The Popularity List: What Americans Eat and Love Most (and Who Won the Skippy vs. Jif Battle)

From the Internet to magazines, were flooded every day with ads that tell us what we should like. But what do we really like? What do we buy the most often, eat the most of, love the most? As reported by Business Week, researchers have some amazing, and funny answers:

Guess what Walmarts most popular item is?

The banana! Really. The worlds largest retailer, which rang up $405 billion in sales last year, sells more bananas than any other item in the stores. Freaky.

Our drug of choice

Vicodin. The painkilling combination of hydrocodone with acetaminophen was dispensed (generically) 128 million times in 2009. Why is it so popular? Because its prescribed in dentists as well as doctors offices. Unfortunately, its become a party drug: a survey showed that in 2008 9.7 percent of high school seniors used the drug recreationally.

The peanut-butter fight

The winner, by a knockout: Jif. The brand, which recorded sales of $317 million, has outsold Skippy, its closest rival, since 1981. According to Business Week, Jifs stayed ahead by proactively launching spinoffs like Simply Jif (with less sugar and sodium) and the portable Jif To Go. And it doesnt hurt that theyve got one of the most memorable ad slogans ever: Choosy Mothers Choose Jif.

Favorite fish

Forget about tuna: its shrimp. Not only did the average American eat 4.1 pounds of shrimp, according to a 2008 survey, that figure was higher than canned tuna by nearly 50 percent. The reason, experts say: more shrimp are available, at a lower price.Top dogJust like Jif, the family-friendly Labrador retriever is a long-time champ. Its been the most popular breed for the past 19 years. Coming up fast, though, is the macho German Shepherds. Of the top five breeds (Labs, shepherds, Yorkshire terriers, golden retrievers and beagles) , only one isnt used as a law-enforcement and detection dog. Well leave it to you to guess which one. (Hint: It yaps.)
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