Hidden Valley Ranch

Connecting ranch dressing lovers through digital experiences

As the producer of the original ranch dressing, Hidden Valley® is the go-to choice for ranch lovers. The company reached out to us with an appetite to aid discovery within their online community – starting with their website.

Uncovering a community of passionate fans

BASIC/DEPT® dug deeper into Hidden Valley’s audience and uncovered a hidden community of passionate ranch fans eager for ways to come together. The “ranch fandom” is exactly what you would picture. They are serious. They are loyal. And they are craving new ways to champion their coveted condiment.

Creating a digital home base and exciting touchpoints

The discovery of a ranch fandom kicked off a multi-phased partnership with The Electro Creative Workshop, Hidden Valley’s internal creative team. First, a fully functional website to showcase the Craveability within Hidden Valley’s brand. From the typography, to the texture, to the content direction and tone of voice, BASIC/DEPT® brought their spirited and quirky personality forward in every ounce of our creative expression.

Once BASIC/DEPT® had a digital home base that communicated Hidden Valley’s brand, we created new and exciting touchpoints to engage the community in equally fun ways. Rather than start from the product level, the experience focused on each individual moment of celebration where Hidden Valley could become the star.

Meaningful recommendations through personalization

The site invites people to browse and discover freely, save their favorite items or recipes to a personal Recipe Collections folder, and plan meals for the family – both daily and weekly. The shopping experience becomes more personalized as they search and save more frequently.

People are also able to browse by recipe, rather than browse by product. This helps them envision their favorite meal or moment first, then easily click in to find the product that fits the situation, and share it with their own communities.

Once someone clicks into a product, they are welcomed with individual stories and visuals that tap into the product narrative. Adaptive backgrounds change to match – such as red for spicy, or that famous Hidden Valley green for fan favorites. BASIC/DEPT® also prioritized product lists based on user context so people could easily filter and discover products that best suit their tastes.

Technology challenges & solutions

Restricted within a predefined tech stack, our team was tasked with finding opportunities for optimization and innovation. BASIC/DEPT® purged legacy plugins and libraries in favor of modern replacements that were smaller, faster and more customizable while still being compatible with the existing codebase. 

Third-party integration and personalization requirements were also making design and functional implementation a difficult task, but BASIC/DEPT® was able to unify multiple templating languages into just one. This allowed us to reuse modules seamlessly across various purposes, such as personalization, CMS content and third-party integrations. 

Finally, BASIC/DEPT® needed to develop and test a rewards dashboard connecting third-party user data with interactive site elements. BASIC/DEPT® outlined the requirements for potential states of a user’s rewards progression. With this data, BASIC/DEPT® mocked up test cases and built a robust frontend that would handle real user data effectively once the site was launched.

Results: a 60% increase in recipe engagement and 70% of all page views are personalized.


Head of Marketing US

Kristin Cronin

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