Minneapolis / St. Paul, the metropolitan area where I reside, leads the nation in the consumption of chocolate, apple cider, and insect repellent. My wife, Darleen, deserves much of the credit for the first record, and I must accept major responsibility for the second. As for the third item, you may recall that the mosquito is the unofficial state bird of Minnesota.

Our Twin Cities, however, rank last among 51 regional markets in the consumption of brussels sprouts, denture adhesives, and dog food. Likewise, we come in last in the use of tea bags and coffee creamers—the many Scandinavians prefer coffee, and they like it black. And, at the risk of sounding like the local Chamber of Commerce, I point out that in our community, dependence on tranquilizers and sleeping pills is at the bottom.

How do I know all this? Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine told me so, citing the findings of Selling Areas—Marketing, which measures per capita sales of items around the country.

Lest readers from other cities feel slighted, here are a few products popular in other areas. Indianapolis leads the nation in the purchase of shoe polish, while New Yorkers hold the record for per-capita sales of soap. Snackers in Dallas hold the record for popcorn consumption, and Salt Lake City residents munch the most marshmallows. I’ll resist the temptation to draw theological inferences from any of this.

Folks in New Orleans apparently smother their world-renowned cuisine in ketchup, Denverites gobble the most vitamins per person, and Miami—you guessed it—leads in prune juice.

Although this particular market research did not address it, I wonder about the sales of various religious items. Where do pew pads and disposable communion cups sell best? What city ranks first ...

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