This Is America's Least Favorite Condiment, According To Instacart

Condiments can make or break a dish. They're a necessary addition to your meals when you're looking to ensure that your food is flavorful. After all, no one really wants to munch on a hot dog sans mustard or fries without ketchup. According to Food & Nutrition, condiments have been used since the 15th century when they were introduced in France and England — and there's no sign of them going away anytime soon, especially as people experiment more and more with recipes and home cooking. In fact, some condiments truly can help home cooks ensure that their dishes get a slight upgrade and a bit of heat. The best part? Many of them don't add a ton of extra calories to a meal.

That said, if you were wondering what some of the most preferred condiments are in America, we may now have a clue. According to research conducted by Instacart, the item that gets a lot of love from many consumers is ketchup. It's a classic option, after all, and one that can complement several dishes in a jiffy. Also intriguing in Instacart's findings is that younger respondents said that they simply cannot stand mustard while millennials voted against relish. And there was one surprising condiment in particular that received a lot of flak from the survey's participants.

Hot sauce was up for a big debate in Instacart's study

The Instacart survey was organized online by The Harris Poll and included 2,013 participants ages 18 and older from several parts of the country. After all was said and done and the findings came in, it's been revealed that condiments can be pretty serious business. As they discovered, 31% of Americans in the poll said they would "never eat a dry sandwich."

Hot sauce, though, was a surprisingly polarizing hot take in the poll. While it has become incredibly popular in recent years, in this survey, around 24% said they "hate hot sauce with a passion." However, the data also revealed it very much varied by age with the haters strongly representing the Gen X and Baby Boomer demographic. Younger generations, seem more against mustard and relish, Instacart found.

Laurentia Romaniuk, a trends expert from Instacart, also told "Eat This, Not That!" hot sauce is a controversial one for sure — even though Instacart also revealed that they delivered enough hot sauce last year to "fill nearly 14,000 kiddie pools." A Redditor offered another interesting take and wrote that they love spice but can't stand the vinegary taste of this condiment. They wrote, "In an ideal world, adding hot sauce to a dish wouldn't radically transform it." One commenter suggested that they should try adding hot peppers to their dishes instead. 

One other interesting distinction, according to Instacart's data, is the regional preferences for hot sauce vs. BBQ sauce. As they said, "The southern and midwestern cities like St. Louis and Indianapolis much prefer to get their kick with tangy BBQ sauce, while cities on the west coast and in the southwest like San Francisco, Austin, and Los Angeles are more likely to grab hot sauce." Seems we are divided as a country over this matter too.