Most Popular Junk Food in Every State
Do you have a sweet or savory tooth?
Whatever your guilty pleasure might be, when it comes to junk food, there is certainly no shortage of options to satisfy your cravings. From cakes and cookies to chips and dips, Americans know how to chow down on snacks, but which snack food reigns supreme in every state?
We were curious to find out, so we analyzed Google searches to determine the No. 1 junk food in all 50 states. After all, whether it’s baking equipment or candy equipment, we certainly know a thing or two about snacks and sweets.
America’s Love for Pies and Donuts
Before we dig into the state-by-state results, let’s take a look at the broader trends when it comes to junk food across the country. It’s interesting to note that both donuts and pies are tied with 13 appearances each on our list. Well, technically pies take the lead with 14 states, depending on your definition of a “whoopie pie,” which can be considered either a cookie, pie, sandwich or cake.
Whoopie pies are two round pieces of chocolate cake (sometimes other flavored cakes), with a fluffy, soft marshmallow filling that is typically found in the New England region. They are also referred to as “gobs” in Western Pennsylvania. Either way, they sound pretty delicious.
Searches related to pies were the most popular in Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Montana, Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and North Carolina. Oh, and don’t forget about Maine, if you count “whoopie pies.”
Along with pies, donuts are another favorite across the country. Searches related to donuts were the most popular in Connecticut, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, Oklahoma, Utah, Washington, Indiana, Texas, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania. Nationally, donuts were also the No. 1 most searched junk food item followed by cake.
And of course, when you think of junk food, you can’t forget about ice cream.
According to our analysis, ice cream was the most popular junk food item in nine states, including Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Florida, New York and Oregon. With its headquarters based in Vermont, it’s no surprise New England showed a lot of love for the iconic Ben & Jerry’s ice cream brand. And across the country in Oregon, Tillamook Ice Cream was the most popular search. The company is also based in - you guessed it - Tillamook, Oregon.
How Often Do Americans Eat Junk Food?
Along with analyzing Google searches in every state, we also surveyed Americans to ask all about their junk food eating habits. Overall, more than one-third (35%) admit to eating junk food daily. Most say they get cravings for junk food several times throughout the day and nearly half (45%) say eating junk food is a stress reliever for them.
How Much Do Americans Spend on Junk Food?
Considering that 59% of respondents say that junk food is an impulse buy, you probably don’t keep a budget for junk food. But when asked how much they spend on snacks and sweets per week, respondents say they fork over an average of $20.
Whether you prefer your junk food salty or sweet, most of us can agree that it all tastes good in the end. In fact, nearly half of respondents say the main reason they eat junk food is because it tastes good!
Using the Google AdWords platform, we analyzed search volume trends for more than 5,000 terms and keywords related to junk food from June 2020 to June 2021 in all 50 states.
1,016 Americans were also surveyed for this study and asked about their junk food consumption habits. Fifty-seven percent of respondents were male and 43% were female. The average age of respondents was 37 years old.
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