The 5 Grocery Brands the Midwest Can't Live Without

From Miracle Whip to Minute Rice, our Midwestern readers name names.

A bunch of groceries on top of a map of the Midwestern states
Photo: Dotdash Meredith / Jesse Blanner

Allrecipes' annual Community Choice Awards lets our 60 million subscribers keep us in the know about the latest and greatest innovations in cooking: essential ingredients, the pantry staples we stock up on, and the specialty items we love to source. And while the national results give us the big picture, we love learning what has special significance in regions of the United States.

This year, the results reminded us that the Midwest definitely has its favorites, and you may discover — no matter where you live — that you'd like a little Midwestern flavor in your life as well. Here, then, are the top five food products in the Midwest, from Miracle Whip to Minute Rice.

Sargento Snacking Cheese

From classic string cheese singles, to individual sticks of cheddar and pepper jack, and cubes of Colby-jack, the Midwest is all in on these creamy snacking cheese options, with 26% of the region putting the brand first. The singles are easy to pop in a lunch bag or take to the office for a quick protein hit, and the bags of cubes make a cheese board as simple as adding a sleeve of crackers.

Minute Rice

The Midwest loves rice, but especially loves rice that can be made foolproof in minutes. Minute Rice is the preferred brand for 24% of Midwesterners, who know that they can get rice on the table without any specialty equipment or fuss. From boil versions to instant microwave tubs, this rice is a secret weapon for busy home cooks.

Smucker's Jams and Jellies

There is no contest in the fruity spreads arena: When we asked the Midwest which jars they reach for, Smucker's was the choice of a whopping 54% of respondents! It's no wonder, since the company was founded in Ohio in 1897 and the Midwest stays loyal to local. With all sorts of varieties from jams to preserves, jellies to fruit spreads, plus sugar-free versions, Smucker's has a jar for every occasion. Whether you need a schmear for your PB&J, a dollop on your morning toast, or even a filling for a thumbprint cookie, Smucker's has just the jar for you.

Jif Peanut Butter

Speaking of PB&J, chances are pretty good that in the Midwest, that spoonful of Smucker's will land on top of a smear of Jif peanut butter. When it comes to this region, Jif is the runaway favorite brand, with 48% of Allrecipes readers listing it as their preferred nut butter.

Miracle Whip

If there is one category of food that is deeply polarizing, it is mayonnaise. Households can remain loyal to a brand for generations, and different regions will hold local versions as sacred staples. While certain mayos reach national cult status, like Kewpie brand with chefs and foodies, Miracle Whip leads the pack in the Midwest. This year, 26% of Allrecipes Community Choice Awards respondents from the Midwest named it their number one choice. While technically a "salad dressing" and not pure mayonnaise, Miracle Whip's slightly sweet tang brings a little something extra to sandwiches, Midwestern-style slaws, and salads. If you've been a purist when it comes to mayo, it might be time to see what the Midwestern fuss is all about!

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