| BOCA RATON, Fla.
BOCA RATON, Fla. Feb 23 Clorox Co
is bringing a thicker version of its leading Hidden Valley Ranch
dressing to the ketchup aisle, hoping to entice consumers who
top hamburgers and pizza with the regular version, its chief
executive said on Thursday.
The company is also working on whether it can further
compact bleach, a process it already did back in 2000, making
bottles smaller and lighter and allowing it to fit more bottles
onto store shelves, where big bottles of bleach sometimes sell
out during a busy weekend.
"We think it's technically feasible to do it, we're working
on it, but we don't have any timetable yet," Chairman and Chief
Executive Don Knauss said in an interview at the annual Consumer
Analyst Group of New York, or CAGNY, conference in Boca Raton,
This year's lineup of new products includes an updated
version of one of Clorox's top sellers, Hidden Valley Ranch
dressing. Clorox knows that diners put ranch dressing on many
more foods than just salads and vegetables. Some people like a
bit of ranch on their burgers, french fries and pizza, Knauss
"Since consumers are using it as a ketchup, let's give them
a ketchup viscosity," he said.
The product, in both a regular and a salsa variety, will hit
stores in April, pitting Hidden Valley Ranch directly next to
competitors such as H.J. Heinz Co.
"As one retailer said to me, 'Don't you know, the new color
of ketchup is white,'" said Knauss.
Ranch dressing is already a strong seller, and Hidden Valley
Ranch is by far the biggest brand in the category.
The overall ranch dressing category was about 10 percent
bigger in dollars than ketchup was last year at grocery stores,
The new Hidden Valley is already being tested in a number of
restaurants. Knauss brought it along while dining at a Nation's
burger restaurant in California.