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America’s Favorite Unique Food Combinations

A header image for a blog about the unique food combinations Americans love

By now, most people have wrestled with the timeless debate: Should pineapple grace a pizza? Regardless of your answer, we can all agree that food (and its unlikely combinations) has become an intrinsic part of the American identity. From chicken and waffles in the South to chocolate and popcorn in the Midwest, we all have that one combination of foods we can’t live without. That’s why we set out to learn more about the unique food combinations that Americans like the most, and how regionality plays a role in their popularity.

But as a leading brand in everything for baby, we couldn’t stop there. The topic of unique food combos also got us thinking about the unusual pairings sparked by pregnancy cravings.

So to really sink our teeth into the subject matter, we first surveyed over 2,000 people from 44 states to find out which unique food combinations are enjoyed the most across the U.S. We then polled an additional 500 mothers to get some insight into what expecting moms can anticipate when it comes to food cravings while pregnant. Read on to find out what we uncovered!

A U.S. map showing the most popular unique food combination in every state

Pineapple on Pizza
Of all the combinations uncovered by this survey, pineapple on pizza is the most controversial. Heated online debates have been dedicated to this topic for years, and you can still hear friend groups arguing over it in pizza shops across the country. Now, the states have spoken: 18 states listed pineapple on pizza as their favorite unique food combination. There is no one region of the U.S. in which this combination prevails — it can be found from Virginia to Washington to Illinois to Maine.

Chicken and Waffles
The famous combination of savory fried chicken and fluffy waffles is a known comfort food and is the second most popular across 11 states. It can be a delicious addition to your Sunday brunch or a soul-soothing rainy-day dinner. While most people connect chicken and waffles with the South, it’s also a fan favorite in various Northeast states as well as Missouri and Hawaii.

French Fries and Ice Cream
This classic combination of sweet and salty ranked third in our survey, winning over 10 states across the U.S. Whether you’re in search of a midnight snack or just something simple, french fries and ice cream have got your back. This combination’s popularity resides firmly in the South, West, and Midwest.

Salt and Watermelon
Only one state chose this refreshing summer snack as one of the best food combinations: Arkansas! Juicy watermelon sprinkled with salt provides a welcome reprieve from the sticky southern heat.

It’s clear from our survey results that people do some wild things with their food! We discovered Americans who actually tried these combinations enjoyed them: bananas and mayonnaise (61%), peanut butter on burgers (63%), and vanilla ice cream with balsamic reduction (63%). Find the full list of unique food combinations Americans enjoyed after tasting below — the results will surprise you!

  1. French fries and ice cream (milkshake) - 85.02%
  2. Chicken and waffles - 82.95%
  3. Pineapple on pizza - 76.00%
  4. Pizza and ranch dressing - 73.86%
  5. Chocolate and popcorn - 69.48%
  6. Chocolate and potato chips - 68.85%
  7. Apple pie and cheddar cheese - 66.97%
  8. Salt and watermelon - 64.33%
  9. Cottage cheese and fruit - 64.22%
  10. Hot sauce and popcorn - 64.16%
  11. Eggs and ketchup - 63.64%
  12. Peanuts and Coca-Cola - 63.22%
  13. Peanut butter on a burger - 62.92%
  14. Vanilla ice cream & balsamic reduction- 62.81%
  15. Cantaloupe & pepper - 62.31%
  16. Peanut butter and bacon - 61.08%
  17. Banana and mayo - 60.78%
  18. Peanut butter and pickle - 56.80%
  19. Pizza with tuna fish - 54.39%
  20. Chocolate and pizza - 50.99%
  21. Oreos and orange juice - 43.52%

A graphic showing survey insights from mothers about pregnancy cravings

Everyone has seen viral videos of women asking their doting partners to run out and grab the food they’re craving, and it’s no secret that pregnancy cravings typically result in the creation of some unique foods. To gain some insight, we surveyed 500 mothers on their experiences.

42% of mothers reported often having strong food cravings while pregnant, and 16% reported having them constantly. Nearly 3 in 10 of these mothers recall their cravings being intense. The types of foods they craved most were salty foods, followed by sweets, fast food, and ice. 88% of mothers indulged in most of their food cravings.

Roughly 30% of mothers reported that their pregnancy cravings were for unique food combinations. The combinations they craved most often were french fries and ice cream (20%), pizza and ranch dressing (17%), pineapple on pizza (12%), chocolate and popcorn/potato chips (11%), and salt and watermelon (10%).

Whether you’re a foodie or have a bun in the oven, our favorite foods can foster bonds between us all. That’s why Chicco has everything you need, from bottles to booster seats, to nourish your little one and keep them safe.

To determine the most popular unique food combination in every state, we surveyed over 2,100 Americans across the U.S. over a 2-week period in November 2023. We asked them what popular unique food combinations they've tried, enjoyed, and disliked.

We then surveyed a population of 500 mothers during the same time period to find out what their pregnancy cravings were like. We asked them questions to find out how intense their pregnancy cravings were, the types of food they craved most, and the unique combinations they indulged in.