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Ranch dressing goes beyond the salad

American diners put ranch dressing on everything from French fries to pizza. Since 1992, ranch has been the most popular variety of salad dressing, with more than twice the market share of its nearest competitor, blue cheese.

The numbers really do speak for themselves when it comes to this creamy condiment: according to 2015 data from Food Genius, ranch appears on 26% of menus across the country, and in southern and Midwest states that percentage climbs dramatically. In Iowa, for example, 81% of all restaurants feature ranch dressing on their menu!

Popularity = profit

Unsurprisingly, with ranch’s status as such a beloved flavor in the United States, its high popularity brings high profits. Jim Hayden and Chad Allen are the owners of Twisted Ranch, an eatery in the Soulard neighborhood of St. Louis, Miss. that serves up 27 different varieties of ranch dressing. How do they accomplish this? For starters, every single item on the menu is made with ranch seasoning or ranch dressing, and diners have been taking note.

Recently, a Buzzfeed video featuring Twisted Ranch went viral, and their modest 45-seat restaurant moved from “pretty popular” to “mob scene” almost overnight. “Wait times increased to three hours,” Hayden says. Things have settled slightly since that first rush, but wait times can still be as long as two hours during peak dining hours—proving, as Hayden says, that ranch dressing truly has universal appeal.

Early preparations

In its earliest iterations, ranch dressing had a few basic ingredients: buttermilk, mayonnaise, spices and herbs. It was simple and delicious, and—as legend has it—this flavor combination is what kept guests returning to Hidden Valley Guest Ranch in California where ranch dressing is said to have been created. Today, however, ranch is used for so much more than just salad.

Creative applications

Ranch can be incorporated into almost any dish—as a pizza sauce or combined with hot sauce to make the perfect condiment for signature fish tacos. Ranch dressing contributes a zesty creamy goodness to these savory ranch scones, and can be mixed into guacamole for a delicious twist. Try adding ranch to tuna, chicken or potato salad recipes, or smear it on ears of corn before grilling them to get that perfect sweet-juicy-tangy-creamy combination. 

A simple and delicious alternative

T. Marzetti Foodservice can bring the universal popularity of ranch dressing to your operation with the clean ingredients your diners trust. Our Simply Dressed® clean label salad dressings are made without MSG, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, artificial flavors, soybean oil or gluten! These delicious refrigerated dressings are available in 32 oz. bottles that fit directly in your salad bar, and 2/1 gallons for every back-of-house application imaginable. Click here to get your free sample and help your diners enjoy simple, clean, fresh flavors today.

This post is sponsored by T. Marzetti® Foodservice

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