The '57' on a Heinz ketchup bottle is put in a specific position for a very important reason
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Condiments shall always remain at the very heart of British cuisine; a good fry-up is nothing without a blob of tomato ketchup, while a sausage butty always deserves a liberal squirt of brown sauce.
But because they’re so entrenched in our culture, few of us have actually taken much time to consider the finer details – like what the ‘HP’ in HP Sauce stands for.
Then there’s also the matter of that ‘57’ on the neck of Heinz Tomato Ketchup bottles, which, it transpires, is there for a reason.
It's fairly common knowledge that the number represents the variety of products Heinz has, although the figure itself was only really dreamt up by Henry Heinz through luck.
The Heinz website explains: “Henry was born an innovator, and created a whole series of new products over this period. By 1896, he sold over 60 products.
“When he spotted a shoe company advertising 21 styles of show, he was inspired to create our iconic ‘57 varieties’ slogan.
“Why 57? No one knows for sure. Henry claimed five was his lucky number, and seven was his wife’s. But he also believed seven was a significant number for people of all ages. Whatever his reasons the number stuck!”
But it turns out there’s not only a reason for the number, but also its strategic placement on the glass bottles of red sauce.
You see, the '57' is placed on the bottle neck as the best spot to tap in order to get sauce out quicker, and more efficiently.
The Heinz website once had a trivia section that explained: "To release Heinz Tomato Ketchup from its glass bottle with extra speed, apply a firm tap to the spot marked '57' on the neck label."
“All you need to do is apply a firm tap where the bottle narrows, and the ketchup will come out easier.”
The '57' can also be found twice on plastic squeezy bottles, with one on each side of the neck. Presumably those act as another 'sweet spot' to help squeeze the sauce out?
As for that HP Sauce revelation we mentioned earlier - well, the clue for that is also on the bottle.
You may have noticed that a standard bottle will have the two letters emblazoned on the top in big, white writing, while Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster sits below in blue - the latter of which is more commonly known as the Houses of Parliament. H... P.