For over two decades now, Americans have set ranch dressing as the best selling salad topper – overtaking Italians. You might wonder, why is a simple mixture of buttermilk, herbs and mayonnaise make Americans crazy just to liven up their daily vegetable intake?
In the earlier days, ranch dressing was just a simple old plain delicacy. A couple who owns a dude ranch in Santa Barbara, California, Gayle and Steve Henson give out ranch dressing in to-go bottles for their guests just because they love it. Soon after, they started manufacturing the dressing in small packets because they thought that since their group of friends constantly ask for it, they might as well make it known to the entire retail market.
In their first few months of operation, their product was a bit problematic. The small packet that you can purchase would have to be blended with herbs and buttermilk yourself and not every household has a spare box of buttermilk lying around in the fridge. Regardless of this issue, the Hensons’ product has became a hit and sold reasonably well. In 1972, the brand Hidden Valley Ranch was purchased by the Clorox Company for $8 million. Let me tell you, that is huge money during that time.
Clorox then made the ranch easier to use by reformulating the original recipe. Eventually, the scientists of the company made the product shelf stable which is the biggest reason why it is now a national favorite! There is then a sudden rise to non-refrigerated dressing bottles because of the success of the ranch dressing. Today, it now holds for an astounding 85 percent of an $1.7 billion salad dressing industry according to the market research firm, Mintel.
As soon as the dressing is made available in non-refrigerated bottles, Americans have been dying to get their hands on it. Every family burger restaurant all over the country bought stacks and stacks of it to compel diners into coming frequently. The whole country fell in love with its rich yet inoffensive taste. It does not posses the objectionable ingredients that other dressings contain like the chili sauce which is a key component of the Thousand Island and anchovies found in the Green Goddess and the Caesar salad dressing.
Will Ranch Dominate the Realm of Dressings Forever?
As of the moment, ranch is still the number one dressing in all of America. There are no contenders for the top slot yet but honey Dijon, which is the 7th most popular dressing in the country, is making very impressive strides into the list.
Recent instances of decadence based in ranch dressing suggest that a backlash is soon to happen. Nowadays, restaurateurs are starting to offer ranch dressing as a dipping sauce. They have been inspired largely by the sudden rise of Buffalo wings’ popularity that traditionally comes with a complementary sauce of blue cheese dressing. Shanghai wings are also being accompanied now by a mixture of ranch and wasabi dressing.
It doesn’t end there. Myriads of Pizza Hut franchises are also offering cups of ranch dressing alongside their pies after they discovered that a lot of their teenage diners were dipping their slices into the dressing. Yes, we know what you are thinking. This is definitely arterial suicide. However, people are loving it! If you have not tried the Dippin’ Strips Pizza of Pizza Hut then you are definitely missing out bigtime.
Short of being hosed down with ranch dressing and slurping it all the way, that is about as much fat rush your body can handle.