For decades, ketchup has been the undisputed king of condiments. People put it on burgers, fries, eggs, hot dogs, and even pasta. But now, a new (and thicker) challenger has emerged: Ranch dressing wants a shot at the title.
Hidden Valley released a new, thicker ranch dressing, calling it "the new ketchup." In fact, it says, "The New Ketchup" right on the bottle. And speaking of the bottle, it looks a lot like a traditional ketchup bottle. Get the message? Hidden Valley sees an opportunity in convincing shoppers that ranch isn't just for salads and veggies.
[Related: 10 condiments for your pantry]
A buzzy article from the Wall Street Journal explains how the product came to pass. An executive at Hidden Valley got the idea for thicker ranch dressing when he saw his daughter slather the dressing on her piece of salmon. From such family dinners are new condiments born.
What is apparently different about this version of ranch is its consistency. The makers wanted to make sure it was thick enough so it wouldn't be a puddle of liquid on your hamburger. They wanted to make it feel and look like ketchup, only, you know, not red. The calorie count is the same.
[Related: Heinz offers fancier ketchup]
While ranch dressing is already popular, the WSJ reports that "only 15% of ranch dressing is used on non-salad products." Should the product take off, there will be plenty of room to grow.
But ketchup does have at least one big advantage. Unlike ranch, it doesn't need to be refrigerated. At restaurants, people will still have to ask for it -- the bottle can't just be left on the table.