How a Mexican snack became an American staple


Story highlights

Tortillas outsell hamburger and hot dog buns

Tortilla chips are increasing in sales faster than tortilla chips

As the Latino population grows, so will the variety of foods that cater to them

Editor’s Note: CNN is serving up some of our best food pieces. This article, originally published in 2014, details the history of the tortilla chip. Enjoy!

CNN —  

As a non-sports aficionado, my attraction to game day festivities has been solely food focused. So naturally, I noticed how potato chips have taken less and less space on the snack table to make room for tortilla chips and guacamole.

Although potato chips continue to be the top-selling salted snack in terms of pounds sold, tortilla chips have been increasing in sales at a faster pace than potato chips, especially during this time of year, according to Tom Dempsey, CEO of the Snack Food Association.

And, it’s not just tortilla chips selling at such high rates either.

Tortillas – not the chips but the round flat breads used to wrap burritos - have been outselling hamburger and hot dog buns at supermarkets and retail food stores since 2010.

And salsa has been the new ketchup since 2008, according Jim Kabbani, CEO of the Tortilla Industry Association.

One of the factors that contributes to that growth is immigration. As the Latino population grows, so will the variety of foods that cater to them. Especially since the Mexican-American population makes up the largest Hispanic group in the United States.