Ranch dressing is a savory, creamy salad dressing popular in the United States. Pizza, fries, and baby carrots may be topped with this salad dressing. Ranch dressing is so American that it’s used for more than just salads. It is more of a condiment. It is typically produced from a sauce based on mayonnaise or another oil emulsion, along with buttermilk, salt, garlic, onion, mustard, herbs, and spices.
This fall, Clorox, the owner of Hidden Valley Ranch, was the target of a cyberattack. The incident “caused wide-scale disruptions to Clorox’s operations.” Just recently, Clorox resumed its regular programming activities. However, they warned that the attack may result in months of product delays and shortages. In this article, let us learn more about ranch dressing and its shortage in detail.
History of Ranch dressing
The creator of ranch dressing and the man behind Hidden Valley Ranch is Kenneth Henson, also known as Steve. Henson performed plumbing work on contracts for Alaskan oil firms. He recognized that he would need to be creative to get his coworkers to eat their vegetables. That job also came with the duty of providing food for the team.
Henson created a salad dressing from scratch by using the ingredients he had on hand. This includes buttermilk, mayonnaise, and a few spices and herbs. The work team happily ate their vegetables since Henson’s creamy salad dressing was so good. Thus, the salad dressing that is now on every salad bar in the nation was created instantly.
Hidden Valley Ranch is more than just a moniker; it’s an actual place. After his contract in Alaska expired in 1956, Steve Henson and Gayle relocated to Santa Barbara, California. They bought the Sweetwater Ranch there, which they eventually renamed Hidden Valley Ranch.
Ranch has surpassed Italian as the top-selling salad dressing in the United States since 1992. It is popular in the U.S. and Canada as a dip and a seasoning for potato chips and other dishes. According to a 2017 survey by the Association for Dressings and Sauces, 40% of Americans picked Ranch as their choice for dressing.
Who manufactures Hidden Valley Ranch?
In the 1960s and 1970s, Hidden Valley Ranch successfully sold seasoning packets. However, they made it big when they sold the company to Clorox. It is a well-known manufacturer of brand-name bleach. The little family business was formally sold to a sizable company for a large cost in October 1972. In the transaction, the Hensons received eight million dollars. It had a significant increase in value in 1972.
Over time, Clorox’s investment has more than doubled in value. Hidden Valley Ranch brought in $450 million for the company 2017 alone.
The product has undergone significant changes since Clorox acquired the brand. The most popular item at the time of sale was a flavor packet called “BMO,” or “Buttermilk Original.”
It’s important to note that Steve Henson sold the dude ranch before selling the company to Clorox. It’s also known as the Ranch, after which Hidden Valley Ranch was named. In Reno, Nevada, Steve Henson passed away at 89. His obituary states, “He usually could tell a story and make it great.”
Hidden Valley Ranch’s other products
Since the days of the Buttermilk Original seasoning packet, Hidden Valley Ranch has grown considerably. They offer three “secret sauce” types in squirt bottles: spicy, smokehouse, and original Ranch. They provide both blasted creamy dipping sauces in spray bottles and dips. They market dip cups, breading prep kits, and pasta salads.
Ranch dressing sold $1 billion in the U.S. in 2019, surpassing ketchup and being the nation’s preferred salad dressing. It became the nation’s most popular condiment.
Beginning in 2012, Hidden Valley decided to go with the idea of Ranch as more than just a salad dressing. They introduced a product with distinctive branding and labeling on the bottle to do this. It is “the new ketchup” and “for everything” and has a little thicker and smoother consistency.
Hidden Valley offers both the Original Ranch and the Original Homestyle regarding ranch dressing. They also produce a line of ranch dressings called Simply Ranch. It claims that it has no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
In addition to various light, fat-free, and organic dressings, Hidden Valley also produces Greek yogurt-based Ranch. It is meant for those who choose lighter fare but want to enjoy their Ranch. They offer too many flavors, from millennial favorites like avocado ranch and Sriracha ranch to traditional favorites like buffalo ranch and cheddar bacon ranch.
But only some products have been profitable. When ranch dressing was marketed as a flavor-dry mix, Hidden Valley had issues. The problem arose with bacon pieces poking holes in the bacon flavor’s packaging.
Ranch dressing shortage
The ranch shortage is related to supply and demand, a lack of stockers and drivers, and COVID-19.
Some Chick-fil-A locations needed more specific items, like sauces. It happened as a result of supply chain problems affecting the entire business. The fast-food restaurant chain made every effort to address its sauce shortage.
Clorox issues a warning about product shortages and delays
According to a securities filing on September 18, 2023, a cyberattack happened on Clorox in August. This resulted in “wide-scale disruptions” in its operations. It would have resulted in product shortages and delays.
The Clorox Company is known for its sanitizing wipes and brands. This includes PineSol, FreshStep cat litter, and Hidden Valley Ranch. The business reported on August 14 that “unauthorized activity on some of its information technology” had been found. According to the filing, the business took action to “remediate the activity, including putting certain systems offline.”
According to the complaint, the action was classified as a cyberattack. It destroyed some of the company’s I.T. infrastructure and “caused wide-scale disruptions to Clorox’s operations.” This can affect the supply of Clorox products.
The systems it purposefully took offline are being integrated back into the infrastructure. But it was disrupted by the cyberattack, according to Clorox. The week of September 25 signifies the start of the move back to routine automated order processing, according to Clorox.
“Clorox expects the ramp-up to full production to take some time. but production has already begun at almost all of its manufacturing facilities.” The company stated in its filing that it cannot predict when operations will return to normal. Clorox predicts the cyberattack will harm its earnings as well.
“Due to the order fulfillment delays and an increase in product outages, the business now believes the impact will be severe on Q1 financial results,” according to the filing. “It is difficult for the company to assess the longer-term impact. This, including the fiscal year outlook, given its current recovery.”
The business stated that it is “still analyzing the extent of the financial and business impact.” It is currently unknown who initiated the cyberattack. Clorox has yet to disclose the brands affected by the malware as of September 2023.
A recent update about the cyberattack
Clorox only recently resumed its regular programming. As we know, they have already issued warnings that the attack may result in months-long product delays and shortages.
According to Bloomberg, it was recently discovered that the cyberattack was conducted by the same company tasked with hacking MGM and Caesars casinos.
The good news is that it’s not entirely obvious how severely the cyberattack has affected Hidden Valley Ranch, particularly, so things won’t get too terrible. However, avoid stockpiling it.
Like the Great Toilet Paper Rush of 2020. But don’t be shocked if it’s difficult to find on the shelves.
It can be not easy to find Clorox wipes and other cleaning products. But the Ranch is what many people are more worried about.
The firm is releasing A brand-new food product that makes the popular salad dressing! The Ranch Chili Crunch was developed as a partnership between “This Little Goat” and” Hidden Valley Ranch.” According to the companies, “it’s another ingredient that can be used in recipes and at-home meals.” It can be used with chicken wings, ramen noodles, and frozen pizza.
The crunch is said to take on heat. For only a short time, the crunch is only available online for $12.99. Despite shortages, our favorite Hidden Valley Ranch always makes its customers happy!