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Tomato Sauce : What brand/s do you buy?

I too prefer Mon, but cannot find it easily, so have resorted to Masterfoods, although recently came across Dick Smith’s squeeze bottle and that is a good sauce.


I was raised on Rosella and at 73 still is the only one I buy. Years ago I had bought Tom Piper Tom sauce and my son dropped it on the footpath and the bottle smashed. I was shocked by the way everything the sauce touched was stained even hands. Looked very artificial. Never bought that brand again. I don’t know if it is still around?


I am not so sure they are…and any difference is potentially marketing spin to try and differentiate one product from the next.

If one looks at the ingredients of say Heinz Ketchup with say Masterfood Tomato Sauce, the ingredients are basically the same.

The Heinz product (Made in NZ from local and imported) ingredients are…

  • Concentrated Tomatoes (Contains 206g of Tomatoes per 100mL), Sugar, Salt, Concentrated White Vinegar, Food Acid (Citric Acid), Natural Flavours (Contains Garlic), Spice. Contains 77% Concentrated Tomatoes.

The Masterfood product (Made in Australia - ingredient sources vary - average 60% Australian) ingredients are…

  • Tomatoes 76% (from Paste), Sugar, Salt, Food Acid (Acetic), Onion, Spice Extract.

The main difference in the products is the location of manufacture and Australian content. The other difference looking at the nutritional panel is that the Heinz product has significantly more salt (sodium) than the Masterfood product.

Looking at other tomato sauces…

Coles Tomato Sauce (Made in Australia from at least 90% Australian) ingredients …

  • Tomato Puree (79%) [Water, Tomato Paste], Sugar, Salt, Food Acids (260, 330), Natural Flavouring.

This one is also similar to the Heinz product, but also has significantly less salt.

Maybe the amount of salt added differentiates between a sauce and ketchup?

Rosella (Made in Australia from at least 98% Australian) ingredients…

  • Tomato Puree from 100% Australian Grown Tomatoes (76%), (Water, Tomato Paste), Sugar, Salt, Acidity Regulator (260), Flavour.

No, salt concentrations don’t differentiate the product names as the Rosella tomato sauce has a salt content similar to that of the Heinz product

No, this is not the case either. As seem above, the concentration of tomatoes in the Heinz product is similar to that of other well known brands. Some other brands have slightly more tomato content, while others have slightly less.

No, this doesn’t appear to be the case from the nutritional panels. The sugar contents, like the tomato contents are all similar. All products (inc. Heinz) have food acids added so I am not sure if the 'vinegary content stacks up either. The only way to check tomato sauce and ketchup ‘vinegary’ levels would be to do a pH test.

Tomatoes are naturally acidic and the food acid is likely to be added to further reduce the pH to to minimise the risk of spoiling/pathogen growth.

Thickness will depend on the final moisture content of the product. As water is not an ingredient, thickness is most likely to be influenced by the concentration of tomatoes in the product. As the tomato content between those labelled as ketchup and tomato sauce are similar, ketchup is unlikely to be thicker in those products which have similar tomato contents.

There could be slight differences in the spices/flavours added between sauces, but there seem to be variation between those labelled as tomato sauces and also with ketchup.These spices/flavours may change the taste slightly and potentially to assist in differentiating taste between brands, but would not result in one being called a sauce with the other a ketchup.

It appears from the ingredients lists and nutritional panels, that the only difference between a ketchup is perception and marketing rather than being a different product. The only other difference is the location the product is made and amount of Australian content, neither would substantially differentiate the end product.


Concentrate is different to just Puree so if you have 77% concentrated tomatoes as in the Heinz product it is different to 79% pureed tomatoes in the Coles product (which they acknowledge is a mix of water and paste to make a puree) and again the same for Rosella. As an example the Leggo’s paste is a concentrate and is termed “triple concentrated blend” and while it may be also a puree it is different to a bottle of tomato puree eg a bottle of Passata which is very much more liquid. The Ketchup from Heinz has Concentrate that is about twice as much tomato per 100 ml as puree would have, ie the concentrate has 206g of tomatoes per 100ml of the concentrate so close to double concentrate.

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I asked our relo, the tin tank , who says usually sweeter and thicker, and all other variations brand specific. Supporting that, sweeter and thicker were the most common comments I found while searching and reading threads…


Agree that puree is different to concentrate. Looking at what tomato concentrate is, it appears to be the same as tomato paste (in food technology, the wording is interchangeable). I suspect that tomato concentrate/paste is favoured by some companies as the transport cost per unit of equivalent tomato is cheaper than say shipping fresh tomatoes with concentrating down before making the sauce(which is possibly why many Australian tomato products are puree - a water reduction and straining). Where tomato paste/concentrate is used in tomato sauce/ketchup may be thinning up with water to gain the right consistency.

It is worth noting that Masterfoods tomato ingredient is paste…which is the same as concentrate. Therefore use of concentrate/paste doesn’t differentiate between sauce or ketchup.

One other potential difference is if the NZ made Ketchup uses US sourced tomato concentrate/paste, then it is possible that the US pastes are often sweetened using high fructose corn syrup/HFCS (there are reports that US tomato paste/concentrates can be sweetened during processing with HFSC). The sugar may be added during processing in the US and not as an addition in NZ. HFCS syrup is also slightly sweeter to the taste which could also cause one to believe that Heinz Ketchup is sweeter. I suspect that only Heinz will be able to confirm the source and alteration of their ketchup.

