A few months ago a friend told me that serving anything other than name-brand ketchup to guests is a social faux pas. For example, if I have a BBQ for a group of friends and serve Heinz ketchup or Del Monte ketchup, that is just fine. If, however, I offer Safeway ketchup or Albertsons ketchup at the BBQ, my friend says I may have violated an unsaid rule.
Speaking personally, I can’t conceive of being upset with someone who invited me into their home and served me generic ketchup – or practically anything else they served me, for that matter. On the other hand, if I had food allergies I might actually be concerned about the issue.
More than anything, I am starting to think that the question is about the value of the perception of your guests. Is there really additional social value in serving a name-brand ketchup to your guests versus a generic one?