The world’s most popular condiments might not surprise you

But it turns out that ketchup isn’t as popular across the world as you might think.

guacamole in bowl
Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor (Getty Images)

A consumer study published at money.co.uk aimed to pinpoint the world’s most popular condiments, and the results are pretty interesting. The research team analyzed 43 condiment types, along with 55 particular condiment brands, to see which was the most popular, based on online search data. (Insert the old disclaimer here that “searches” don’t equal “purchases,” but come on, this is fun!) The focus was on 35 of the world’s wealthiest countries, and it looks like guacamole is the huge winner. Are you surprised?

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In fact, across the study, 40% of the countries examined had guacamole as their top condiment search online. It was the most searched-for condiment in the United States, in 64% of our states, with approximately 197,000 searches per month. Unsurprisingly, California, home of 90% of our domestic supply of avocados, had the most searches for guacamole. Brazil and Germany came in as the second and third most guacamole-curious on the list.

Map of the world listing tons of countries' most popular condiment as guacamole
Look at all that guacamole
Image: money.co.uk

Wasabi came in second place in the U.S., and the state with the most searches was...Ohio? Ohioans searched for wasabi 20,350 times in the past 12 months. Damn, you guys must either love or hate your sinuses. The runners up in the U.S. were Worcestershire sauce, hummus, and maple syrup. (Yep, we have Vermont to thank for that one.)

But guacamole is a generic product. The most popular condiment brand searched for online is Nutella, all across the world, by a long shot. While I love the stuff, I was somewhat surprised by its dominance. But what was more surprising was that, in the United States, the top branded search was Vegemite. I’m wondering if so many people search for Vegemite here because they are just curious about a product they don’t know very well. I don’t often see it on grocery store shelves, do you?

In the hot sauce category, the U.S. prefers Cholula by a wide margin, which is honestly a safe bet. It’s flavorful without being punishingly hot, so I am not entirely surprised by this. One quiet contender, called The Rapture (I’ve never heard of this stuff), made first place in three states. Is it any good? Should I get some? (Is it better than Tabasco?)

Look over the report and see what surprises you. Don’t worry, it’s not all numbers; there are a lot of cool graphics and other info, including globally preferred hot sauces, the most expensive condiments, popular breakfast condiments, and more. It’s making me want to run to the grocery store and get stuff to fill my already overloaded refrigerator door.

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DISCUSSION

By
codfangler

As I understand it, this research was based on online searches. There might be a big flaw here, related to your well-founded comment that “searches don’t equal purchases.”. Is it not possible that most folks are unlikely to search for their favorite condiments because they already know everything they want to or need to know about those condiments. How likely are the hordes of people who put ketchup on their fast food fries to search for ketchup? They may feel like they know everything they need to know about ketchup.

I would be more likely to search for a condiment that I have not used as much or one that is more often made at home, like guacamole, than for the one I use the most.