End of the World

Last person on Earth End of the World (© dkornelia - stock.adobe.com)

NEW YORK — A third of Americans (34%) believe they can be the sole survivor of the apocalypse, a new survey reveals. The poll of 2,000 U.S. adults looked at how this would be the case and found that these respondents believe they’d outlast everyone because of their strong survival skills (54%) and adaptability (53%).

Three in 10 see themselves as the “underdog” of the apocalypse, while more respondents believe they’re the “top dog” who would undoubtedly survive it all (33%). According to Americans, the ideal “survival team” they would build to get through the apocalypse includes Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (43%), Chuck Norris (36%), Superman (33%), John Cena (26%), and MacGyver (23%).

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of national sandwich chain, Quiznos, the survey also examined the foods people would live off of and discovered that canned meat or fish (30%), peanut butter (26%), and satisfying sandwiches (13%) were some of the survival favorites. Others would opt for salty snacks like canned beans (21%) or nuts (23%).

Someone in a post-apocalyptic world
Someone in a post-apocalyptic world (Photo by appledesign on Shutterstock)

In case the world does come to an abrupt end, people also shared some of their classic favorite foods they’d miss most, like cheesy pizza (38%), fresh fruit (24%), and savory sandwiches (17%). When push comes to shove and they’re hungry, however, more than half of Americans feel like they can eat anything (56%), with some even craving unusual flavors or foods that don’t always go together (51%).

Fifty-seven percent credit themselves as inventors of a unique flavor mashup, and the majority of these respondents ended up liking their creation (88%). These creations range from “pasta with ranch dressing” to “red bean pizza” and “pickles in egg salad sandwiches.”

Others enjoy sweet and salty combos like “fried green plantains with condensed milk,” “grilled cheese and maple syrup,” and “cottage cheese and apple butter.” Thirty-five percent of those surveyed believe their “unique” food is so good that it has the potential to go viral on social media.

Woman cooking using online recipe
(© Drazen – stock.adobe.com)

“We know all about unique flavor mashups and find inventive twists and familiar favorites interesting,” says spokesperson Brent Phillip, chief marketing officer at Quiznos, in a statement. “Creating food with flavor and inventive recipes is a part of our everyday lives.”

In the past, nearly a quarter of respondents have avoided telling someone about a food they liked out of concern that they’d be judged (24%). In fact, 29 percent of Americans generally see themselves as the “underdog,” but three percent of these respondents don’t mind it. Today, they’ve overcome their fear of judgment, with two in three agreeing that they unapologetically love their unique foods.

They’d encourage others to do the same, with eight in 10 agreeing that it’s okay to enjoy the foods and activities you like without worrying about others’ opinions (83%).

This past summer, the “rat girl summer” trend was a popular micro-trend on TikTok, defined by Insider as “aiming to empower young women to act like a city rat: lurk about at all hours of the day and night, snack on every little or big treat and unabashedly live with no alarm.”

Based on this definition, more than a quarter of respondents said they’ve lived a “rat girl summer” this past summer (28%). And they’re not done living without fear — a similar percentage are interested in continuing the trend for the rest of the year (25%), living without regrets and snacking on their unique flavor cravings through “rat girl winter.”

“We live to create unique flavor combinations that push boundaries and have delicious results,” says Phillip. “Be unapologetic about the foods you love, especially the flavor mashups created when those cravings hit.”

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Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population Americans was commissioned by Quiznos between October 11 and October 16, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

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