When it comes to popular food choices, pickles seem to have carved out their own tangy and beloved corner of the culinary world. For centuries, these brine-infused delights have found their way onto plates and into sandwiches, adding a burst of flavor that can’t be beat. But just how popular are pickles? Do the majority of people really enjoy them?
Pickles are globally popular with a market size of $11.6 billion in 2022, comparable to the global markets for plant-based meat and electric vehicle batteries. The vast majority of the US population consumed pickles in 2020. Their popularity extends beyond food and into the hobby of pickling.
The pickle’s popularity isn’t just a passing trend. Imarc forecasts the global market growth to reach $14.7 billion by 2028.
There’s no denying this global phenomenon; it’s a culinary staple that transcends cultures and cuisines. This article will detail just how popular pickles have become in the United States, and check into the world of pickling as a hobby.
AMERICANS LOVE PICKLES: 5 SURPRISING FACTS
Pickles have a rich and storied history that spans thousands of years, straddling countless cultures and culinary dishes.
These preserved veggies come in many forms. From the traditional dill pickles found in European countries to the spicy kimchi varieties popular in Korea, pickles have earned their status as a global food favorite.
The US is no exception. Here are 5 facts that prove just how much Americans love pickles, and which Americans love them the most:
1. What Percent of the US Population Eats Pickles?
Around 75% of the US population eats pickles. In 2020, roughly 246 million Americans out of the entire population of 329.5 million consumed pickles. This indicates a widespread and significant consumption of pickles among the population.
In the United States, pickles have become a go-to snack for many. From crunchy kosher dills to zesty bread and butter pickles, Americans have developed a taste for these tangy delights.
While it’s challenging to pinpoint an exact percentage of the global population that indulges in pickles, it’s safe to say that their consumption is widespread. In many countries, pickles are a staple side dish or condiment, enjoyed by people of all ages.
Even though cucumbers are the go to options for pickles in the US, this isn’t the case in many other countries and regions. From our list of 11 commonly pickled foods, you’ll find far different pickled favorites elsewhere, including:
- Pickled Watermelon – popular in parts of Asia, Mexico, and Guatemala
- Pickled Limes – popular in south Asia and the Middle East
- Pickled Tomatoes – popular in the Middle East, Mediterranean, and South Asia
2. What State Loves Pickles the Most?
The state that loves pickles the most is Maine, followed by Vermont, North Dakota, South Dakota, and West Virginia, respectively. The state that dislikes pickles the most is Hawaii, with Nevada and Florida a close second and third.
It’s safe to say that pickles have won over the hearts and taste buds of many. While personal preferences vary, countless surveys and anecdotal evidence suggest that the majority of people do enjoy pickles in one form or another.
Whether it’s the crunch, the tang, or the addictive combination of salt and vinegar, there seems to be something about pickles that resonates with a wide range of palates.
However, it’s important to note that taste preferences are subjective. Plus, depending on the state, you may find a higher interest in different pickled foods than cucumbers – and not every pickled cucumber has to be a dill pickle.
For instance, pickled peaches are a popular treat in Georgia.
While some individuals may not find pickles as appealing due to their tanginess or briny flavor. Nevertheless, the overall consensus leans towards a majority of people embracing pickles as a delightful addition to their meals and snacks.
Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: just how many pickles does the average American consume?
3. How Many Pickles Does the Average American Eat?
On average, each American eats around 9 pounds of pickles annually (3.8 kilograms). In total, 20 billion pickles are consumed each year by 75% of the American population.
That’s a whole lot of brine… Considering the wide range of pickle lovers across the country, this figure shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Whether you’re chomping on them alongside a juicy burger, sandwiching them between two slices of bread, or even enjoying them straight from the jar, pickles have undoubtedly made their mark on American cuisine
4. What Age Group Likes Pickles the Most?
While 86% of Americans enjoy pickles, and around 75% of Americans consume pickles each year, Baby Boomers have the highest preference for pickles, with 90% enjoying them. Nearly half of all Millennials in the US are interested in canning as well.
There’s no concrete reason why Baby Boomers love pickles more than any other generation, but there are a couple of theories out there. One has to do with the era they grew up in, a time when pickles were a common snack and condiment.
Additionally, pickles have been a staple in American cuisine for many years, and older generations may have developed a taste for them over time.
However, with nearly half of all Millennials in the US interested in canning, there’s a high likelihood that they may also have an appreciation for pickles.
And since pickling and canning foods can be as simple as a 5-minute process, cheaper than store-bought pickles, and a far better experience than heading to the supermarket, it’s easy to see why Millennials would be all about making their own pickles.
There’s also a push by Millennials towards sustainable and self-sufficient living, as well as a desire to preserve food for later use.
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5. Where Do Americans Get Their Pickles?
Americans get their pickles from many US states, but 6 states account for 72% of all the pickles produced. Michigan produces the most with 34%, followed by Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio, North Carolina, and Texas.
Michigan grows cucumbers on an astounding 35,000 acres, and while the majority of cucumbers come from these 6 states, over 30 states produce cucumbers.
And perhaps the craziest stat of all – 50% of all cucumbers in the US become pickles!
FROM FARM, TO JAR, TO TABLE – THE PICKLE’S FINAL DESTINATION
We’ve journeyed through the tangy world of pickles, uncovering their popularity, the demographics of their biggest fans, and the states that fuel America’s pickle supply. It’s clear that pickles have a significant place in our culinary landscape, from the 9 pounds consumed annually per American to the Baby Boomers’ particular fondness for these brined delights.
But the pickle story doesn’t end at consumption. Nearly half of all Millennials are showing interest in canning, a nod towards the growing trend of homemade, sustainable food practices. So why not join the movement and try your hand at pickling?
Dive into the art of pickling with our comprehensive guide, How to Pickle Your Own Cucumbers. Who knows, you might just find your new favorite hobby!