - 6%
  7. Brown sauce - 5%
  8. Garlic mayo - 2%
  9. Barbecue sauce - 2%
  10. Sweet chilli sauce - 1%

For 5% of those surveyed, their love of ketchup goes so far that they admit to putting ketchup on every meal. With an estimated 2.65 million Brits using ketchup everyday[2], the numbers definitely add up.

That said, not everyone is as fond of red sauce, with 15% of participants in’s study acknowledging that they found putting ketchup on everything one of the most annoying things that Brits do.

One ketchup lover, takes his passion for tomato sauce further than anyone else.

28-year old John Geraghty from London, self-crowned #1 ketchup fan, explains his love for the condiment:

"I absolutely love ketchup, I add it to almost everything - it really adds a kick to every meal and makes things taste instantly better! My absolute favourite is ketchup with bangers and mash, but I'll eat it on pretty much everything (except maybe curry). I even put it on my beans!

"My friends and family do judge me a little bit on my ketchup obsession. I took four big bottles with me when I went travelling to South America, because I was worried I'd struggle to get any. But whatever, haters gonna hate, tomatoes gonna tomate."

When it comes to ketchup, one brand immediately springs to mind. Looking into market data, found that, perhaps unsurprisingly, Heinz outstripped all competition, with over 19 million users in 2017[3]. After a considerable gap, Tesco and Asda’s own ketchup brands follow with over 3 million and just under 2 million users that year. The UK’s top five ketchup brands are:

  1. Heinz -19,678,000
  2. Tesco - 3,671,000
  3. Asda - 1,983,000
  4. Sainsburys - 1,848,000
  5. Daddies - 1,824,00

With arguments surrounding chip toppings often centring around gravy or curry sauce, the UK’s North/South divide seems to extend to ketchup use too, with tomato sauce proving more popular in the southern parts of the nation (27%) than the North (17%). Conversely, those in the North enjoy vinegar (21%) almost twice as much as their southern counterparts (12%).

Commenting on the research, Karina Adrian, Head of Brand Acquisition at said: “Whether it’s on chips, a burger or anything else, you can’t beat a nice dollop of ketchup, or whatever your condiment of choice is. Hopefully now that we have the official stats, the arguments can be put to rest and we can get back to just enjoying our favourite sauces!”


Notes to editor:

Based on a survey of 1,000 respondents carried out online by OnePoll.

One double decker bus weighs 12 tonnes (, making 23,417 buses in 281,000,000kg.

North/South divide calculated using boundaries found here:

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