If parents need help with the white lies that get kids to eat better, Kraft Heinz has a creamy dressing in disguise to aid in the farce.
It’s Ranch, only in a limited-edition tube labeled as salad “frosting.”
Recall that Heinz, now part of Kraft Heinz Co. KHC, -0.30% , was behind EZ Squirt ketchup from 2000. The condiment came in kid-friendly green, purple and blue, but never really took off as hoped for.
Kraft Heinz, whose share price has been squeezed this year, is not deterred, however, promoting the repackaged salad dressing as a contest and a hashtag campaign #LieLikeAParent. The company, in a release, noted a statistic asserting that 63% of U.S. parents admit to telling lies to get their kids to clean up their plates.
“Innocent lies parents tell their kids help alleviate the pressures of everyday parenting, and if it gets kids to eat their greens, so be it,” said Sergio Eleuterio, Kraft’s marketing head, adding that 75% of American kids eat salad only once a week, according to a NPD Group/National Eating Trends report from late last year.
Ranch, which has made its way beyond salad to dress pizza, chicken wings, Tater Tots and more, reigns as America’s favorite by a long shot — some 40% picked Ranch, crushing its nearest competitor, Italian, which came in at 10%, in a 2017 study by industry group, the Association for Dressings and Sauces. The white salad topper was the creation of the late proprietors of California’s Hidden Valley Ranch in the 1950s, with dry seasonings that originally came in a pouch to be added to sour cream or a similar dairy base.
Kraft Heinz shares are down nearly 30% so far this year. The combined Kraft Heinz stock began trading at just under $80 a share in 2015, a Warren Buffett darling; it’s below $30 now, amid deep cost-cutting and a recent SEC investigation, and a catch-up with filing, as well as a mostly packaged-goods product line that analysts say is lagging changing consumer tastes.