Assuming Masterfoods tomato paste source is not from the US, maybe a difference then is the type of sugar used for sweetening, HFCS (US pastes) compared to cane sugar (non-US pastes/concentrates or purees).

I addresses this above. Where there may be a difference with high salt sauces in comparison with ketchup is that the Rosella tomato sauce which has similar salt concentration to the Heinz Ketchup has 2.4% less sugar. Whether this makes a difference to the sweetness, I don’t know but since on of salts ‘benefits’ is it being a flavour enhancer, it could potentially increase the sweetness taste of a sauce/ketchup. In such case and if it is correct, then the Heinz Ketchup would taste slightly sweeter than the Rosella due to higher salt…however…the Masterfood has 1…6% more sugar than Heinz, and wonder if there is a salt/sugar effect, if the additional 1.6% compensates for the lower salt in the Masterfood product?

The other factor may be the potential use of HFCS in tomato concentrate/paste for ketchup manufacture as outlined above.

The last factor may be that Heinz is a part of the American Heinz Kraft multinational. In the US, the term Ketchup is generally used instead of sauce…and for consistency of naming products worldwide, it is possible that the naming convention is to support its US parent rather than local name variations.

I think I have learnt more about tomato sauces that I needed to, but it has been an interesting way to fill in part of the day.


Masterfoods don’t say 76% Tomato concentrate they actually say " Tomatoes 76% (from Paste)", this may simply mean that by content it is 76% tomato derived from paste (ie may contain water). Heinz specifically note it is concentrated Tomato and that this concentrate is 77% of the ingredients if I am reading it correctly.

As you say only Heinz and Masterfoods can enlighten us as to the exact makeup of their tomato ketchups and sauces and tomato pastes/concentrates, and if they are reading this thread they will hopefully respond to clarify (and I do mean that).

Emailed Heinz to hopefully get an answer from them.


I now buy the Aldi labeled at least 98% Australian ingredients and 100% Australian tomatoes used to buy white crow but it’s only at least 20% Australian so now I buy Aldi also buy it in 2 litre bottles and transfer to squeeze bottles and I have never put it in the fridge


Many years ago I bought a ‘no salt added’ tomato sauce in a local supermarket. It was one of the larger brands of tomato sauce, nothing exotic. I want a no-salt sauce because I only want to use it on things such as snags - which are always too salty. The no-salt sauce partially negates the salt in the snag to give an overall better result.
For years now I occasionally check the shelves in supermarkets but cannot find a no-salt sauce. The so-called ‘low salt’ sauces are a joke - as shown by their nutrition labels.
Before writing this I decided to try Google - and found Pop’s Tomato Sauce with only 110mg of sodium per 100g, 88% tomato content, 100% Australian. From their facebook page I found it is sold in a butcher’s in the next town - I’m trying that one!


@rdathan Let us know how you go with the low salt sauce . I agree the salt content in most of the popular tomato sauces seems rather high .


Whilst on the subject of salt, I had to laugh whilst watching Adrian Richardson on his show, Secret Meat Busines, on SBS last week.

As always, he put plenty of salt on the meat and said “If you’re worried about eating too much salt, then don’t put any on your veggies.”

“No one is going to eat them anyway”.



We buy 333 because it is Australian made from 100% Australian ingredients. In fact I fail to understand why we don’t all buy goods that are Australian made from Australian ingredients, all the time. We do.

We used to locally produce so much that we now import. Shame


The Morwell (Victoria) butcher had Pop’s Tomato Sauce in two sizes - 600ml and 300ml - in squeeze bottles. I bought the 600ml for $4.
I did an initial taste test from a teaspoon - perfect. Tomato flavour, no excess of vinegar or sugar, and suitable consistency. Together with the low salt and 100% Australian means I can ask for no more. For me then, the best tomato sauce … in the world! (that I am aware of). :grinning:
Caveat - I don’t normally go around testing tomato sauces.


@rdathan Must see if I can find a local supplier . Thanks for the input .


I’m even older than you Garry and also raised on Rosella which I continued to use faithfully until a couple of years ago when our supermarket ran out of the regular recipe and only had salt-free, which I dislike intensely. So I grabbed a bottle of White Crow and was instantly converted.
As for refrigeration - NEVER! It sits on the shelf in the pantry for months and keeps as good as new until the last drop.


Ha Ha. Like us, never goes in the fridge. Have never seen white crow in this part of the country. Why do you think it is better? Cheers


Update to my email query with Heinz. They have given me a contact number and reference to ring them to get clarification about exactly what I want to know. I will be following it up on Monday to see if I can get an answer.


Answer from Heinz on Ketchup vs Sauce, they are different. Ketchup is thicker than sauce as they use less liquid ie more concentrated tomato paste than if it is their sauces such as Big Red & Watties. They couldn’t give me exact details as they are proprietary information regarding their recipes but the spices etc are similar (so assume not exactly the same but close). A very pleasant conversation with the Heinz employee so kudos to them for employing great staff.


I buy whichever sauce has the lowest sugar content. At the moment that seems to be Masterfoods. Rosella tastes better but has more sugar. oh well.


Ripe tomatoes have an amount of natural sugars anyway, this portion increases when they are concentrated into pastes/sauces. In their natural fresh state they are about 95% water and about 4% carbs (including sugar which is about 2.7%). Most tomato sauces have at least 20% of their 100g as added sugar so if a sauce is say 45g sugar per 100g then you could guess at about 25% (or a bit less) was naturally occurring in the fruit. A lot of sugar regardless of addition or not sadly for diabetics.

So eating the fresh product or pureeing it over a dish may be the better outcome :smile: