The great peanut butter debate: 57% of people prefer creamy over crunchy

Deep dish versus thin crust, white versus wheat, and skim versus two percent are all heated food debates. But creamy versus crunchy peanut butter is arguably the most contentious.

Pizza preference has a clear geographic association, but the makeup of teams creamy and crunchy is largely unknown. So, we at Survata wanted to get a handle on the demographics of peanut butter preferences.

To find out, we used our consumer survey tool to ask 4,410 respondents whether they preferred creamy or crunchy peanut butter. After screening out those who don’t eat peanut butter, we found that creamy was the more popular choice by a score of 57% to 43%.

Crunchier with age

Could your peanut butter preference betray your age? Our results suggest that it might, since respondents age 45 and over overwhelmingly chose crunchy over creamy. This trend was reversed in the younger age categories, with 59% of respondents under 45 preferring creamy.


Perhaps crunchy peanut butter possesses some kind of Freudian symbolism, because we found that preference differed slightly by gender. 48% of men preferred crunchy peanut butter, compared to 41% of women. This means men were 17% more likely than women to go for crunchy.

Our take

Frankly, we were surprised to find significant demographic correlations in peanut butter preference. But, such a survey illustrates the fact that even the most unsuspecting topics can be an opportunity to gain consumer insights.

Want to learn demographic preferences about your product? Try Survata today.

Footnotes for our fellow data geeks

  1. We interviewed 4,410 online respondents from October 7 to October 9, 2013
  2. You can download the underlying data here.
  3. You can analyze the underlying data in Statwing.
  • SkytheWeird

    Creamy all the way.

  • stevepatton

    I note as well that the average person is rather bland about food choices, especially in youth although this is gradually changing. I expect that if you dug further you’d find this to be true with peanut butter prefernce, the likely reason that older people prefer th ecrunchy isn’t simply because of texture, it’s because the peanut taste is more pronounced, particularly in brands that do not contain ingredients other than peanuts and maybe a bit of salt. This is true of peanut butter that is not emulsified or very finely ground which explains why these make better peanut butter cookies.
    I would suggest that some of this preference is taught by the fact that most parents introduce their children to smooth peanut butter for texture reasons in young children. Interestingly though my daughter always preferred smooth if asked and my son the crunchy, both took peanut butter fairly otften if they packed lunch but the smooth peanut butter tended t stack up in the pantry since my wife bought one of each every shopping trip, the crunchy was always out before next trip but the creamy even if opened went untoiuched. My grandkids prefer to buy lunch but do eat peanut butter and if asked will claim they prefer creamy, but we have the same issue with teh crunchy going first and the creamy hanging around forever. The granddaughters are all in high school and college now and prefer to buy and do not as often eat peanut butter. if they do eat it oin crackers around here by themselves they eat the crunchy but if they serve it to their friends they always put out the creamy. The grandson who is only 5 won’t eat the creamy at all. He calls it baby food. There may be a reason that the peanut council found a 60/40 creamy preference and that would be that a fair amount of peanut butter ende up in recipes like smoothies or pies, etc. which almost always sopecify the creamy for obvious reasons.