Volkswagen was doing a surprising amount of R&D in the 1970s. They developed one of the first computerized driving simulators, they introduced their first unibody cars, and they were preparing the complex migration of their product line from rear-engine, air-cooled cars to modern FWD water-cooled ones. Oh, and they developed their own currywurst and special ketchup.
Yes, VW makes its own sausage and ketchup, and not just for internal use, though they are mostly sold in Volkswagen's factories. They're also sold in supermarkets, and it's not exactly a little niche market— in 2011, they sold 4.84 million currywursts. To compare, in the first half of 2011, they sold 2.89 million vehicles. So are they a sausage company with a lucrative vehicle sideline?
Ketchup-wise, the Volkswagen formulation is slightly more viscous than conventional ketchups to better pair with the Volkswagen currywurst. Think of it like using thick, creamery 20-50 oil in an old air-cooled Beetle. It's been bottled since 1997, and is also a strong seller— 425,000 bottles in 2009.
Our new editor Matt Hardigree will be in Germany very soon, so someone please serve this man some VW sausage and ketchup. And get some for yourself. His treat!