How Much do Americans Spend on Potato Chips?

Consumers in the United States spend more than $7 billion US Dollars (USD) a year on potato chips, which adds up to 2-4 billion pounds (1-2 billion kg) of potato chips a year. About 12 million pounds (5.5 million kg) of potato chips are eaten on Super Bowl Sunday alone.

More facts about potato chips:

  • Potato chips reportedly got their start in 1853 when a patron of a Sarasota Springs resort — some say Cornelius Vanderbilt — sent some potatoes back to the kitchen, complaining that they were too thick and soggy. The incensed chef sliced them extra-thin, salted them heavily and sent them back in defiance. To his surprise, the patron liked them, and they became a regular item on the menu.

  • The majority of chipping potatoes — special varieties of potatoes for making chips — in the U.S. come from North Dakota, Pennsylvania or Florida.

  • Potato chip flavors from around the world include paprika, roast chicken, meat pie, pickled onion, grill and sour cream and béarnaise.
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Discussion Comments


I think that 19th Century resort was Saratoga Springs, NY, not Sarasota Springs, FL (where the first homestead was established in 1886).


The incensed chef who created these potato chips was named George Speck, who later changed his name to George Crum.


Americans spend 7 billion dollars on potato chips every year. Just imagine how much Americans spend on other junk food you find in grocery stores. Americans spend three times more on junk food than healthy food.


Michigan is the top US producer of potatoes for the chipping industry.


The "discovery" of potato chips in a Sarasota Springs kitchen occurred in 1853, which obviously was during the 19th century.


Culinary history cites sources and chefs from the 19th century "discovering" potato chips. I would be hesitant to believe the story that they came from a more contemporary kitchen in Sarasota Springs.

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