Anyone Remember Snider’s Catsup?

As regular readers of this blog know, I enjoy looking through old magazines to see what folks were interested in during any given month and year. This is especially helpful in constructing fictional characters because those old periodicals provide subjects that they might have discussed at the kitchen table or in their favorite tavern. The advertisements can also tell the reader what the popular products were, all of which leads me to Snider’s Catsup.

Does anyone remember this brand?

In reading through the February 17, 1947 issue of Life magazine, I discovered a full-page ad for Snider’s Catsup, a brand that I never knew existed. An internet search revealed a television commercial from 1956, meaning that it was still around when I was about to enter the world, yet, as a brand, it seems to have just disappeared. The photo caption of one of its shipping crates, posted by the National Museum of American History, states that the company began as the T. A. Snider Preserve Company of Cincinnati, Ohio in 1879 and was one of the largest catsup makers by the turn of the 20th century. A Pinterest page indicates that Snider’s was also manufactured in Marion, Indiana.

An on-line article on the television show Mad Men lists Snider’s as a brand that existed at the time the show opens, adding that it was bought and sold by the Bird’s Eye division of General Foods, which apparently had already happened by 1947 when the Life magazine ad appeared, because “General Foods” appears in very small print in the ad itself.

Further searching on the Internet reveals all kinds of ads and bottles for sale on e-Bay, but no real information on the company or what happened to it.

Therefore, I’m calling on all readers to become detectives! First, does anyone remember Snider’s Catsup? Second, I know I have at least one reader each in Cincinnati and in Indiana: Do you all have any local information on Snider’s? I’d like some company as I dive down this catsup rabbit hole!


About Austin Gisriel

You know the guy that records a baseball game from the West Coast in July and doesn't watch it until January just to see baseball in the winter? That's me. I'm a writer always in search of a good story, baseball or otherwise.
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49 Responses to Anyone Remember Snider’s Catsup?

  1. Dick Snyder says:

    Nope! Never heard of it.


  2. Gene B. says:

    I remember it from the sixties in Chicago. They had tomato and sweet pepper versions.


  3. Alice Muncaster says:

    From Linnea’s Bottles and History Blog:
    The TA Snider Preserve Company
    In 1879, 2 men, Thomas A Snider and Robert T Skinner formed a canning business based in Cincinnati, Ohio. According the the book Pure Ketchup, their tomato ketchup recipe was derived from Thomas’s wife’s tomato recipes, a woman well known for her excellent preserved food.
    TA Snider Preserve company was later formed after Skinner and Snider dissolved the canning business. The TA Snider company was known for their use of all natural ingredients. The company often advertised the fact that the brand lacked preservatives to appeal to consumers who were looking for a healthier ketchup. TA Snider also sold canned tomato soup as well as canned beans, relish, and oyster sauce. His products were distributed around the United States and Canada. TA Snider was one of the most popular tomato ketchup brands in the United States.


  4. John D says:

    I grew up in Eastern Iowa and my aunt, whose last name was Snyder, used it and I still remember how good it was. This would have been in the mid to late 50’s.


  5. Mari Nelson says:

    I remember eating Snider’s Catsup in the 50s and 60s. It was the only kind my mom bought. She worked at the local A&P and purchased it there. When I got married in the early 70s, I would buy Heinz, because it didn’t taste as spicy or strong as Snider’s did. I don’t remember the last time I saw Snider’s in a store in the Chicago area, as that’s where I’ve lived my who life.


  6. genderkitten says:

    Grew up with Snider’s chili pepper catsup as our family catsup.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wayne in Washington says:

    I remember Snider’s Hot Catsup back in the 50s. It’s great to see nostalgia like this!


  8. deguello13 says:

    I pulled up this blog looking for mention of Snider’s Catsup wondering what happened to the brand. It was my preferred catsup of choice as a young teen in the 50’s because it had some kick that Heinz did not. I recall it was much darker red in color than the others too. Looks as if the owners of Heinz bought the brand and killed it, but I have not found verification.


  9. Cheney Coker says:

    Snider’s was popular in Houston in the mid 60’s. As mentioned above, they had a Snider’s Hot version that was our family favorite. Some have said that the Whataburger spicy Ketchup is very similar. Snider’s was purchased by Hunts in January of 1953 and Hunts continued to produce catsup under the Snider name until the early 70’s.,a%20husband%20and%20wife%20team.


  10. Dianne Parmer says:

    been digging old bottles from this farm land dump on my property, getting tons of all sorts of bottles. Today , to my surprise, I dug up 2 snider catsup bottles almost side by side. There were many, probably over 30 of this style bottle design in the past sev. months. Todays had the paper labels and I am glad to now know what manuf. of it is. I am 73 and don’t remember this brand, but it was here in Georgia.


