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Searching the Seven Seas salad dressing

February 23rd, 2009 · 29 Comments

By Dooney Tickner

Seven Seas Salad DressingWhile there are several major salad dressing brands and many small labels, the majors have pretty much consolidated under three corporate banners:

Kraft, Unilever, and the Marzetti division of Lancaster Colony.  Time has not been kind to heritage brands or flavors in this day of the “world brand”.

Kraft (NYSE: KFT) has long been known for its fine salad dressings and other condiments and still maintains a sizable line under their namesake banner.  Several longtime flavors, Casino French and Salad Secret, have disappeared and a number are pretty obscure.  A recent change in bottles has lent the line a generic, cheap look, though the great taste remains.  Such line variations as Italian, House Italian, and Zesty Italian still coexist with the Seven Seas Viva Italian, also a Kraft label but for how long?

Kraft obtained the Seven Seas brand (see the photo of a 1976 bottle from the website www.winslam.com) through its acquisition of Anderson Clayton Foods.  AC was in businesses similar to Kraft:  salad dressings, oils, and margarine.  Alas, Kraft has scrapped all but the dressings.  As time has gone on, Kraft has de-emphasized the Seven Seas branding, though the bottles do feature a fairly bold Viva tagline and Seven Seas does appear as a large trademark on front and back labels and neck label.  The variety in the line has been gutted, and the bottles are the generic Kraft issue.  The most frequent sightings are Green Goddess, Red Wine Vinaigrette, and Viva Italian.  Under Anderson Clayton, it included Seven Seas’ own versions of such standards as Creamy Italian and Thousand Island.

The Good Seasons brand came to Kraft with the General Foods merger.  Much has been said on this site about the unfortunate fallout of that marriage and the subsequent de-emphasis of the General Foods identity.  Good Seasons had always been a packet mix sold with trademark glass cruets.  Around 12 varieties of dressing packets remain, and the cruets are still sold…but, surprise, hard to locate.  Under the Kraft regime, a line of upscale dressings was introduced using the Good Seasons brand.  They have all been relabeled Kraft on the front and back labels with the Good Seasons trademark appearing only as a tiny feature on the neck label.  One doesn’t think of Good Seasons as a pre-prepared dressing…more Kraft confusion.

Kraft has dallied with many brand extensions over the years.  Its Breakstone Sour Cream line and Philadelphia Cream Cheese line have both been used as salad dressing brands featuring the namesake product as an ingredient.  Neither remain in the line today, though some of the dressings feature mix-ins of Kraft brands…most notably the Ranch with Oscar Mayer bacon.

For their part, Unilever (NYSE: UL) keeps its dressings under the Wish-Bone trademark, using it for spray extensions and for the Bountifuls upscale line.  Under Hellmann’s previous owner, CPC/Best Foods, there were at least two previous Hellmann’s salad dressing lines.  One came out in the 1990’s, another in the late 1950’s-early 1960’s.  Neither survived, though the later incarnation popped up from time to time until the Unilever acquisition of Best Foods.  The world brand strategy leaves Hellmann’s to mayonnaise and uses only Wish-Bone for dressings.

The Marzetti division of Lancaster Colony makes the namesake Marzettti dressings (originally from Marzetti’s Restaurant in Columbus, Ohio), Pfeiffer’s dressings, Cardini’s dressings including their famous Caesar, and Girard’s.  The latter remain specialty/upscale lines; Marzetti and Pfeiffer are basically mass market discount brands these days.  In its day, Marzetti was more like Ken’s Steak House dressings are today.  Ken’s remains independent and was also restaurant-based (Massachusetts).

Mayonnaises and salad dressings like Miracle Whip are also frequently used for salads.  They remain a curious niche market even in today’s more homogenized world.  While the big brands like Kraft and Hellmann’s dominate, Sauer still markets Duke, Sauer’s, Bama, and JFG…all with loyal Southern markets.  Nalley’s (part of Birds Eye Foods) also markets mayonnaise (as well as salad dressings)  in the Western states.  Reily Foods of New Orleans continues national distribution of Blue Plate Mayonnaise.

