After over 18 months, the United States has opened its doors again to a number of countries, including the United Kingdom. With so many more people looking forward to exploring the Big Apple and the Big Smoke, we’re sure they’re looking forward to eating plenty of delicious food and drinks.
While some may be keen to try out the iconic foods such as deep-dish pizzas in America and fish and chips in England, tourists are also likely to head to the grocery store (ahem, corner shop) to pick up the local snacks on offer. It might be fizzy drinks, crisps or chocolate, but when we’re on holiday, we often want to graze all day long.
While you’ll recognise some products on shelves in both countries, is the number of calories you’ll consume the same in the US and the UK? To find out, we compared our favourite treats on both sides of the pond, and also looked at the calories and product size of each, to reveal which snacks are more different in size and calorie-count than you might think.
1 – Fanta Orange 2 Litre
US – 960 calories
UK – 380 calories
Difference: 580 calories
152.6% more calories in the US
Fanta is popular across the globe, with many different flavours such as lemon and fruit twist. But, the classic orange flavour is still arguably it’s most famous offering.
For Brits travelling to the US, they might be surprised to find that a 2-litre bottle has 580 more calories than the same bottle in the UK. In the US, Fanta orange is also visibly more orange and brighter in colour, while the UK version includes orange juice from concentrate.
2 – Lindt Lindor Milk Chocolate Truffles
US – 880 calories per carton
UK – 1,246 calories per carton
Difference: 366 calories
29.4% more calories in the UK
Lindor is popular in both countries, especially as the festive period looms. UK consumers will get more truffles in their carton, however they’re also more likely to eat more calories, with 366 more calories per carton. For those who choose to make a carton last longer than a few hours, the UK version also has 155 more calories per 100g than in the US.
3 – Haagen-Dazs Cookies and Cream tub
US – 825 calories per tub
UK – 1,159 calories per tub
Difference: 334 calories
28.8% more calories in the UK
American brand Haagen-Dazs is loved in many countries, with cookies and cream a favourite across both sides of the pond.
Tourists in the UK are likely to consume more calories than tourists in America. For every 100ml, you can expect to eat around 250 calories, which is 44 more than in America. Tubs are, perhaps surprisingly, also bigger in the UK, with an extra 67g of ice cream to eat.
4 – Heinz Tomato Ketchup
US – 116 calories per 100ml
UK – 102 calories per 100ml
Difference: 14 calories
14% more calories in the US
No matter how you eat it, or what you eat it with, ketchup is the perfect addition to so many meals, and has rescued many meals, whether it be a bland burger or a sloppy joe.
Americans are likely to consume slightly more calories per 100ml than those who are in the UK. Although, the average bottle of ketchup is smaller in America – 567g compared to the UK’s 700g.
5 – Snickers bar
US – 250 calories
UK – 245 calories
Difference – 5 calories
2% more calories in the US
The ideal blend of roasted peanut, caramel and chocolate, Snickers are a delicious snack for mornings, lunch and evening.
In America, you’ll get a slightly bigger portion, with the average Snickers bar over there weighing 52.7g, compared to the UK’s 48g. But there’s only a couple of calories between them, so tourists in both countries can rejoice.
6 – Doritos nacho/tangy cheese share bags
US – 1,500 calories per pack
UK – 900 calories per pack
Difference – 600 calories
66.6% more calories in the US
Doritos have been popular for generations. Tangy Cheese (or, in the US, Nacho Cheese) Doritos have the perfect combination of cheese seasoning and crunch, which many find it hard not to consume in one sitting.
For those eating the American version, they can eat up to 600 more calories than the British equivalent. There are 572 calories per 100g of the packet in the US, but 500 calories of crisps in the UK pack.
7 – Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
US – 480 calories per 100g
UK – 542 calories per 100g
Difference – 62 calories
11.4% more calories in the UK
So many of us love foods which combine peanut butter and chocolate, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are a staple in office snack drawers everywhere.
For a share packet, the American version is 30% larger than the pack sold in the UK. However, per 100g, there’s actually 62 more calories in each UK packet.
8 – Lay’s Classic/Walkers Ready Salted
US – 564 calories per 100g
UK – 520 calories per 100g
Difference – 44 calories
8.4% more calories in the US
The logos forWalker’s and Lay’s are very similar – because they’re fundamentally the same brand. When it was acquired by Frito-Lay in 1989, Walker’s was rebranded as Lay’s in every country but the UK.
Classic Lay’s in the US are around 24% smaller in size than the UK’s ready salted bags. But for every 100g of crisps (or chips), there are 520 in Walker’s Ready Salted, and 564 in Lay’s.
9 – Pringles Sour Cream and Onion
US – 577 calories per 100g
UK – 506 calories per 100g
Difference – 71 calories
14% more calories in the US
Pringles are a favourite in the UK and the US for a very good reason – the classic shape creates a unique crisp-eating experience, with many hoping the tube will never end. Sour Cream and Onion is an OG flavour of Pringles, which picnics, buffets and family gatherings are rarely without.
Per 100g, people will consume more calories in the American version – unless you eat the entire tub, of course. Then you’ll be consuming more than 1,000 calories with the UK’s sour cream and onion tub. Which nobody has ever done in one sitting. Nope.
10 – Peanut M&Ms
US – 1,540 calories per share bag
UK – 1,380 calories per share bag
Difference – 160 calories
11.6% more calories in the US
There’s definitely a peanut theme with these snacks. Peanut M&Ms are often found in any supermarket or grocery store on both sides of the pond.
If you purchase a share bag (304g) in the US, you’re likely to eat 160 more calories than in the UK. Although tourists in America could get a party size pack of peanut M&Ms which are 38oz (1,077g) and could set you back 5.320 calories!
If you think you may have an intolerance to peanuts or any other nuts, it’s worth considering a sensitivity test.
Kerri Ferraioli, nutritionist at YorkTest, said: “As the travel bans lift, we can expect many British and American tourists to start planning their next trip abroad. We all love snacks, they keep us going throughout the day and can provide energy and increase our nutrient intake.
“When you’re on vacation, it’s important to have fun and eat what makes you feel good. However some people may not be aware of the stark difference between product size and calories in both countries. Having a higher number of calories for a few days is fine, but over time it can increase your chances of gaining weight. When on vacation, we often want to try out all of the delicacies and snacks, so if you’re conscious of how much you’re going to consume, I’d suggest starting with smaller portions instead of omitting anything from your diet. This way, you get to sample even more foods and drinks!”
If you’re concerned that your gut health is not as it should be and a food sensitivity test could be an underlying issue, check out our premium food sensitivity test.
We have taken the data from the below sources, which are correct as of November 10 2021. Where exact size comparisons were unavailable, products were compared with the most similar product size.