The 25 Most Popular Snack Foods in America
Take a trip to the grocery store, and you’ll immediately come to the realization that supermarket shelves are saturated in an absurd number of different snacks. But what to choose? Among such a vast amount of selections are the snacks that people continue to purchase time after time until they become go-to classics. These are the beloved treats we decided to showcase—from Chex Mix to Teddy Grahams, we’re confident our compilation represents at least one of your favorite snack foods.
We reviewed “The Most Popular Food & Snack Brands in America” collected by global public opinion and data company YouGov, and then hand-picked the snacks from the brands they found to be America’s favorite.
Just a heads up, this article may induce hunger. Enjoy!
What lunchbox during childhood was complete without a snack baggie full of Cheez-Its? They’re cheesy, salty, bite-size, and perfectly shaped. (There has to be some appeal in the fact that the cracker is a symmetrical square, right?) The lovable baked cracker has been around for nearly a century, with the first 1 x 1-inch cracker hitting the market in 1921.
Cool Ranch Doritos
The original nacho cheese-flavored Doritos are delicious in their own right, but the cool ranch variety may as well fall in a league of their own.
Rice Krispies Treats
Name a crispy, yet gooey, marshmallowy snack-size treat that even comes remotely close to the same satisfaction that a single Rice Krispies Treats provides. Sorry, you can’t. They’re matchless.
Chex cereal unites with crunchy circular pretzels, mini breadsticks, and those irresistible dark brown rye chips to come together as one delicious combo. It’s the ultimate salty snack that offers a range of different flavors and textures.
Did you know there are six different kinds of Fruit Gushers? With fun varieties such as Strawberry Splash, Sour Triple Berry Shock, and Tropical Flavors, you’re bound to find a version of the gummy treat that best pleases your palate. We’re always surprised at how much flavor the gooey insides of a Fruit Gusher packs!
Snyder’s whips up an array of different pretzel snacks other than just the original criss-cross form, including chunky sourdough bites, mini sticks, and rods. Not only is Snyder’s the leading pretzel company in the nation, with sales amounting to $378.1 million in 2017, it’s also the oldest, having originated 110 years ago in 1909.
Lay’s Classic Potato Chips are crispy and have enough salty goodness—but not too much—to keep you coming back for more. Perhaps you have fond memories of munching on this staple salty snack at school basketball or football games?
Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn
When you hear the name Orville Redenbacher, you undoubtedly think of the iconic red box with his face on it. However, do you know the story of how he became to be the popcorn king? Redenbacher began to grow his own popping corn at the age of 12 on his family’s farm in Brazil, Indiana. He soon created his first business, selling the popcorn, which gave him the funds to attend college. The rest is history.
Jell-O Pudding Snacks
Remember Hunt’s Snack Pack? Jell-O is giving that renowned pudding snack some competition with its handful of flavors of packaged pudding including chocolate-vanilla swirls and strawberry cheesecake.
Tostitos Scoops are the best for—you guessed it—scooping up a generous helping of salsa, cheese, or any dip of sorts. These chips help you savor—or should we say shovel in—some delicious dips.
Planters Trail Mix
Planters peanuts mesh with raisins, peanut M&Ms, yogurt-covered raisins, almonds, and dried cranberries to create this sweet and salty trail mix.
Jif Power Ups
We all know Jif for its creamy peanut butter, so it’s no surprise that its latest product is chock-full of the nutty stuff. The shell of the cluster is made of crunchy oats, while creamy peanut butter coats the inside.
Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
Flamin’ Hot Cheetos have had fans of the cheesy sticks hooked, but once you hear how the recipe was invented, you’ll likely love the spicy snack that much more.
Richard Montañez snagged his first job at corporate giant Frito-Lay as a janitor at the age of 12 in 1976. One day, the assembly line at the plant he worked at had broken down, and some of the Cheetos didn’t get that salty cheesy coating. He took a few of these unflavored ones home and dusted them with chili powder, something he loved eating in elote, which is grilled corn that’s dressed in butter, lime, chili powder, and cheese. He pitched his creation to the CEO of Frito-Lay, and the rest is history.
Expect to see a movie about him soon—Fox Searchlight Pictures acquired the rights to produce a film about how he overcame adversity and ultimately invented one of the most famed salty snacks.
Quaker Sandwich Minis
Quaker’s oatmeal is loved by many, and fans of the hearty breakfast item may also enjoy the brand’s snackable sandwich minis. The recipe is rather simple, too. Creamy peanut butter is sandwiched between a soft bite-sized, whole-grain biscuit.
Now, this is what we like to call a healthy snack. Wonderful Pistachios roasted and salted pack a lot of flavor on their own, but the little green nuts provide even more flavor once sprinkled atop a vanilla yogurt. It’s that combination of sweet and salty that makes for a dynamite midday snack.
Sabra Hummus Singles
When you’re on the go and need a protein-packed snack, picking up one of Sabra Classic Hummus Singles is your best bet for quelling those incessant hunger pangs, all while getting that salty fix.
Cereal can be a snack too, right? Cheerios are a suitable treat for small children because they’re easy for little fingers to grasp onto and tiny enough to swallow without much chewing.
Fritos Original Corn Chips
Fritos are the key ingredient of the Walking Taco. You know, the elementary way of making a taco even more easy to eat while en route to your next destination? If you don’t know what we’re talking about, consider checking out this recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything.
Totino’s Pizza Rolls
Totino’s pizza rolls are a beloved afternoon snack that are easy to plop in the oven and help curb the appetite until dinner.
Pringles likely prompt pleasant childhood memories, namely the one where you took one chip and inserted it on the inside of your bottom lip and another on the inside of your top one to form a duck bill. The Sour Cream & Onion flavor is the kind of flavor that keeps you licking your fingers, chip after chip.
Sargento String Cheese
Sargento string cheese makes for the perfect no-mess snack. Pair with almonds and dried apricots for a satiating trio.
Cape Cod Chips
Fun fact: Your favorite soup company owns Cape Cod Potato Chips. That’s right, Campbell’s Soup Co. bought out the Massachusetts company at the end of 2017. The kettle cooked chips may make a scrumptious pairing with one of Campbell’s soups, such as the Slow Kettle Style Roasted Red Pepper & Smoked Gouda Bisque.
You can’t deny the cuteness of Teddy Grahams—you just simply can’t! These tiny bears are another great snack for children, especially toddlers who still like to play with their food.
Half Baked Ice Cream
According to Ben & Jerry’s website, Half Baked was the top-rated flavor of 2018! To be honest, we’re not all that surprised. Have you read the product description? “Chocolate & vanilla ice creams mixed with gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough & fudge brownies,” as stated in the company website.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Oreo. Creme slathered between two chocolate cookies is perhaps one of the most satisfying food items to dunk in a cold glass of milk. The Oreo cookie has been on the shelves since 1912, and in 2016, the product accumulated more than $2 billion in global annual revenue—the most of any cookie company that year.