The Funny Reason Hunt's Just Created Uranus Ketchup

On Tuesday, Hunt's declared that they dared to dream of a new ketchup with the word "Uranus" on the label. In a press release, the company explained that on November 17, 2021, the first 100 people who responded to a Tweet written by Hunt's would receive a free bottle of its Uranus Ketchup and a shirt branded with an image of the bottle and the slogan, "It's out of this world." 

As of writing, the giveaway has already concluded. Fret not, though — the only difference between these bottles of Hunt's ketchup and those available at your local supermarket is the labeling. In fact, the shotgun nature of this entire enterprise was because the company was responding to an idea pitched on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." In a clip shared on Facebook, the writing team responded to the news that Heinz was developing ketchup with tomatoes grown under Mars-like conditions: "Love ketchup and space, but Mars isn't far enough out for you? Introducing Hunt's Uranus Ketchup." The rest of the bit made merry with the fact that the planet sounds very vulgar, and Hunt's apparently felt pressured to cash in on publicity generated by the joke.

Wait, what was that about Mars?

Before the ketchup industry got sidetracked by scatological puns, we were learning that Heinz had released a Marz Edition ketchup. As CNN explains, a team of astrobiologists collaborated at the Florida Institute of Technology's Aldrin Space Institute to see if they could grow tomatoes using the same soil, temperature, and water conditions as Mars. "What this project has done is look at long-term food harvesting," said Andrew Palmer, the team's leader. "Achieving a crop that is of a quality to become Heinz Tomato Ketchup was the dream result, and we achieved it."

While the prospect of anyone actually living on Mars is still an astronomically distant prospect, the fact it has been proven that you could theoretically produce ketchup on it is simply really cool. And as much as Hunt wants to be seen as a space race contender against Heinz, the fact that their contribution was a neat label based on a joke about gastronomical insertions between the glutei maximi doesn't bode well for the company.