The Most Popular Easter Treat In 14 States Is Not Candy

It's a given that holidays are meant to focus on things like religion, culture, remembrance, giving thanks, or some combination of all of the above. It's also a given that the celebration of holidays tends to emphasize the bringing together of families, friends, and members of the community. However, beyond all that, there is one unifying factor among all holidays that stands as absolute, and that is food. All of the major holidays have come to be inextricably intertwined with whatever it is that we eat (or in some cases, don't eat) to mark their arrival.

"Food represents a sort of defining narrative about us," says Chris Wharton, a professor of nutrition at Arizona State University (via West Virginia Public Broadcasting). It reminds us of where we came from and who we are. In fact, there is an iconic episode of Friends that hilariously lampoons this notion. In "The One Where Underdog Gets Away," as Monica prepares a "friendsgivig" meal, she ends up with way more work than anticipated (three kinds of potatoes!). Because, of course, every friend has their own idea of what must be on the menu (via Us Magazine). As viewers, we relate because we know how much it matters whether the potatoes are lumpy like Mom used to make. 

And that brings us to Easter, the source of many a food-related debate. While "ham versus lamb" is always compelling, the one that never gets old — and often gets weird –  is "what's the best Easter treat?"

The most popular Easter treat is definitely not what you think it is

Like many popular American holidays, Easter has come to be associated with delicious homecooked meals, food-centric activities that appeal to the kiddies, and a general noshing on holiday-themed treats. But perhaps more than any other American holiday — with the possible exception of Halloween — the food that Easter is overwhelmingly associated with is candy. Everywhere you turn, it seems people are debating the relative merits of competing Easter goodies, from which is best to which is worst to which makes your dentist cringe the most.

Among the many instigators leading the charge on this debate is RetailMeNot, with their annual survey on favorite American Easter candies. In case you were wondering, a whopping 26 percent of Americans count Reese's Mini Peanut Butter Eggs as their favorite Easter candy, with jelly beans and Cadbury Eggs not far behind, and with Peeps straggling along in last place with 14 percent and generic chocolate bunnies barely outranking them (perhaps because they're often, and disappointingly, hollow?). But as it turns out, one Easter treat that doesn't even get addressed in RetailMeNot's survey may just be more popular than any Easter candy. 

As shocking as it might seem, we're talking about eggs — and, no, we don't mean the chocolate kind. We're talking about real eggs, the ones that come from chickens, as opposed to Easter bunnies. More specifically, we're talking about hard-boiled eggs

The truth laid bare by Google Trends

The career website, Zippia, may not be the first place you'd go to learn about what Americans like to eat on Easter. However, it turns out their first-ever survey regarding "most popular Easter treats in each state," is one of the most enlightening to have ever come out on the topic. Premised on the notion that people tend to run more Google searches for things they love, Zippia decided to conduct a Google Trends analysis as to what foods Americans in each state were searching for when it came to Easter treats. What they discovered is that in 14 states, the most popular, searched-about Easter treat is not even a candy, let alone a sweet. It's hard-boiled eggs.

The 14 states that seem to have inadvertently revealed their preference for hard-boiled eggs over the chocolate cream-filled ones are: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. Of course, to be fair, some of Easter's hard-boiled eggs do, in fact, turn up in the sweet treat, Italian Easter bread. However, that certainly can't account for all the hard-boiled eggs that residents of these 14 states appear to be chowing down on in celebration of Easter. We guess it's not really even that weird when you consider all the amazing things you can do with Easter eggs, like making egg salad or deviled eggs. What's the real difference from regular hard-boiled eggs other than a little food dye?

Other notable (and weirdly specific) results from the Zippia survey

As it turns out, career website Zippia's survey on the "most popular Easter treats in each state" is enlightening for reasons beyond the fact that it reveals just how many Americans look forward to eating hard-boiled eggs, as opposed to candy, on Easter. For example, Zippia's survey also revealed that among New Yorkers, search volume is disproportionately high for Kinder Easter Eggs, which don't even make an appearance in RetailMeNot's 2021 Easter candy survey. 

Zippia's survey also revealed that people in Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island have Peeps on the brain more than any other Easter treat, and Idaho more than any other state. Since Zippia joked it wasn't even sure whether Peeps is actually a food, this information is likely downright startling to some readers. But perhaps it has something to do with the recent announcement of Peeps new flavors?.