The Most Popular Junk Food Snacks in the United States

Potato chips, ice cream, candy bars, and cookies; Americans love their junk food. According to DoSomething.Org, Americans eat 31% more prepackaged food than fresh. That's a lot of Oreos, crunchy Doritos, and crispy pretzels! But which snack is America's favorite? Using Google Trends, Zippia, was able to pinpoint the most popular junk food snacks in each state.

Popular Junk Food Snacks in the USA

Zippia

When it comes to a delicious snack for your sweet tooth, Oreo cookies are the clear winner. It looks like America loves their sweet snacks because popular snacks include Milky Way bars, Chips Ahoy, Snickers, Twix, Kit Kats, Starburst, Almond, Joy, and Sour Patch Kids. As for salty snacks, Kettle Chips, Pringles, Funyuns, Lays Chips, Ruffles, Ritz Crackers, Cheetos, and Cheez-its all made the list.

Snack foods that didn't make the cut include Chex Mix, Reese's, Trail mix, and Hostess snack cakes. How can you say no to comfort food favorites like those?

Overall, patterns are interesting to decipher in the list: For example, sweet seems to win over salty in the on-going battle for snack royalty, with 29 states preferring sweet treats. While many states choose things like Sour Patch Kids and Hershey's Bars, others preferred more healthier nosh. For example, Alaska prefers granola bars, Idaho chooses Cliff Bars, wild both Wyoming and North Dakota reach for sunflower seeds. And the Deep South seems to love their potato chips, with South Carolina picking salt and vinegar chips, Georgia grabbing Lays, and Alabama seeking out Ruffles.

So what are the big takeaways? Primarily, that American's truly love their snacks. In fact, on average, Americans eats roughly 22 teaspoons of sugar each day, typically in the form of processed foods and high-fructose corn syrup, according to the Kankakee Daily Journal. Additionally, the average citizen consumes over four pounds of potato chips each year.

Although the term "junk food" didn't appear in common parlance until the 1960s, the term--and the food itself--continues to dominate American food trends today.

Each States' Favorite Junk Food

  • Alabama - Ruffles
  • Alaska - Granola bars
  • Arizona - Cheez Its
  • Arkansas - Doritos
  • California - Cheetos
  • Colorado - Cosmic Brownies
  • Connecticut - Oreos
  • Delaware - Fritos
  • Florida - Mini Doughnuts
  • Georgia - Lays chips
  • Hawaii - Oreo
  • Idaho - Cliff Bars
  • Illinois - Skinny Pop
  • Indiana - Pringles
  • Iowa - Pringles
  • Kansas - Nutter Butter
  • Kentucky - Fritos
  • Louisiana - PayDay
  • Maine - Ritz Crackers
  • Maryland - Oreos
  • Massachusetts - Crunch Bar
  • Michigan - Sour Patch Kids
  • Minnesota - Snickers
  • Mississippi - Twinkie
  • Missouri - Grandma's Cookies
  • Montana - Rice Krispy Treats
  • Nebraska - Fritos
  • Nevada - Kit Kat
  • New Hampshire - Almond Joy
  • New Jersey - Oreo
  • New Mexico - Beef Jerky
  • New York - Chips Ahoy
  • North Carolina - Starburst
  • North Dakota - Sunflower seeds
  • Ohio - Starburst
  • Oklahoma - Sour Patch Kids
  • Oregon - Kettle chips
  • Pennsylvania - Hershey's
  • Rhode Island - Ritz Crackers
  • South Carolina - Salt And Vinegar Chips
  • South Dakota - Milky Way
  • Tennessee - Baby Ruth
  • Texas - Funyuns
  • Utah - 3 Musketeers
  • Vermont - Muffins
  • Virginia - Oreos
  • Washington - Cheez Its
  • West Virginia - Lays
  • Wisconsin - Twix
  • Wyoming - Sunflower seeds

READ MORE: 10 Unbelievable Potato Chip Flavors From Lay's

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This article was originally published April 23, 2021.