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American Snacks Not Found in Canada

American Snacks Not Found in Canada

The United States is so close to Canada that it almost seems like one big country. However, if you actually LIVE in Canada, you will realize there are some huge differences…like American foods! (And Canadian foods!) There are so many American Snacks not found in Canada plus lots of staples too. (List updated May 2023)

I mean we have free health care, lots more social liberalism but we don’t have nearly as many food choices (except ketchup chips…we get ALL of those).

Canada has come a long way in the 15 years I’ve lived there (how did that happen? It seems like I just moved here.) but there are still a lot of American foods that you can’t really get in Canada unless you find them at a specialty store or they appear for 5 minutes in the third month of the blue moon only to disappear never to be seen again.

One morning, while I was enjoying my Jimmy Dean sausage biscuit, I thought “Hmmm… I wonder what everyone else brings back to Canada when they visit the US. I wonder if I’m missing anything.”

So I did what I always do when I have these burning questions. I asked my Facebook friends what they bring home. Here is the list (with affiliate links in case you are going to the US and want to order on so you don’t have to shop around).

Some items require refrigeration but I am making my list like I could bring ANYTHING home without worrying about refrigeration or weight. Also, why do so many American snacks not found in Canada come in the form of junk food? Things that make you go “hmmmmm”.

And I am not saying that Canada “should” have these. It is simply a list of items that you might want to grab if you are in the US and want to bring something back from your trip that you can’t get here.

American Foods that Have Recently Come to Canada

Every time someone reads this list, they let me know if something is wrong (telling someone they are wrong on the internet makes some people very, very happy). Here are a few foods that recently became available on shelves in Canada. I am leaving them in this article because you never know how long they will be available. Many, many products appear on Canadian shelves only to disappear soon thereafter.

  • Rotel – If you want to make easy and delicious queso dip, Rotel is a MUST. Rotel is now found on Canadian grocery shelves! Queso lovers rejoice. Now if only Velveeta was easier to find and not priced as if it included gold as its first ingredient.
  • Candy – Word on the street is that you can find some of the candy bars I list below at dollar stores in Ontario. Since I don’t live in Ontario, I cannot confirm or deny this fact. We in Alberta, are candy barless and sad. Also, many candy bars have the same name in the US and Canada but are, in fact, not the same. Some examples are Zero bars, Mars bars and Smarties. So don’t just go by the name because that is not the full story.
  • Oreos – Few things epitomize the difference between the US and Canada than Oreos. In Canada, we get regular Oreos, double stuff and maybe golden. That’s it. In the US you get Hot Cocoa Oreos, Mystery Oreos, Red Velvet Oreos, Birthday Cake Oreos, Peanut Butter & Jelly Oreos, Jelly Donut Oreos, Dunkin Donuts Mocha Oreos, and more. Crazy! Some of the special flavours have arrived in Canada but as I’ve mentioned with so many things, they are often for a “limited time only”. So if you see them, GRAB THEM.
American Foods You NEED to Bring Back to Canada Next Time You Visit.

