America’s spiciest debate: Instacart reveals favorite hot sauce brands by state

It’s a spicy take on one of America’s favorite condiments: hot sauce. 

With National Hot Sauce Day kicking off on Jan. 22, a recent Instacart survey reveals how much people crave the hot-ticket food item. 

The survey, conducted online by The Harris Poll among 2,000 U.S. adults, found 74% of Americans eat hot sauce on their food, and nearly half (45%) said they typically dash hot sauce on their food once a week or more. 


Hot sauce specialty shop. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)

More than half (59%) of hot sauce eaters typically preferred the heat level of their hot sauce to be hot, with 46% preferring "regular hot" sauce and 14% opting for "as hot as it gets."

Favorite hot sauce brands in US

In the survey, 67% of participants said they were "passionate" about their favorite brand — suggesting hot sauce lovers will go to bat for their favorite spicy sauce.

Using Instacart purchase data, the grocery delivery company uncovered America’s hot sauce preferences, identifying the top purchased hot sauce in each U.S. state. 

Huy Fong revealed as top hot sauce in 31 states

Based on the top hot sauce in each state insight, Huy Fong Sriracha and Frank’s RedHot topped the list as the No. 1 and No. 2 hot sauces sold by Instacart by weight.

Huy Fong, the makers of the famous "rooster sauce" Sriracha, was the top hot sauce in 31 states including nearly the entire western region. 

This was followed by Frank’s RedHot which was most popular in 14 states, primarily in the midwest and Northeast. 


Ranking of America’s favorite hot sauces. (Credit: Instacart)

Meanwhile in the Carolinas — but surprisingly not in Texas — Texas Pete was the number one hot sauce purchase. 

But, Original Louisiana was also not the most popular in Louisiana — but it was in Mississippi and landed as the top spot in the state.

Staying true to local roots, New Mexico favored family-owned hot sauce Bueno which features green and red chilis, while North Dakota chose its local Village Hot Sauce. 

Lastly, Iowa stood alone when it came to its hot sauce preference for Burman’s.

Which states love hot sauce most?

According to Instacart, customers buy a lot of hot sauce. 

Between Dec. 2020 and Nov. 2021, the company revealed customers purchased more than 444,000 gallons of hot sauce — enough to fill more than 18,000 kiddie pools. 

But some states enjoy the heat more than others. 

According to Instacart’s hot sauce heat map, these states bought the most hot sauce to keep things spicy:

  • North Dakota
  • New Mexico
  • Colorado
  • California
  • North Carolina

Meanwhile, these states preferred to stay away from the heat: 

  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Arkansas
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island

Hot sauce sales spike in February

Love is in the air in February — for football...and hot sauce. 

According to data from Instacart, hot sauce purchases peak around the yearly Super Bowl game.

Last year, hot sauce sales spiked by 45% during the week of the big game compared to the rest of the year. 

And hot sauce sales continue to sizzle and gain popularity. 

In 2021, customers purchased 11.7% more hot sauce per customer than in 2020, and 21.6% more than in 2019.