  11. Steve says:

    I have an October 1945 Life Magazine with a similar add including “Copyright 1945 by General Foods”.

    But they spelled it wrong 😉


  12. Ray says:

    Believe it or not, I saw an ad for this last night during an episode of Off Beat Cinema. Sometimes they’ll run old ads and such if the movie they’re featuring has a short run time (they also ran a Betty Boop ‘toon!). Naturally, I had to see if it’s still made. Sorry I missed it. Sounds like it was good!


    • Thanks for sharing, Ray! It’s amazing how many people have commented about a long gone ketchup.


      • Ray says:

        For me, it’s because it sounds so interesting, and I’d never heard of it before. I grew up at a time when it COULD have been used in my family, but my mom either chose not to buy it, or maybe its reach did not extend to CA. I tend to think it was a bit head of its time, what with so many things being “Flaming” this and “Super hot” that in terms of many snack foods lately.


  13. Jack says:

    In the late 40’s and early 50’s Orleans County, NY was one of the top tomato producing counties in the US. Snider’s catsup and chili sauce were manufactured in a large plant in Albion, NY. At that time Snider’s was a division of Birds Eye. My father, grandfather and two uncles worked for them at one time. General Foods owned Birds Eye. Hunt’s acquired the plant sometime in the late 50’s and started bottling their our catsup there. There may have been some Snider’s catsup plants on the west coast as well, since I recall seeing Snider’s catsup at a diner in the mid-west several years later.
    The sweet aroma of catsup being processed could be smelled for miles during processing season.


  14. Pam says:

    I have an old cookbook from the late 1930’s that specifically references Sniders catsup in recipes. It’s listed as the best catsup.


  15. Pingback: More on Snider’s Catsup and other entries | Austin Gisriel

  16. A H says:

    In 1960 thru 1963 I was living in Columbus Mississippi. Snider’s catsup was sold there and to this day I remember it as the best catsup I’ve ever tasted. I do not remember if it was spelled with a K or a C but I do remember how tasty it was. Very thick and rich with a little tang I always assumed it was a regional product as it was hard to find.


    • Snider’s clearly still has lots of fans. Thanks for commenting.


      • Shaun Snider says:

        Just found this page. I’m a Snider and I’m researching about the Snider brand. We happened to find an old shipping box, a few years back at a flea market in Texas, with the Snider brand on all 4 sides and was shell shocked to see that name on an antique. I am pleased to read all of the comments on the page of how good it was. Wish I could’ve tried it. Would love to learn more about it. Thank y’all.


      • Thank you for sharing!


  17. Susan Maley Hall says:

    I don’t know much about the actual Snider family but my paternal grandmother, Edith Peterson, who came from Sweden in 1898, was the cook for the Snyder family. They spent the winter at their large river-to-ocean property and home in Jupiter, Florida (which I saw as a child but no longer exists) and she came with them. While there, she met my paternal grandfather, Frederick William Maley, who was the captain of their riverboat. They married in 1903 and moved to Daytona Beach, Florida where his family had settled in 1885. I have continued to live in the Daytona area ever since. I have a large mirror over my fireplace that the Snider family gave to them as a wedding gift, as well as a marble top table.
    I would love to know more about the Snider family.


  18. Dan L Richmond says:

    I have a SNIDER’S wooden crate side panel from the 20’s.


  19. Mary Guizio says:

    I thought you might like to know that my husband dug up a Snider’s Catsup bottle at Point San Luis Lighthouse Station at Avila Beach, CA. in 1970 while stationed there. From the markings on the base of the bottle it was made sometime between 1890 (when the lighthouse was built) and 1914 when Swindler Bros. glass company stopped making that bottle with Cincinnati, embossed on the base, as Snider Co, moved to Chicago. Mr. Thomas Albert Snider was the founder of Sniders Preserve Company and as the story goes his wife Susan, was a great cook and developed the Catsup, Chili Catsup and Tomato Soup recipe for her boarders. Mr. Snider sold 75% of his business in 1901 to a long time employee, Jefferson Livingston. Then the rest in 1909. Mr. Livingston sold the business in 1923 to a New York Company, who changed their name to Snider Preserve Co. because the Catsup was so successful. Eventually by 1953, Hunts Food Inc. bought the company and sold the products under Snider Brand until 1970, The sad part of this story is that Mr. Snider became a millionaire, but his first wife died in 1894, he remarried and his 2nd wife died in 1900. He marries for a 3rd time and both he, his wife, niece and chauffeur where killed in a car accident in 1912 on his honeymoon when it was hit by a train in Erie County, Pennsylvania. Sad, but true.


    • Thank you for sharing more of the Snider Catsup story. By the time all you readers finish commenting on this long-gone company, I could write a book. Or rather, we would have all written a book.


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