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The Top Barbeque Sauces and Flavors By State and Region

The Top Barbeque Sauces and Flavors By State and Region

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The Top Barbeque Sauces and Flavors By State

Welcome to the ultimate BBQ sauce showdown! We’re here to settle the age-old debate of which BBQ sauce reigns supreme in each state. From the tangy and sweet flavors of Kansas City to the mustard-based sauce of South Carolina, we’ve scoured the country to find the most popular BBQ sauce in every state. So, grab a napkin and get ready to salivate over some mouth-watering BBQ goodness. Whether you’re a die-hard sauce aficionado or just a casual backyard griller, this blog is for you. Let the BBQ sauce battle begin!

Because of BBQ sauce’s popularity and versatility, it has evolved into dozens of different styles and flavors, many of which are governed by locally preferred ingredients and characteristics. The massive variety of BBQ selections and flavors has given rise to a debate over which BBQ sauce is the best.

While someone in Maine or California might be more likely to prefer Hickory-style BBQ sauce, people in the Southeastern US will often swear that Honey-style BBQs can’t be beaten. Even the team here at Fetch couldn’t come to a consensus and had an amusing debate over the merits of Hickory versus South Carolina style.

Let’s explore the most popular BBQ Sauce Per State and Region Based on Real Purchase Data

📊 The Data

Fetch has compiled a breakdown of the top BBQ sauces and flavors, by state. These findings come from aggregated data of your receipt captures and explores the share of flavors and subcategories in each state and region. We then selected the top BBQ picks by looking at the flavor each state bought more than the national average.

When it comes to BBQ sauce types and flavors, ‘Original’ scores the highest share of sales across all states.

Sauce Types Breakdown

  • Original 48.1% 👑
  • Wing Sauce 20.3%
  • Honey 18.2%
  • Hickory 13.4%

Infographic of the top BBQ sauces by state data

Original scores the most, with different states show varying proportions. Thus to get to the most preferred sauce type and flavor by state, Fetch looked at the share of sauce types/flavors in each state during the summer of 2021 (May-Aug).

For example, Iowa accounted for almost 64.2% of the Original sauce, while DC only 37.6%. While the sauce type had the highest share in each state, it was significantly higher for Iowa, versus the national average for Original at 48.1%. For DC, the share was 37.6% for Original and 18.4% for Hickory, versus national average of 13.4%

For flavors, most kept it classic with Original during the grilling season. Most of the Eastern US is a mixed bag of flavors ranging from sweet (North East), mild (Mid-Atlantic), to tangy (South East).

🍖 The Top BBQ Sauces By State

Let’s Look at the BBQ Sauces in their Four Subcategories:

👑 Original

While BBQ sauce ingredients can vary greatly, they need to follow a core recipe to be considered a BBQ sauce. Original style BBQ sauce follows these conventions the most strictly. This style includes vinegar, tomato paste, and/or mayonnaise as a base. It will usually have liquid smoke, onion powder, and supporting spices such as mustard and black pepper. It should also have a sweet factor, like sugar or molasses, to balance the taste and allow for caramelization while cooking.

🌲 Hickory

Hickory BBQ sauce is generally defined as having a robust smoky flavor, paired with notes of onion, garlic, chili powder, and tomato tanginess. It usually has a bit of brown sugar to add an element of sweetness, and to compliment the smokey, savory taste.

🐝 Honey

Honey barbecue sauce is one of the most versatile subcategories because it generally doesn’t have a sour, tangy flavor like many other bbq sauces. Honey style combines honey and vinegar to give it a balance and a sweeter flavor that can be used with nearly any kind of meat.

🍗 Wing Sauce

Wing sauce evolves the class BBQ sauce flavors and ingredients by adding heat and butter. This style is most known for dressing Buffalo wings (or, chicken wings, if you are from Buffalo), and can be identified by its lighter, orange color, and spicy flavor profile.

