America's Favorite Flavor Of Jam Might Surprise You

Jam, jelly, preserves — whatever variety you like best, Americans eat a ton of spreadable fruit; and while you might believe your favorite flavor to be the front-runner, one fruit spread leads the pack. We slather it on PB&J, smear it on toast with butter, fill cookies with it, top yogurt with it, even hoard it in those little packets from a breakfast buffet (or is that just me?). Hear ye, hear ye, because the nation's favorite flavor is... actually pretty boring. It's strawberry. Sorry, not sorry.

163.97 million Americans ate strawberry jam, jelly, or preserves in 2019 according to Statista, which used numbers from the U.S. Census and the Simmons National Consumer Survey. The runner up was grape, which, um, really? What kind of monsters prefer boring strawberry or predictable grape jam to tart raspberry, caramelly apricot, or deep blackberry? But, okay. Even the respected chefs surveyed on the topic by Bon Appétit (who committed a series of cardinal PB&J sins, from using cashew butter to incorporating fresh fruit) mostly preferred strawberry.

Why do most Americans favor this flavor?

Statista speculates on the reasons Americans prefer these two classic flavors. It could be that they're more widely available on grocery store shelves. Maybe Smuckers and Welch's, two of the leading jelly and jam companies in the U.S., have devoted a ton of marketing for these flavors. Maybe grape and strawberry just taste better. Or maybe the fact that most strawberries grown in the U.S. end up becoming jam has something to do with it (via Statista).

The American lunchbox classic PB&J (which might, weirdly, actually be Canadian according to USA Today) may also have a hand in our undying love for strawberry and grapefruit spreads. Many recipes for the "classic PB&J" and even versions of the sandwich with other twists call for grape or strawberry jelly. Smucker's mash-up product, Goober, comes in these flavors striped with peanut butter — and in chocolate (via How Stuff Works). The New York Daily News noted that a few years back, a survey found that "Americans will devour a whopping 2,984 PB&J sandwiches in their lifetime." Their jelly of choice? Grape, the runner up.