The 5 Grocery Brands the South Can't Live Without

From mayo to cake mix, our Southern readers have opinions.

Groceries on top of a map of the South
Photo: Dotdash Meredith / Jesse Blanner

When it comes to food products, the Allrecipes community knows their stuff — and has their favorites. This is why our annual Community Choice Awards are always such a great way to take the kitchen pulse of our 60+ million readers. And while we love learning what the national winners are, we also love discovering what regional votes show us about which food products are near and dear to special parts of the country.

That leads to a part of the United States deeply defined by its recipes and traditions — the South. What do Southerners treasure in their pantries and refrigerators? Here are the top five food products, according to Southerners, from mayo to cake mix.

Duke's Mayonnaise

Spend a few days in the South, and chances are you're going to hear the name, "Duke." No, it's not the university — it's a brand of mayonnaise that has cult status in the region. This year, 26% of South-based Allrecipes Community Choice Awards respondents named it their #1 product. Why? The clean, bright flavor is key to those Southern summer tomato sandwiches and punchy pimento cheese spread, not to mention backyard BBQ potato salad and New Orleans' iconic po'boy sandwiches.

Blue Bell Ice Cream

Ice cream brands tend to have regional favorites, often related to companies that are founded in the area. Texas' Blue Bell Creamery launched its ice creams delivered by horse and wagon in the early part of the 20th century, and by 1958 had shifted to ice cream making full time. By the early 1980s the brand started shipping outside of Texas, and the South adopted it as its preferred ice cream brand, with 25% of the people we talked to listing it as their number one frozen treat. It is now available in 23 states across the South, West, and Southeast, so you might be lucky enough to find it somewhere near you!

Boar's Head Deli Meats

Southerners are serious about their sandwiches, from the famed muffulettas and po'boys of New Orleans, to Cuban sandwiches in Florida and fried bologna in Mississippi. But no matter which style of sandwich Southerners are making, 54% of them are reaching for the deli meats of Boar's Head. Boar's Head produces a full range of deli meats, which are available nationwide, so if you have not tried them yet, check your favorite deli counter. The Sweet Slice ham is the closest thing you'll find to a domestic version of a French jambon blanc or Italian prosciutto cotto.

Duncan Hines Cake Mix

If you have ever looked through the recipe box of a Southern hostess, you'll see that many of her favorite cakes begin with a boxed mix. But whether they are making them as per the package directions or zhuzhing them up with everything from canned fruit cocktail or sour cream to all manners of mix-ins, one thing remains clear: About 47% of them are starting with a Duncan Hines box. With a wide range of flavors, Duncan Hines boxed mixes are a perfect pantry staple, no matter which region of the country you inhabit.


It turns out that 22% of the Southerners who responded to our Community Choice Awards questionnaire are making their sweet tea with Splenda instead of sugar. This artificial sweetener made with a combination of dextrose, maltodextrin, and sucralose packs a powerful sweet flavor with no added calories. And in the South, when that little container hits the table next to the coffee mug, people are bypassing the pink and blue packets and reaching for yellow. Splenda now makes different versions for different dietary restrictions as well as granulated versions for baking.

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