The Food Issue

Leawood’s Fine Vines wants to give your ketchup an upgrade

Updated: 2013-03-15T01:23:14Z

By JILL WENDHOLT SILVA

The Kansas City Star

Bruce Steinberg is determined to fill what he sees as a gaping hole in the ketchup market with his Fine Vines Artisanal Ketchup.

Like Grey Poupon’s siege on French’s yellow mustard, Steinberg is convinced Heinz lovers are ready for a better quality, less sweet sauce with “a real density” that makes it versatile enough to be used as a condiment, dipping sauce or cooking ingredient.

“The mustard market is very mature. The average household has several flavors,” Steinberg says. “But no shopper is interested in ketchup. Most think of it as a low-end commodity to use on burgers and French fries.”

Fine Vines, which launched last month, comes in 12 flavors, including Thai ginger, smoked serrano, grill smoke, applewood, alderwood and even black truffle. “We’re getting quite a bit of attention because truffles are considered upscale,” the Leawood-based entrepreneur says.

Chef Jasper Mirable recently took the sauces for a test drive in his kitchen, and the Roasterie teamed up with Fine Vines to create coffee ketchup sold at all three Roasterie Café locations. Other flavors are $5.99 to $6.99 per 9-ounce jar at Better Cheddar, Hy-Vee, Costentino’s Markets and select Price Choppers.

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