Best of the munch
America's favorite snack brands
By TODD VENEZIA
Last Updated: 8:22 AM, August 6, 2010
Posted: 3:46 AM, August 6, 2010
Americans love to put on the Ritz.
The humble Ritz cracker has been named the country's favorite snack brand, beating out nearly 50 other salty and savory treats in a new poll.
The survey of brand popularity shows that the buttery-cracker brand, in all its forms, beat a field of pretzels, crackers, potato chips and nachos to be king of the snack hill.
"Its a ubiquitous cracker that's been around a while. It's just really easy to like," said Ted Marzilli, managing director of YouGov BrandIndex, the brand-perception research firm that conducted the study.
"They're pretty darn good. Butter and salt is a pretty good combination for most Americans and most anybody."
The second-most popular snack brand in the country is another cracker, Wheat Thins.
Third was Orville Redenbacher popcorn.
The rest of the Top 10 were, in descending order: Snyder's pretzels, Rold Gold pretzels, Triscuit crackers, Doritos tortilla chips, Fritos corn chips, Sunchips multigrain chips and Cheetos cheese puffs.
The brands were measured according to criteria that included value, satisfaction, would you recommend it to a friend, quality, general impression, and reputation, according to YouGov.
Noticeably absent from the Top 10 were any kind of traditional potato chip.
"Potato chips may have a little bit of a more difficult time differentiating themselves," Marzilli said. "I don't think people see a lot of difference there."
Marzilli thinks people perceive crackers as being healthier.
"The advantage that Wheat Thins and Triscuit have is that people can tell themselves it's a slightly healthier way to snack," Marzilli said.
Ritz also isn't just for moms planning kids parties. When YouGov looked at the age 18-to-34 demographic, the snack also came out on top, followed by Sunchips and Wheat Thins.
Ritz "can go from being very low end and also be seen at a very high-end cocktail party," Marzilli said. "They are a pretty versatile snack."
Potato chips get a little more support from younger people, with Pringles and Kettle Chips cracking the Top 10.
Fritos and Cheetos did not score in the Top 10 among younger people, despite all of Chester Cheetah's efforts.