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By Businessweek.com staff
"Salsa has now passed ketchup as America's favorite condiment. Isn't that amazing? You know it's bad when even our vegetables are starting to lose their jobs to Mexico." When Jay Leno spoke these words in his nightly monologue on the Tonight Show in October 2006, it probably made a lot of late-night viewers sit up in bed. Ketchup is as American as cola and baseball, but as the nation has become increasingly weight-conscious and Hispanic culture more mainstream, in hindsight it makes sense. What might come as an even bigger surprise, though, is that sales of mayonnaise—in both total sales and units sold—dwarfs both salsa and ketchup. According to SymphonyIRI Group, a market research firm in Chicago, more than 396,376,100 units of mayo were sold in the 52 weeks to Sept. 5, 2010, generating more than $1.258 billion in sales, compared with 271,312,400 units of salsa for $764,299,900, or 256,891,700 units of ketchup for $481,278,800. That’s a lot of tuna salad.
Click here to see the 25 best-selling condiments in the U.S.