Today I want to talk to you about Ketchup. And Cocaine.
This miscellaneous rambling is spurred on by this terrible tweet from the US Attorney’s office:
*BREAKING NEWS* 16.5 tons of cocaine has an approximate street value of over $1 billion. @ICEgov @CBPMidAtlantic @PhillyPolice @USCG https://t.co/GoY2bz4LlE— U.S. Attorney EDPA (@USAO_EDPA) June 18, 2019
The U.S. Attorney’s office is very proud to announce the United States Government has acquired a BILLION dollars in cocaine before it was unleashed upon an unsuspecting public. Good for them. Had our war on drugs not driven up the price of narcotics so much, it’s very doubtful we could brag about such expensive cocaine. So, good for us, too.
Now let’s talk about Ketchup.
If I were to buy a personal-use amount of ketchup to use, personally, it wouldn’t be much. I can get a 31 ounce bottle of Heinz Ketchup on Amazon right now for $3.48. 31 ounces is a good amount. A bit for me, and maybe a little for my friends if they happen to be around.
That comes out to a little over 11 cents per ounce of ketchup. Not bad to soothe my ketchup habit. I’ve developed an affinity for ketchup and actually met others who love ketchup, though. I got a guy. He can get me more ketchup and that will last me a little longer. Since I know and trust him AND because the per-ounce price is a little better, I’d rather get it from him when I can.
His name is Walmart, and the street value of his ketchup comes out to about 6 cents an ounce. Nearly half!
I probably shouldn’t know what I’m about to tell you, but I do and I’m going to share it with you. I know where everybody is getting their ketchup. They’re getting it from wholesale outlets- and they’re getting it cheap.
If I cut out the middleman I can actually get 60 gallons- or 7680 ounces of ketchup! At a price of of only $457.20 it comes out to a street value of…
…how would I even know? What am I going to do with 60 gallons of ketchup? I couldn’t eat it all before it went bad- that’s nasty. I couldn’t repackage and sell it to my friends- I don’t have anywhere to store it, I can’t ship it, and I definitely don’t have “60 gallons of ketchup” worth of friends.
There is no street value to 60 gallons of ketchup. There’s only wholesale value. And that wholesale value is A LOT lower per-ounce than the personal use bottles I buy.
Ketchup is gross, though. In reality I don’t even like it. I don’t want to buy it in 16 ounce, 31 ounce, or 60 gallon lots. The per-ounce value to me is even lower than what Amazon gets for it… which means I hardly every buy it (but likely pay more per ounce when I do).
Some people love it though. I’ve heard there are even disgusting people who put it on bratwurst. They probably also have friends who love it and probably even have parties where people get together and use ketchup in groups.
Those people probably buy ketchup in bigger batches than I. They probably pick some up for their friends when they get it. Because they’re passing it around you might call them ketchup dealers, although I don’t think they’re ketchup “dealers” any more than a person who buys a round of beers at the bar is a beer distributor.
Those ketchup power users are going to pay less-per-ounce than I am because an ounce doesn’t last them as long and they don’t want to buy it (for them or their friends) every day. So, they buy in bulk but they still aren’t buying wholesale.
The street level cost of “an ounce” of ketchup is really hard to accurately pin.
But we’re not talking about Ketchup here, we’re talking about how there’s no way that cocaine bust was actually a billion dollars of coke.