Ketchup challenges mustard's hot-dog supremacy

October 07, 2011, 7:49 PM UTC

A new YouGov survey on two of America’s favorite foods, hot-dogs and hamburgers, reveals that mustard is American’s preferred condiment for hot-dogs, but ketchup—also Americans’ choice for Hamburgers—is gaining popularity among younger Americans and might in the future unseat mustard’s place in the top-spot.

For the survey, we first asked respondents if they ate either hot-dogs or hamburgers. 77% of respondents said they ate hot-dogs and 86% said they ate hamburgers. Only 10% said they ate neither of the two. There was little variation across region or age groups, though younger respondents were slightly more inclined to not eat either hot-dogs or hamburgers.

We next asked the respondents who ate either hamburgers or hot-dogs what condiments they usually choose. For hot-dogs, the most popular condiment was mustard (chosen by 72% of respondents), followed by ketchup (59%), onions (51%) and relish (47%). For hamburgers, the most popular condiments were ketchup (71%), onions (64%), mustard (50%) and mayonnaise (48%).

There were significant differences in the condiments preferred by Americans of different age groups. Most strikingly, 73% of Americans 16-34 years-old ate their hot-dogs with ketchup, while only 41% of those 55 and older did so. Another condiment more favored by the young was mayonnaise. Older respondents, on the other hand, were more likely than younger respondents to eat their hot dogs with mustard, onions, pickle relish or sauerkraut.

While the differences by age were less striking for hamburgers, some of the same patterns held. Younger respondents were more likely to eat their hamburgers with ketchup or mayonnaise, while onions and pickle relish were slightly more favored by older ones.

Some regions favored different condiments too. For hot-dogs, ketchup was most popular in the Midwest, while sauerkraut and spicy mustard more favored in the Northeast. Jalapeno peppers and mayonnaise (not necessarily together!) were chosen most in the West.

For hamburgers, the use of mustard and mayonnaise varied. 64% of respondents in the Midwest ate their hamburgers with mustard, while only 33% did so in the Northeast and other states fell somewhere in between. Likewise, 63% of respondents in the West ate their hamburgers with mayonnaise, while only 30% of respondents did so in the Northeast, the least mayonnaise inclined region.