Read This If You've Ever Struggled To Open A Ketchup Packet

Opening a ketchup packet can feel like way more of a high stakes situation than it should be. Before opening the packet, you're just hoping it will go smoothly. Then, inevitably, despite using all of your concentration to attempt to open the finicky plastic packaging, your rip goes askew and the packet is spewing its contents onto everything except for your targeted item. This first-world problem became especially pervasive during the pandemic, which saw an increase in the consumption of single-use packets, according to NPR.

In fact, Jim Osborne, an executive at US Foods, told KAKE Television in 2020 that "sales of single-serve condiments have increased up to 40% compared to last year." This increase in demand hit the condiment purveyors of the world hard and, according to USA Today, Kraft Heinz had to increase their production by 25% to keep up. As we move forward in finding a "new normal," there's a good chance that these packets will be sticking around, so we must adapt and figure out the best way to open these slippery devils — per usual, TikTok is here to save the day.

Open the packet lengthwise to avoid making a mess

Since the short edges of a ketchup packet have the little grooves in them, many people's first instinct is to use those to rip off the corner of the packet so they can precisely place the ketchup wherever they desire. This approach often goes haywire, though, with the ketchup exploding from the packet and potentially ruining your meal. As it often does, TikTok has come to the rescue to teach you a basic life skill that you may not have known about.

In a video that has racked up more than 4.5 million views, TikToker @cookiterica explains that they taught their daughter to open the ketchup packet lengthwise, so that after you rip it, you can dip the fries right in and save the mess and hassle. "TikTok really is just a list of things I've been doing incorrectly my entire life," commented one user. A couple of people from the U.K. also chimed in, explaining that they don't experience this problem because they have "pots" instead of packets. "Wait a minute!! U have packets still? We in the uk have ketchup in pots, we just remove the lid," commented one user.

"So u mean I could have been doing this instead of eating fries without ketchup in the car, thanks for the tip," said @stellausername. Go forth and dip with confidence.