Editor’s Note: Dooney Tickner is a regular contributor to BrandlandUSA. He owns Dooney’s Book Company in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

More branding stories of interest:

My Colgate Shave Cream, GONE!
Goodbye To Postum and Derby Tamales
Grape-Nuts Celebrate C.W. Post Heritage
Grocery Brands and Products Our Readers Miss
Mercury's Future, Waiting to Hear About Postum
The Krafty Treatment of Sanka, Hardly Worth Beans

Tags: Grocery

29 responses so far ↓

  • 1 lillian litttlejohn // Jun 15, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    COULD SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHY DID WISHBONE DISCONTINUE CREAMY BACON SALAD DRESSING IN THE EIGHTIES AND WHAT WAS IT MADE OF…….YHANKS

  • 2 Vivian Nicol // Aug 8, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    I have a few of the old Good Seasons Salad Dressing Cruets and wish to find out when they were sold. Do you know their history or can you direct me to a site that can give me that info.?

  • 3 Garland Pollard // Aug 9, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Vivian

    Good Seasons is about the tastiest….I had no idea the designs had changed over the years. I dont know about it but will try to post something when I can gather the info.

  • 4 Donna Cole // Nov 12, 2009 at 7:45 am

    I wish I had known that Derby Tamales were going to be discontinued, I would have tried to stock up. I am very disappointed. I love them and haven’t found anything that even comes close to the tast of the Derby.

  • 5 Anonymous // Dec 17, 2009 at 1:38 am

    Good Seasons Salad Dressing Cruets are sold at Super Kmart.

  • 6 Anonymous // Feb 9, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    It’s really crappy that Kraft has basically done away with the Seven Seas Creamy Italian. I had a wonderful chicken recipe that required that and now I can’t make it. The only one I ever see is Marzettis and theirs isn’t any good.

  • 7 doris buenzow // Mar 30, 2010 at 10:39 am

    whatever happened to casino french dressing..I too, had a special recipe for it…what can I use instead?

  • 8 Anonymous // Apr 27, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    I had been looking for Kraft Cucumber Salad Dressing for years, ever since it was discontinued. I finally found a site that sells it in Canada along with Kraft Russian and a few others. What is out there now either has Ranch combined with it, or Vidalia Onion, neither of which I am interested in.

    Also, Kraft (I think) used to make for a brief time a salad dressing called “Taco.” It was a pale orange in color, but deeper than Thousand Island and had a mild “Mexican spice” flavor that was just wonderful in putting together taco salads.

    Why can’t these companies do “Elite” re-do’s of these in small batches for the public? Right now every store in my area has stopped carrying Naturally Fresh Wine and Cheese Dressing, and I have to order it six bottles a pop direct from the manufacturer in Georgia.

    Whatever happened to “choice?”

  • 9 H.A. Sims // Jun 2, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Could you please give me the name of a
    Grocery Store that carries 7seas lite Red Wine
    Vinaigrette. ? I love it and cannot locate anywhere. Thank you.

  • 10 susan eckert // Sep 12, 2010 at 7:36 am

    do they sell a salad dressing called roquefort anymore? I live in the atlanta area.

  • 11 Tina // Feb 26, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    I recently bought Kraft’s Seven Seas red wine vinaigrette dressing online ( can’t find in the stores around here)for my mom because it is her favorite. But neither one of us remembers it as having so much oil! I took about half a bottles’ worth of oil out and she loves it. Waaay too much oil.

  • 12 Holly Kava // Apr 28, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Someone!!!!!Anyone!!!!!!! Tell me anywhere in the world I can purchase Seven Seas Creamy Italian Dressing. PLEASE

  • 13 Karen Kerr // Jun 15, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    I THINK what I’ve been looking for is the Seven Seas Creamy Italian Dressing…is it sort of yellow? Creamy and has some bits of c0lor in it..maybe reds and maybe green? I know it was definitely Seven Seas and was a light yellow color and creamy. I sure would like to have this again..any ideas?????

