The most popular potato chip flavor in the US isn't what you think

Many of us have strong feelings about which potato chip flavor is the greatest of all time. Some people swear by sea salt and vinegar. Others insist that barbecue is the only way to go. Some like their chips cheesy, garlicky, or oniony. There's even a major market for pizza-flavored chips. So with all these options, and with so many strong opinions on all sides, which potato chip flavor is the most popular? Get ready to be disappointed: according to research from market and consumer data company Statista, the most popular potato chip flavor is actually plain.

According to the data that Statista drew from the U.S. Census data and from Simmons National Consumer Survey (NHCS), 191.19 million Americans consumed plain potato chips in 2020. The runner-up flavor wasn't even close — 86.95 million Americans consumed barbecue-flavored potato chips, making it less than half as popular as plain. What an anticlimax.

What's the best potato chip brand?

Almost as heated as the flavor debate is the potato chip brand debate — do you like your chips thick like Cape Cod, thin like Utz, ridged like Ruffles, or saddle-shaped like Pringles? If you're like most Americans, odds are your go-to chip is Lay's. According to research company Wonder, Lay's has a whopping 59.9% share of America's potato chips industry, the next runner-up is Ruffles, and the bronze medal goes to Pringles.

So next time you're hosting a party, and you want the snack selection to be enjoyed by as many people as possible, you're better off steering clear of the more controversial flavors, and putting out plain-flavored Lay's potato chips — your guests will thank you. You can always make them more exciting by setting out a range of dips. If you need some dip inspo, check out these 14 super easy dips that are perfect for Super Bowl Sunday.