H.J. Heinz commercialized ketchup in 1876 by bottling it and selling it to consumers. Ketchup has a much longer history than that, however. British traders, in the 1700s, tried to mimic the spicy sauces they discovered in the Far East by combining pickled fish, oysters, walnuts, vinegar, sugar, and spices into a flavorful ketchup. After the English people came to accept tomatoes as harmless food, they started using them in their ketchup recipes, which made a great topping for meat and potatoes. Heinz conveniently bottled the ketchup, and it sold like wildfire, saving many housewives the time needed to make it from scratch.