American Snacks You NEED to Bring Back to Canada Next Time You Visit

  • Bugles – After Covid, the company who makes Bugles decided that Canadians no longer needed to be able to access the world’s favorite finger hat.
  • Little Debbie Snack Cakes – Up until last year, Little Debbie Snack cakes were available in Canada with a much smaller offering than in the US. Now, they have pulled out of the market so no more Christmas Tree Cakes for us. Sob.
  • Jimmy Dean Bulk Sausage – Jimmy Dean is, in my opinion, the best breakfast sausage out there. Unfortunately, you can’t get it in Canada. We have been known to bring back 25 pounds when we drive to Montana. It freezes well and it makes the best sausage and cheese balls EVER. In a weird twist, you can buy Jimmy Dean frozen breakfast sandwiches (which include the sausage) but not just the sausage. Crazy, right?
  • Yogurts and Cottage Cheese – Yes we have both in Canada but the US has many more options. One that many people love is Fage brand yogurt as well as Breckstones Cottage Cheese. I’ve had both and nothing in Canada compares.
  • BBQ Sauces – We have many more options these days but there are still some that can’t be found here. One of my favorites is Big Bob Gibson’s White BBQ Sauce while a reader mentioned the Jack Daniels brand of bbq sauce and marinades.
  • Gluten Free, low carb and low sugar products especially those made with Stevia. There is just much more selection in the US for these diets.
  • Cherry Coke Zero – For years you couldn’t get any of the Cherry Cokes in Canada. They’ve changed that and you can get the full-sugar variety. However, I prefer Cherry Coke Zero. Unfortunately, you can’t get that north of the border. Also try Vanilla Coke, Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper, Orange Vanilla Coke Zero, Pepsi Nitro, A&W Cream Soda and Cherry 7-Up. Cherry Coke Zero and Vanilla Coke have shown up in Canada but they are not always available. Let’s see if they decide to keep supplying Canadian fans long term.
special K cinnamon pecan
  • Sugary Cereal – I know, I know…it’s not really GOOD for you but who cares. The cereal aisle in the US makes the Canadian version look pale in comparison. May I suggest: Count Chocula, Cinnamon Pecan Special K, Fruity Pebbles and Cookie Crisp. If you love Boo Berry and Count Chocula, you can sometimes find it around Halloween. And even not so sugary cereals are sometimes hard to find such as Corn Chex.
  • Pimento Cheese – Funny thing is, I didn’t really like pimento cheese growing up. Now, I love it and buy it every time I go to the US. I love it slathered on saltine crackers. Yum! Price’s is my brand of choice. Don’t cheap out. You will regret it when you get icky fake cheese (as opposed to delicious fake cheese). I recently realized it is amazing on a ham biscuit!
  • Easy Cheese – Speaking of fake cheese. You can not get aerosol cheese in a can in Canada. Who knows why. Oh, the nostalgia of spraying mounds of cheese on Wheat Thins. Delicious!
  • Instant Grits – Ok, this is a new one for me. I’ve finally developed a taste for grits and you can’t really get them in Canada. Though I can hear my Granny telling me that regular grits are WAY better than instant.
  • Anything Tillamook – Tillamook cheese, yogurt and ice cream have a cult-like following. Unfortunately, they are only available in certain areas of the US and require refrigeration. However, if you can swing it, bring some back!
zero bars
moon pie package
  • Moon Pies – I know what you are going to say. “But Canada has Wagon Wheels!”. Yeah, they are not the same. If you decide to snag some Moon Pies, make sure to get the single-decker ones. They are much better than the double-decker ones. I prefer the standard issue, chocolate moon pies. the other flavors are ok but the chocolate single decker is the very best.
  • Coffee Creamer – Again, maybe not the healthiest thing but I’ll admit that I am addicted. My favourite is the Almond Joy flavour. It is really, really good. My second favourite is Coldstone Creamery flavour. Yum!
  • Oreos – Few things epitomize the difference between the US and Canada than Oreos. In Canada, we get regular Oreos, double stuff and maybe golden. That’s it. In the US you get Hot Cocoa Oreos, Mystery Oreos, Red Velvet Oreos, Birthday Cake Oreos, Peanut Butter & Jelly Oreos, Jelly Donut Oreos, Dunkin Donuts Mocha Oreos, and more. Crazy! Some of the special flavours have arrived in Canada but as I’ve mentioned with so many things, they are often for a “limited time only”. So if you see them, GRAB THEM.
candied jalapenos
  • Candied Jalapenos – I learned to love these living in Austin. They are amazing on crackers with cream cheese or on your ham sandwich. Really…I think you could eat them on anything.
  • Anything from Trader Joe’s or Target. Let’s face it. We love stores we don’t have. I suggest peanut butter stuffed pretzels from Trader Joe’s and many of my friends swear by the “Everything But the Bagel” seasoning. Yum!
  • Rudy’s BBQ Sauce and rub – We love this peppery bbq sauce that we fell in love with in Austin, TX. It is a must-have when we make a brisket.
  • Spices – Take a turn around the spice aisle. You’ll find all kinds of spices and spice blends not available at your local store. My friend Shan recommends Lawry’s Garlic Salt.
  • Chik-Fil-A Sauce – This mix of honey mustard and barbecue sauce is delicious as a dip for chicken fingers or fries. A friend brought us a bottle and it is delish!
  • Chips – Like breakfast cereal, we have a lot of the same options in Canada that they have in the US but they definitely have MORE. Plus, they have things like Funyuns which we don’t get. Also, if you are in the South, try Zapps chips. They are super crunchy and delicious. My favourites are the Voodoo flavour (kind of a sweet bbq).
  • Cake Mixes – I’m beginning to feel like a broken record! Check out the cake mix and frosting aisle when you visit a store in the US. They have many, many more flavours than we do. In fact, you can get one of my favourite cake mixes, German Chocolate and you can’t get it in Canada.
  • Self-Rising White Cornmeal Mix – the only kind of corn muffin mix you can get in Canada is SWEET. It is not my favourite. I can make my own skillet cornbread from scratch but man, cornmeal mix makes it so much easier. Plus you can’t get white cornmeal here. It is all bright yellow. I used to bring back 2 or 3 5-pound bags of White Lily Cornmeal mix every trip. I got such weird looks from customs officials. They obviously don’t know what they are missing.

And food isn’t the only thing people bring back.

Many suggested I have a look at yarn, fabric, clothing and shoes. Let’s face it, the options and varieties are better for almost everything in the US versus Canada. In short, if you are a shopper and want to try new things, head to the store when you visit the US.

Make sure you bring extra bags when you visit the US and save at least one of them for all the American snacks not found in Canada! Going the other way? Make sure to buy these yummy Canadian products to take back to the US.

American snacks not found in canada


Tuesday 20th of June 2023

contact us - we are wholesale. We sell rare exotic candy snacks and drinks. If you want something from USA we will import it.


Friday 21st of April 2023

A&W cream Soda


Monday 24th of July 2023


We used to have A&W Cream soda in Canada... I think they dropped it when A&W was in hard times and a Canadian company took over the Canadian A&W's.


Friday 21st of April 2023

Anyone knows where I can find little Debbie cosmic brownies in Canada downtown Toronto?


Sunday 23rd of July 2023

@Merry Kuchle,

Why waster your time with Little Debbie's when you can have Vachon snacks such as Jos Louis, Passion Flake, Ah Caramel and others.

btw, Vachon makes Twinkies for the Canadian market.

Soon to be leaving Canada Delissio, Stouffer's, Lean Cuisine, and Life Cuisine. To me, not a huge loss. I only bought them when they where on sale, otherwise not worth the price.

Merry Kuchle

Friday 21st of April 2023

Unfortunately, Little Debbie pulled out of Canada earlier this year.

James Willington

Wednesday 19th of April 2023

You forgot the Pepsi Nitro!


Wednesday 22nd of February 2023

Thank you! I'm travelling to Anaheim in a few weeks and I can't wait to stock up on some of this stuff!