Ranch Is Better Than Ketchup—Here’s Why

The data says that ranch is officially the nation's favorite condiment. Let's take a dip into why this flavorful all-American sauce is having its breakout moment.

Has ketchup been dethroned as Ruler of the Condiments?

Plenty of signs point to YES.

We did some investigating to find out why so many people are so obsessed with the flavor-boosting frontrunner: ranch dressing.

This Is Why Ranch Has Surpassed Ketchup

Due to its skyrocketing popularity, primarily among millennials and Gen Zers, ranch dressing has climbed its way to the top of the condiment/dip chain.

What’s causing the spike? Well, ranch is now being marketed as more than just a salad dressing. The buttermilk-based beauty is loved because it pairs perfectly with just about anything.

Jacquie Klein, who leads the brand marketing team at Hidden Valley, says, “Ranch is a rising iconic flavor in food and culture today. It’s found on more than half of restaurant menus and in 75% of homes in the U.S.” According to Clorox Co., the parent company of the Hidden Valley brand, 70% of ranch is eaten with non-salad fare—including pizza, fries, burgers and more.

Some people are so enamored with this creamy, zesty condiment, they have ranch fountains at weddings. There’s even a whole cookbook dedicated to ranch enthusiasts.

The History of Ranch Dressing

In the early 1950s, plumber Steve Henson created the first batch of ranch dressing while working as a contractor in Alaska. In 1954, he and his wife Gayle opened Hidden Valley Ranch, a dude ranch in California, where they served it to customers. The buttermilk-based sauce was an instant hit, so they began selling it in packages for customers to take home. So many people wanted “ranch” that Steve and Gayle incorporated Hidden Valley Ranch Food Products, Inc., and opened a factory to manufacture it. The rest is delicious history!

How to Enjoy Ranch

Ranch dressing makes, of course, a tasty salad dressing and vegetable dip. However, ranch lovers have found more ways to consume the iconic sauce…like dipping, dunking and coating. It’s a must for eating fried pickles and french fries, sprinkling on popcorn and dunking slices of pizza. It’s also the preferred dip for chicken wings and chicken strips.

Though we’re huge fans of Hidden Valley and other well-known ranch makers, there’s nothing like making your own ranch at home. Here’s the perfect recipe.

Find More Recipes That Use Ranch
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Ceara Milligan
Ceara “Kiwi” Milligan is a professional marketing strategist and copywriter who is proud to call Milwaukee home. She loves baking, cooking, writing, listening to music, dancing, playing and hosting trivia, watching college basketball (Go Marquette!), telling lame jokes, and petting every dog that crosses her path.