This Country Eats More Potato Chips Than Any Other

Crunchy, salty potato chips are at the top of most people's list of favorite snack foods. In fact, per Statista, in 2019, 35.22 million Americans ate an average of 16 or more bags of chips. That's a lot of original, barbecue, ranch, and salt and vinegar handfuls of these crispy favorites. We eat them for lunch with our sandwiches, at Super Bowl parties, at night during family movie night. We like chips. In the United States, we love Lay's, which had about $1.7 billion worth of sales in 2017, equaling almost 30 percent of the potato chip market (via Statista).

According to Mental Floss, the birthplace of these crispy chips may have been Saratoga Springs, NY, but that could also just be an urban legend. Regardless, the story goes that a chef by the name of George Crum was the first to make this savory snack as a joke in 1853. Crum's very picky customer, Cornelius Vanderbilt, repeatedly sent his french-fried potatoes back for a myriad of reasons until Crum sent out what would eventually be called potato chips. Honestly, we don't care if the story is true or not. We are just happy they exist. And if it is true, that french fry connection is appropriate, considering the country that the United States is tied with for the title of top potato chip consumer.

France and the United States eat the most potato chips

According to FoodBev Media, 86 percent of the people in both the United States and France eat potato chips/crisps, making them the two largest consumers of the snack. Great Britain is close on their heels at 84 percent while the people in China aren't very big fans, with just 28 percent of the country eating potato chips. It makes sense that Americans would be a top dog, winning this potato chip consumption competition since they originated in the U.S., but how did they become so popular in sophisticated and chic France? We don't know, but maybe it has something to do with how the French perceive them.

Per Oui in France, the French do not eat potato chips as a snack like Americans. In fact, potato chips aren't even sold in the same aisle as all the other chips and snack foods in French grocery stores. Instead, they are viewed as part of a meal. It would be totally normal for you to have a typical chicken dinner along with a side of potato chips if you are eating at the home of a French friend. Sounds like a good combination to us.