Here is the Breakdown of Preferred BBQ Sauce Subcategories by State:

The Top Barbeque Sauces and Flavors By State, summer 2021

🔥 The Top BBQ Flavors By State

Let’s break it down even further by exploring the top BBQ flavors for each state. It was interesting to see that some states preferred hot and spicy, while others preferred mild or tangy. Some states wanted abundant spices like garlic and Italian herbs, while others gravitated toward eccentricities like parmesan cheese and pineapple.

Let’s See how These BBQ Flavor Variants Were Chosen By State:

State BBQ Sauce Flavor
Alaska Original BBQ
Medium Original Buffalo
Arkansas Hickory Smoke
Hot Buffalo
California Buffalo Style
Colorado Buffalo Red Hot
Connecticut Hot Buffalo
Delaware Hickory and Brown Sugar
Florida Carolina Tangy Gold
Georgia Carolina Tangy Gold
Hawaii Original
Iowa Original Sweet Pineapple
Idaho Original BBQ
Illinois Hot
Indiana Hawaiian Style
Kansas Original Classic
Kentucky Original BBQ
Louisiana Spicy Honey
Massachusetts Chinese Style
Maryland Mild Buffalo
Maine Hickory Brown Sugar
Michigan Garlic Parmesan
Minnesota Parmesan Roasted Garlic with Italian Herbs
Missouri Original Classic
Mississippi Sweet Honey
Montana Original
North Carolina Extra Mild
North Dakota Original BBQ
Nebraska Buffalo Red Hot
New Hampshire Chinese Style
New Jersey Original Sweet Pineapple
New Mexico Original BBQ
Nevada Buffalo Red Hot
New York Roasted Garlic Honey
Ohio Spicy Garlic
Oklahoma Original
Oregon Buffalo Red Hot
Pennsylvania Sweet Red Chili
Rhode Island Hickory and Brown Sugar
South Carolina Carolina Tangy Gold
South Dakota BBQ
Tennesse Medium Original Buffalo
Texas Hot Mango Habanero
Utah Buffalo Red Hot
Virginia Original Sweet Pineapple
Vermont (not enough data) 😔
Washington BBQ
Wisconsin Parmesan Roasted Garlic with Italian Herbs
West Virginia Parmesan Roasted Garlic with Italian Herbs
Wyoming (not enough data) 😔


💰 Get Bonus Points and Free Gift Cards When You Buy BBQ Sauce

Our walkthrough of the most popular BBQ sauces, by state, wouldn’t be complete without some tips on how to get bonus points and free gift cards when you purchase top-notch BBQ sauce styles and flavors.

Fetch Rewards has partnered with popular BBQ sauce brands like Red Gold, The New Primal, and TABASCO® to ensure that you can get your BBQ fix and rack up the points for free gift cards. Be sure to check the app’s special offers daily to see which sauces, marinades, and condiments can be purchased for hundreds or even thousands of bonus points.

Fetch BBQ sauce special offers

🛒More Ways to Get Bonus Points with Your BBQ Shopping

Fetch also offers a huge variety of special offers on BBQ adjacent products like meat and charcoal. You can even make your own BBQ sauce and get tons of points by looking out for special offers on ingredients like mayonnaise, mustard, and spices.

Fetch Rewards special offers on grilling products

You can then turn those points into free gift cards, at popular stores like Walmart and Target, which you can use to get even more delicious BBQ and grocery items!

How to get free Walmart gift cards with fetch rewards

👩‍🍳 What’s Your Favorite Style of BBQ?

Be sure to hit us up on our social media channels to let us know which style of BBQ is your favorite and how you maximize your bonus points with special offers, as well as your favorite Fetch-inspired BBQ recipes.

Check Out Our Grocery Shopping on a Tight Budget Tips

19 Helpful Tips For Grocery Shopping on a Tight Budget

🆓 Start Getting Free Gift Cards

If you don’t have the Fetch Rewards app, and you want to start getting free gift cards for your BBQ endeavors, just click the button below or scan the QR code with your phone’s camera.

Happy Fetching and BBQing!