What We’re Eating: Bacon, Ranch Dressing

In our never-ending quest to test the limits of the human body, Americans are eating massive amounts of Ranch dressing. According to Hidden Valley, the brand best known for its Ranch dressing, about 15 percent of Ranch dressing is consumed on foods other than salad and vegetables. Hidden Valley is marketing a new Hidden Valley for Everything for those people.

The goal is to market Ranch dressing as a ketchup alternative, with hopes of making it as ubiquitous as its tomato-based competition. This new product got its start when Grant LaMontagne, SVP and chief customer officer for Clorox, which owns Hidden Valley, saw his daughter smother her salmon in Ranch dressing. Because what else would come to mind if you saw someone do that?

But it’s not just Ranch dressing that we’re putting on everything.

Burger King is testing a Bacon Sundae, Lays is introducing BLT-flavored potato chips (in honor of National BLT Sandwich Month, don’t you know), and there’s a recipe for bacon and egg ice cream going around.

Of course, the love of bacon is an ancient one. But we’ve noticed that it has been kicked up a notch more recently. If we had to take a guess, we’d say it has something to do with Food Network competition shows, where contestants often add bacon to ingredients that need a little finessing. And by trendy restaurants that have made pork belly and other pork products menu staples.

What we aren’t eating more of is relish. Over at The New York Times, Steven Kurutz laments the lack of relish at restaurants around the country, saying that he used to eat it straight from the jar as a kid.

“For manufacturers, it’s a low-margin part of the business. It doesn’t really get marketed,” an anonymous source at New York condiment company B&G told Kurutz.

Apparently, U.S. tastes have moved away from relish and to Ranch dressing.