49 Food & Snack Brands Americans Can’t Get Enough Of. Don’t Read on an Empty Stomach

Most kids will gladly eat any sweet or salty snack they can get their hands on. As for grownups? We tend to have more selective tastes.

Americans who aren’t on a diet might not entirely stick their noses up to salty snacks. However, if a survey by YouGov is accurate and when the option is there, they’re more likely to reach for chocolate.

These are the sweet and savory food and snack brands that Americans report loving the most.

Ranking Snack Brands

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To determine Americans’ favorite food and snack brands, YouGov asked U.S. citizens in the first quarter of 2024 to rank which snack brands are their favorite. There were 353 brands in total.

Each brand had two rankings: fame, which indicated whether the surveyed were familiar with the brand’s name, and popularity, which indicated whether participants liked the product. We used the popularity scores for the purposes of this ranking, but we included the fame score as interesting additional information. Additionally, since there was some overlap with the foods (such as Oreo Cookies and Oreos), we eliminated double brand mentions, only ranking the first time the brand was mentioned.

For comparison when looking through the following rankings, Flat Earth was the least popular brand. It ranked in 353rd place with a popularity ranking of 23% and a fame score of 42%.

Chocolate Times Two

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Two brands ranked in first place, with an 83% popularity score: Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and M&M's. Reese's is slightly more well-known, with a fame score of 97% compared to M&M's.

Four More, Please

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Four brands tied for second place, with a popularity ranking of 79%: Kit Kat, Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, and Lay's. Whereas Lay's and Kit Kats had a fame score of 98%, Reese's and Hershey's Kisses had a fame score of 97%.

Ketchup and Crackers, Anyone?

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Heinz Ketchup and Ritz both came in third place as the most beloved food and snack brands. Their popularity score was 78%, with Heinz Ketchup's 99% fame score being one point higher than Ritz's.

Four for Four

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The fourth-place food and snack favorite was also a tie, with Snickers, Hershey's, Lay's Chips, and Pillsbury all having a 77% popularity score. These brands had a fame score of 98%, 98%, 96%, and 96%, respectively.

Top Five Plus One

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A whopping six brands tie as the fifth most beloved foods and snacks among Americans, with a popularity score of 76%. Their names and corresponding fame ratings are as follows:

  • Betty Crocker (95%)
  • Oreo Cookies (96%)
  • Smucker's (96%)
  • Doritos (97%)
  • Pringles (98%)
  • Heinz (99%)
Pile of Fritos.

A Mixed Bag

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YouGov's sixth-place ranking is a bit of a mixed bag. The popularity of all of these foods is 75%. Below are the items that made the cut, along with their fame rating:

  • Dove (94%)
  • McCormick (94%)
  • Kellogg's (97%)
  • Fritos (98%)
  • Hidden Valley Ranch (98%)

Salty Tastes

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The foods continue to get primarily salty rather than sweet in America's seventh-most beloved food and snack group. All of these items had a popularity of 74%:

  • Orville Redenbacher's Popcorn (95% fame)
  • Planters (95% fame)
  • Reese's Pieces (97% fame)
  • Cheetos (97% fame)
  • Kraft Foods (98% fame)
  • Campbell's (98% fame)

Three Brands Are the Charm

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A relatively few three brands ranked in eighth place, tying for 73% popularity. They are as follows, with their fame in parenthesis:

  • Jif (96%)
  • Frito-Lay (96%)
  • Tostitos (97%)

The List Goes On

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We'll cut to the chase, for many brands had 72% popularity, ranking them in ninth place. Here they are, including their fame:

  • Häagen-Dazs (94%)
  • Nestlé Toll House (94%)
  • Bisquick (94%)
  • Ruffles (96%)
  • Goldfish (96%)
  • Thin Mints Girl Scout Cookies (96%)
  • Twix (97%)
  • Lifesavers (97%)
  • Chips Ahoy! (98%)
  • Milky Way (98%)

Final Ten

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The food and snack brands ranking in tenth place have a popularity score of 71%. That may sound relatively low but remember that the last-place brand's popularity score was 23%. Below are the brands that round out the most popular food and snack manufacturers among Americans, including their fame ranking.

  • Ghirardelli (89%)
  • Chiquita (92%)
  • Nabisco (93%)
  • Land O'Lakes (93%)
  • General Mills (96%)
  • Cheez-It (97%)
  • Cheerios (97%)

Oldest Brands

Pile of chocolate.
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According to The Daily Meal, the oldest American food brand is Baker’s Chocolate. The beloved chocolate company formed in 1764. King Arthur Flour and Pillsbury also made the list, hitting American shelves in 1790 and 1872, respectively.

Although YouGov’s study didn’t take drinks into account, Laird & Company appears to be the oldest drink manufacturer in America (1780). Coca-Cola is over 100 years newer, having made its debut to American consumers in 1886.

Keeping You Craving

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There’s a reason so many of the brands on this list have had long and successful lifespans; junk food causes the brain to release dopamine. That’s the same pleasure substance released when people do hard drugs.

The problem with dopamine is your body requires more of it each time you eat your favorite sweet or salty food in order to feel the same “hit” as the time before it. Studies indicated that rats can develop an addiction to junk food, with them even displaying symptoms of withdrawal when they don’t have access to their favorite unhealthy foods.

Unconsciously seeking dopamine release is one of the reasons that eating ultra-processed sweet and salty foods makes some people struggle with weight gain. That’s a topic for another day, though, for it’s a multilayered subject, and new research frequently emerges.

New Brands

Cafe worker holding coffee cup.
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What will this list look like 100 years from now? It could very well be similar to now. However, Exploding Topics reveals that the search growth for some new modern-day food brands has increased by thousands of percent.

Case in point? Ryze Superfoods, a Boston-based brand founded in 2019 with a 6,100% 5-year search growth. The all-natural coffee brand uses six medicinal mushrooms in its mixture, seemingly fit for the new-age folks. Meanwhile, health food delivery company Thistle has experienced a respectable 186% 5-year search growth, showing that Americans’ favorite foods in the future might start looking a little healthier and not always come from grocery stores.

25 Discontinued Foods That Americans Miss Seeing on the Shelf

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Every once in a while, big-name brands pull products with huge followings off the shelf, saddening Americans across the country. These are the foods Americans want back the most.

25 Discontinued Foods That Americans Miss Seeing on the Shelf

24 Things You Never Knew About McDonald’s

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There’s no doubt McDonald’s has left a mark on popular culture. Here are 24 facts about the burger giant you probably didn’t know.  

24 Things You Never Knew About McDonald’s

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