Demographics

o-RANCH-DRESSING-SODA-LESTERS-FIXINS-facebook[1]I was at Wally World today getting salad dressing.  If you’ve ever been to a Walmart, you know that they typically have 2-3 different choices for any given product.

Want to get peanut butter?  JIF and Skippys plus maybe one of those ones ones that sweat a bunch of oil at the top that you have to stir in while telling yourself how much you love ‘natural’ peanut butter.  Want sugar?  They’ve got both kinds: white AND brown, so very multicultural.  The ‘asian food aisle’ has crates of ramen and maybe some Sriracha.  They’ve got such a broad range of products that they can’t really offer a wide selection of anything.

…well, that’s usually the case at least.  There are occasionally exceptions.

As I mentioned, I was in the salad dressing aisle (aka ‘the stuff we use to make salad unhealthy enough to choke down’) and I was struck by their selection of ranch dressing.  I paced off 30 feet of shelf with ranch representation and counted 33 different SKUs.  Some of those were different sizes, some were flavors.  Bacon Ranch, Southwest Ranch, ‘Fancy’ Ranch (this one was difficult to imagine), Ranch Lite, travel-sized Ranch for people who need Ranch on-the-go, and so on.  I don’t know how the Hidden Valley can stay hidden with all the equipment needed to manufacturer and store so many different variations of Ranch dressing, and they were only one of maybe half a dozen companies.

You don’t make money by selling things your customers don’t want, and Walmart is one seriously successful business so I guess that they A: know their target demographic, and B: that demographic just loves the hell out of Ranch.

For the record, I got ‘French’.  They don’t have ranches in France, they have ‘fermes’.  Ranch isn’t a solution to the kind of problems I’m trying to solve.