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Mind flex: Summer snacks by the numbers

Wondering how your snacking habits stack up with your fellow Americans? These fun facts will leave you hungry for more.

  • According to data from the U.S. Snack Index (2019), Americans are hosting more than 750 million summer gatherings on an annual basis—from pool parties and casual cookouts to backyard barbecues and more. 

  • Millennials, women and parents top the list when it comes to who will host a summer gathering. Approximately 90 percent of this group view snacks as an important ingredient for a successful get-together. 

  • Three in four adults (77 percent) will come to summertime events armed with snacks. 

  • Research has shown that salty snacks and sugary drinks share some characteristics with addictive products. This correlation suggests that as temperatures rise, some individuals can feel an urge to satisfy their thirst not with water, but with sugar-sweetened beverages. 

  • Chips reign supreme over most summer occasions, with 51 percent of Americans choosing to bring them to a summertime gathering over any other type of snack. 

  • Did you know that the Fourth of July is historically the biggest week of the year for salty snacks? Frito-Lay produces over 200 million pounds of snacks leading into the holiday—representing more than 5 percent of Frito-Lay’s annual production.

  • The top four watermelon-producing states are Texas, Florida, Georgia and California, producing 69 percent of all watermelons grown in the United States. 

  • The popular “Kona Ice” snow cone truck started out as a seasonal business, but after a few years franchisees expanded to year-round service. There are more than 800 Kona Ice trucks around the United States, and each truck’s Flavorwave (dispenser) has an average of 10 flavors.

  • Summertime barbecues are very popular across the United States. In the summer, about 20 percent of respondents barbecue several times per month, while 17 percent prefer to grill several times per week. 

  • Nearly one-fifth of U.S. respondents spend more than $100 per month on barbecues during the season. Most consumers prefer to purchase meat from the supermarket.

  • During peak hot dog season—from Memorial Day to Labor Day—Americans typically consume 7 billion hot dogs. That’s 818 hot dogs consumed every second during the season. 

  • West Virginia consumes 481 hot dogs per capita every year. Second-place Illinois (home of Chicago, the city sometimes described as the hot dog capital of America), manages only 317. 

  • Two states tie for first-place hamburger consumption: Oklahoma and Nevada, each managing 267 burgers per capita per year.

  • Most ice cream is made from March through July, although July is the busiest month. But what’s the most sought-after scoop?

  • America’s 10 favorite ice cream flavors are:

    • vanilla

    • chocolate

    • cookies and cream

    • mint chocolate chip

    • chocolate chip cookie dough

    • butter pecan

    • cookie dough

    • strawberry

    • moose tracks

    • Neapolitan

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