Newsflash: Americans Are Dumping Ranch Dressing All Over Everything

(elana's pantry)

Lucky carrot sticks getting a ranch bath. (elana’s pantry)

Oh, hello there. I didn’t notice you, busy as I was using this slice of pizza as a dedicated ranch dressing spoon. Anyway, friend, while you and I might not need anything official to know that Americans are dumping, slathering and otherwise distributing ranch dress on all kinds of food, a new report says it’s the No. 1 condiment shipped to our country’s food service outlets.

The NPD Research group said in a report released yesterday (H/T to The Salt) calling ranch the “Swiss Army knife” of salad dressings (which makes me think of biting a knife, and that’s wrong) as Americans eat it with veggies, on salads and with pizza dipped into it, along with a myriad other food uses.

NPD says it’s the top ready-to-use dressing flavor shipped to places like cafeterias, restaurants and other food institutions, followed by blue cheese dressing, and is growing in an otherwise mostly flat salad dressing category.

So why exactly do we savor each moment that delicious creamy concoction is in our/my presence? Or really, what is it about the ranch flavor that’s conducive to multiple food experiences.?

“It’s cool, creamy, dairy, and it has a little bit of nip to it, but not much,” a new-product expert at the market research firm Mintel explains to NPR’s The Salt.

Also put it on pizza, seriously. Have I mentioned that yet?

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  1. LauraNorthrup says:

    Never. I will never put it on pizza.

  2. StevenB says:

    I’d say they’re years late with this newsflash. LOL

    • CommonC3nts says:

      Agreed, it was like this in the 90s also and probably longer.

    • SingleMaltGeek says:

      According to Wikipedia, Cool Ranch Doritos, probably one of the biggest marketing references to ranch dressing that I can think of, were first sold in 1986. If anything though, that impresses me with how long this “fad” has lasted.

      I still prefer sour cream and onion dip or blue cheese dressing, but ranch is OK.


  3. MarthaGaill says:

    We were just talking about this at lunch.

    I love it. I put it on everything. Pizza, tacos, mashed potatoes, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, potato chips… The list goes on and on.

  4. MathManv2point0 says:

    Sour cream anyone (not on pizza but on everything else)? Also, blue cheese on a good buffalo chicken pizza is the best.

    • MarthaGaill says:

      I can’t handle looking at blue cheese. If it’s melted (oh god, melted gorgonzola on french fries with some spicy oil. I could die.) I’m okay, but if I see any of the veining, it’s barf-o’clock for me.

  5. arbyrb says:

    Somewhere on NPR this morning they mentioned the owner of a pizza shop is charging $1000 for a side of ranch to dip your pizza in. And you aren’t permitted to bring your own.
    You might find “De Condimentis” on Highlowbrow interesting, the “Dress my salad” entry. One of a wonderful series by Tom Nealon, fascinating. I recommend the mustard and the vinegar entries too, but they’re all fun. Ranch dressing is directly considered in the “sour cream” entry, the true history of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing. It even includes a Homer Simpson quote, to his harem: “I grow weary of your sexually suggestive dancing, bring me my ranch dressing hose.”

    • MarthaGaill says:

      That’s here in Dallas at Cane Rosso. I haven’t been there and I hear mixed reviews ranging from “the best pizza I ever had” to “wasn’t all that great.”

      • MarthaGaill says:

        Also, I haven’t determined how serious they are about that rule. I’ve been known to carry the squeeze packets of Hidden Valley around in my purse. I’d probably take my chances there.

    • MBQConsumerist says:

      Do we know if ranch dressing hoses are available on the retail market anywhere? Asking for a friend.