1 Suzie the Foodie: The Problem with Product Testing

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Problem with Product Testing

Problem with Product Testing

The Ranch Dressing Odyssey began back in January. As much as I love Wayne's ranch dressing recipe, it is just too powerful for Reg's palette. I resorted to buying Kraft Canada's Calorie Wise Ranch Dressing. The problem?

Problem with Product Testing

Ouch! They had three levels of foodie "security" on the damn bottle and the cap itself is so jagged, trying just to open it sliced open my finger. I had several people write me on Facebook and say the same had happened to them.

I wrote the company who called me and were very kind and nice and said they would send me coupons for other products of theirs as a means of saying sorry. Which was fine. But I made it very clear to them this had happened to other people too and they should change their packaging.

The Odyssey Begins

Problem with Product Testing

My mom recommended I use Club House Ranch Style Salads 'n Dips.... I didn't like it and Reg thought it was meh.

Problem with Product Testing

So I made my own homemade version of a packaged mix.

Problem with Product Testing

It smelled very promising!

Problem with Product Testing

Woah, did it ever make a lot! I was really hoping we would like it.

Problem with Product Testing

Boring. Bland. Ugh! What a waste.

Problem with Product Testing

I started to compare the Kraft brand with others. It was normally $4.19.

Problem with Product Testing

I usually only go to Sobeys to pick up Reg's Suisse Mocha Coffee but saw Our Compliments had a peppercorn ranch dressing.

Problem with Product Testing
It was significantly less in price and guess what? We kind of liked it.

At this point though, I was kind of obsessed. I had to see if there was a better one out there.

Problem with Product Testing

The Blue Menu Ranch Dressing? Cheap but boring.

Problem with Product Testing

Hidden Valley Ranch is a classic but it no longer floated my boat.

Problem with Product Testing

I have always loved Renee's Gourmet dressings (their Greek with Feta is fabulous) but theirs was just OK and I was shocked to discover they now sell their dressings in plastic containers instead of their pretty glass jars. How sad.

Problem with Product Testing

One day I was shopping and they were letting people taste test a new ranch dressing. It got my obsessing all riled up again.

Problem with Product Testing

I picked up "Pure" Kraft ranch dressing (what does that make their other ranch dressing?) because it WAS in a glass container, I did like the other not-so-pure- ranch dressing and it was the same price.

Problem with Product Testing

Out of curiosity sake I also got a PC Ranch Dressing & Dip because it was a little less and came in a glass container. At this point I knew I was obsessed but no longer cared. There had to be a dressing out there we loved!

We tried them all. Reg could not take it anymore. He told me he could no longer distinguished between any of them and I had to agree with him. None of them stood out at all.

Nutritionally, most of the dressings faired the same. Most had about 7 grams of fat per tbsp and 70 calories per tablespoon. Renee's was a little lower. The saturated fat was all around 1 gram as well. I was starting to think that maybe they all really were the same.

Problem with Product Testing

So I went back to Kraft. I gave it another shot. The damn blue rigged cap is still there so I put a kitchen towel over it to protect my hands.

This time I could not get the top seal off and all and when I tried to use scissors to cut it off, I cut myself. Again! Then the vacuum seal on the top just would not come off. I used scissors again to rip it off.

Note: I had no problems getting in to any of the many bottles of ranch dressing I tested.

Foodie Conclusion

Problem with Product Testing

By the time I had gone through all of those different bottles of ranch dressing to decide the winner, Our Compliments had repackaged theirs and created a "Sensations" label, whatever that means. For me and Reg, this was the winner thanks to its extra peppercorn-y flavour and its good price but...

Was it worth it? The tasting, the financial investment, the obsessing...

Honestly, I don't know. It makes me depressed that there isn't a dressing out there that Reg and I both totally love but it has inspired me to try other kinds of recipes for salad. I think we have become quite sick and tired of ranch, to be honest. Which makes me a bit sad but also has inspired me to be a tad more adventurous when it comes to salad.

Note to Kraft Canada: Any product that reduces me to a wife bringing a bottle of salad dressing to her husband to open it is not going to get my business. Especially when after nine months the packaging is just as brutal as it was when I wrote to complain that your bottles are dangerous and have hurt more people than just myself.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Sounds like it's time to break up with Ranch and look for a new salad dressing to love. Happy hunting!

Mardi Scott said...

I never did get a thing for ranch dressing except to use it for a coleslaw dressing thing with Dijon mustard. I prefer homemade dressing any way. Easy, always much fresher and I don't get bored halfway through a bottle or jar and let the rest go to waste.

wayner100 said...

So what happened to my Ranch Dressing Recipe. Did any of these products stack up ??

Suzie Ridler said...

I agree Debra, we at least need to "go on a break" for a while.

Mardi, I tried homemade and the only way I like it way too powerful for Reg.

Wayne, in my opinion, yours is way better! But Reg finds it too strong and having to have two different dressings for salad has ended up being a pain. I do love yours though, so good!

Lauren Vaughan said...

Have you ever tried Penzeys dried Buttermilk Ranch mix? They have all sizes of mixes, and even you but the smallest one, it comes out to about $1 for a cup of dressing and it is beyond fabulous! Not sure if they have any stores outside the US but they have a catalog & website. All of their products are so good and a really good value since the quality is so high, you actually use less product! I'm slowly switching over all my spices and dried herbs to all Penzeys!

shipwrekkt said...

Ah yes, Ranch gets boring. The only store-bought dressings I still love are Poppyseed and Renee's Caesar. Have you played around with tahini and/or miso based salad dressings? What about goats cheese?

Mika said...

I just stumbled across your blog, so I don't know if you have tried Paul Newman's Ranch dressing. Comes in a glass bottle :)