Whether you have visions of sugar plums or a nice thick cheesecake dancing through your head around the holidays, there’s no denying that Americans love their Christmastime sweet treats.
But there were a few surprises in the data gathered by Zippia when they crunched the Google analytics on the most-searched-for desserts in every state for the holiday season.
They described their method of figuring out each state’s favorite dessert (which should give you at least some indication of how much data Google has about you when you look up anything online!):
“Using Google Trends, we determined what Christmas treat each state eats a disproportionate amount of. We examined over 40 Christmas classics- including candy stocking stuffers, peppermint yumminess, and all the cakes. From there, we determined what treat is searched a disproportionately, high amount.”
So what are we snacking on?
The results were surprising.
Searches for fudge, peppermint bark, cheesecake, and gingerbread were common, but some states threw the analysts a curveball.
Even the presence of cheesecake as a front-runner in so many states was a surprise, since it’s not often seen as a classic winter holiday dessert.
But what’s up with all the Missourians searching for “vegan Christmas cookies”?!
And really, Washington state? Skittles?!
Some states showed that their populations were far more interested in seasonal snacks without the effort. Folks in Illinois and New Jersey prefer not to bother with the cooking and find the best “chocolate Santas.”
But if you want a good fruitcake (if there is such a thing), the Carolinas are where you need to be.
There were plenty of searches for various gingerbread and peppermint desserts as well, though it’s curious to see a swath of the midwest go straight for the pudding. Figgy pudding? Bread pudding? We have no idea.
What about Yorkshire pudding? Does it even count as dessert since it’s made of meat fat?!
But it’s safe to say that we’ll be forever confused by Utah’s love of Christmastime Jolly Ranchers.
Give us some sugar
Regardless of how we like our sugar, it’s clear that we use the holidays to indulge.
A 2019 study commissioned by Old Danish Bakery found that 63% of Americans have a traditional holiday dessert they eat every year – and 79% said their holidays wouldn’t be the same without it.
We’re totally on board with the 64% of respondents who said dessert was among the top reasons to even look forward to the holidays! (Only holiday music and tree decorating were more anticipated.)
But Zippia’s data is still interesting, showing that people in 20 states prefer their treats in cake form, while those in 12 crave candy, and citizens of 10 states are all about the cookies.
Then there are the texture outliers – eggnog and hot chocolate – those counted despite not always being considered “dessert.” (Then again, calorie-wise, they’re about the same!).
The pandemic pantry
The Google data from Zippia was from December 2019, so it’ll be interesting to crunch the numbers again this year to see if staying home had an effect on people’s desire for dessert.
Without lots of people to share with, making Christmas cookies may just not seem worth it (time-wise or waistline-wise). Then again, what else are we all going to do when we’re reminiscing about Christmases past?
Food – both the smell and the taste – can help us recall good memories. Even the anticipation of a treat can bring up feelings of nostalgia.
As long as you don’t eat the whole cheesecake, you might want to give yourself a break this year and indulge in your favorite holiday snack!
Check out the map for yourself below. Did it get your city right?
Please SHARE this with your friends and family.