  • 14 Jeff // Jul 28, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    tough to find seven seas anywhere…..their Creamy Italian was the very best! Kraft supposedly sells “7 Seas Italian” but it tastes like Kraft Italian to me, NOT 7 seas! Oh well…all good things come to an end!
    They did have 7 Seas Green Goddess out last summer…it was fantastic…have not seen it since.

  • 15 Steve // Jun 30, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Does anybody remember White House Dressing? I think Girard made it. We used to use it as a topping on steamed veggies or salads. Last seen in the late 70’s.

  • 16 art // Jul 7, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    does anyone know if the Ann Page salad dressing of the 1950’s is being marketed under a different name or have a recipe to make it? Thanks Art

  • 17 joanie arsenault // Aug 7, 2012 at 9:57 am

    as a child my mom would always have ann page french dressing on our salads. it had a thinner consistancy. bought from the local A&P store. i have not been able to find one like it over the years. any idea if the brand still exists or what ingredients were in it?

  • 18 lyla yost // Mar 6, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Does anyone have a recipe that I can have that tastes like the old Seven Seas “Salad Secret” dressing…I basically stopped eating salad when it went off the market…I LOVED that dresing !

  • 19 annette swetnam // Apr 11, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    I was so disappointed when they done away with the Seven Seas Creamy Italian. My whole family love it. We used it a lot of different ways. We have all tried different creamy Italian dressings but none compare. I wish Kraft would bring this dressing back! I know lots of people who would be happy to see it again.

  • 20 Kim // May 3, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    I loved seven seas creamy Italian. Also creamy Caesar and green goddess. Too bad Kraft doesn’t bring them back. Soooo much better than the Kraft varieties.

  • 21 Lucy heagy // Jul 12, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Does anyone remember the Salad Secret dressing? My mother use to make yachtsman salad using that dressing and my recipe is gone. Did anyone ever make that salad using Salad Secret dressing?

  • 22 kevin // Aug 1, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Try Kroger creamy Italian taste and color are about the same.

  • 23 dc // May 14, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    I’m with Kim we loved those three dressings.

  • 24 Jeanne // May 21, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    I would love to have the seven seas Herbs and Spices salad dressing. Would do all good things get discontinued. 🙁

  • 25 Anne // Jun 10, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Can anyone tell me what happened to the HERB & SPICES DRESSING – I use to make my noodle salad with it and now I can’t make it anymore. I am trying all different recipes and I can’t get the taste that I want.

  • 26 Anne // Jun 10, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Can anyone tell me what happened to the HERBS & SPICES DRESSING – I use to make my noodle salad with it and now I can’t make it anymore. I am trying all different recipes and I can’t get the taste that I want. Why can’t you make it again.

  • 27 Dan Leo // Jan 26, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Seven Seas had some of the best salad dressings on the market. I was the one responsible for the first liquid ranch dressing and maintaining the rest of the line. Unfortunately, Kraft, in their wisdom, chose to do away with most, if not all of the line.

  • 28 Bruce Hux // Jul 23, 2016 at 9:05 am

    For those who like a good ‘Thousand Island’ dressing…

    Try Ken’s Steak House Brand- Combine a 16 oz. bottle, cut it with 6 oz. milk, add 3 oz. tomato ketchup ( a 32 oz. bottle with above recipe, shake it up) and it is thinner, easy to pour, and makes a long lasting , delicious dressing. Much better taste than any other thick dressing such as Kraft…. Ever notice store bought never tastes like that of a good resturant?????

    Marzetti’s also works well with this recipe, but costs more.

    TRY IT, YOU WILL LIKE IT…

    WAITNG ON YOUR FEED BACK.

    Bruce Hux

  • 29 Joe // Dec 17, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    Id love to give U the receipts but not sure I can. Their is a limitation on time I don’t know it. My Father invented all the receipts for seven seas except butter milk, I feel He was taken advantaged of from both companies some Day ill release them…

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