Companies and Brands

Avoid All Sunflower Seed Brands, Except These 7

Close-up of delicious sunflower black seeds, isolated on white background
Yeti studio / Shutterstock.com

It’s baseball season, which also means it’s the season for consuming copious amounts of sunflower seeds. These seeds have replaced chewing tobacco as a much healthier alternative for players who are passing the time in the dugout, the bullpen, or even on the field. Sunflower seeds are almost as synonymous with baseball as bats and gloves.

Seeds For Players and Non-Players Alike

Jack Lopez with the Omaha Storm Chasers during a 2018 game at Werner Park in Nebraska
Source: Minda Haas Kuhlmann / Wikimedia Commons
Jack Lopez with the Omaha Storm Chasers clutches a package of Bigs sunflower seeds.

Players such as Jack Lopez, pictured here with the Omaha Storm Chasers, are often seen with sunflower seeds. In this photo, Lopez is clutching a package of Bigs seeds (which just so happen to appear on this list of the top sunflower seed brands). However, you don’t have to be a participant in America’s Pastime to enjoy the delicious nutty flavor of sunflower seeds. Anyone can be a “seeder.”

There are many different sunflower seed brands on the market, though, so we set out to find the best of the best. (And if pretzels rather than sunflower seeds are your preferred salty snack, here are the eight best pretzel brands that you’ll definitely want to try.)

24/7 Wall St. consulted numerous food review blogs and websites, along with customer reviews on retail sites to compile this list. We used an aggregate scoring system to rate each seed brand. The following seven brands landed at the top of our score sheet and are listed from seventh to first place.

There are countless flavors of sunflower seeds on the shelves of your local grocery store…everything from barbecue to ranch to dill pickle to cracked pepper. We even found more obscure flavors such as Old Bay, bacon mac & cheese, and cinnamon toast-flavored sunflower seeds. While we will list some of the varied (and, at times, bizarre) flavors offered by each brand, we only considered traditional salted sunflower seeds in our survey to create a fair comparison between all the brands.

7. Spitz

Frito Lay logo
Source: SVG from https://www.fritolay.com / Public domain / Wikimedia Commons
Spitz sunflower seeds are produced by Frito-Lay.
  • Parent Company: Frito-Lay

Spitz Review

Hulls sunflower seeds on the road
Source: Gold Picture / Shutterstock.com
The Spitz name beckons consumers to spit out the hulls of the seeds.

If there was a contest for the best name of a sunflower seed brand, Spitz would win hands down. Cracking and spitting the hulls is part of the allure of this snack (although it may take a bit of practice for novice seeders).

Spitz features a classic sunflower seed taste, but this Frito-Lay brand also offers Chile Lime, Dill Pickle, and Smoky BBQ sunflower seeds, among other flavors. It also sells pumpkin seeds, which can be a nice change of pace for seed aficionados.

6. Chacha

Chacha spiced sunflower seeds
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Chacha is an Asian sunflower seed brand.
  • Parent Company: Chacha Food

Chacha Review

Chacha salted sunflower seeds
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Chacha sunflower seeds come in a variety of flavors, including traditional salt.

Chacha is an Asian brand that is difficult to find locally outside of specialty markets. Thankfully, the seeds can be purchased online.

One customer noted, “These seeds are perfectly salted and roasted.” That’s pretty much what every true seeder is looking for.

While the salt flavor was the only one considered in our survey, it should be noted that the most popular flavor may be the Coconut variety. Other flavors from Chacha include Pepper, Pecan, Spiced, and Caramel.

5. Bigs

Bigs sunflower seeds
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Bigs sunflower seeds come in a wide variety of flavors.

Parent Company: Conagra Brands

Bigs Review

Bigs sunflower seeds
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
Big flavor is the name of the game with Bigs sunflower seeds.

Bigs is all about big seeds and big flavors. The brand’s original salted flavor, however, is one of the lower-ranked options offered by the brand. We only compared traditional, salted varieties of these brands, which kept Bigs from climbing higher on the list.

However, if big, bold flavor is what you crave, then check out the Taco Bell Taco Supreme, Vlasic Dill Pickle, Takis Fuego, Buffalo Wing, and Cheeseburger flavors from Bigs.

4. Giants

big sunflower seeds
Source: Andrey Sukhachev / Shutterstock.com
Giants produces large, flavorful sunflower seeds.
  • Parent Company: Giants Snacks

Giants Review

Wahpeton, North Dakota Sign
Source: Jane priebe / Wikimedia Commons
Wahpeton is located in the southeast part of the state along the North Dakota/Minnesota state line.

Giants Snacks is headquartered near the edge of the small town of Wahpeton, North Dakota.

Giants sunflower seeds are exactly what the name suggests. These seeds are giant, with a giant taste to match.

One customer said that Giants seeds are, “always the right size…[and] the quality is second to none. Best seeds on the market!”

Another remarked, “The seed, the roasted shell, [and] quality of the packaging are all great.”

One problem with endlessly popping sunflower seeds is that the salt can make your mouth raw. If you are looking to lower your sodium intake or you simply want to avoid irritating your cheeks and gums, you may want to try Giants Kettle Roast varieties. These seeds are made with less salt but still feature great taste.

Other flavors from Giants include Dill Pickle, Bacon Ranch, KC Style BBQ, Salt & Pepper, and several others.

3. ​​365 by Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods bag
Source: Ajay Suresh from New York, NY, USA / Wikimedia Commons
Whole Foods has delicious sunflower seeds.
  • Parent Company: Whole Foods Market

365 by Whole Foods Market Review

Whole Foods 365 logo
Source: Whole Foods Market / Wikimedia Commons
You might find that you can eat this brand’s sunflower seeds 365 days a year!

Some seeders may scoff at this choice since these seeds are pre-shelled. If cracking and spitting is essential to your sunflower seed enjoyment, you’ll want to skip this brand. However, if you’re looking for a tasty, nutty sunflower flavor, these kernels are not to be missed.

The sunflower seed kernels from 365 by Whole Foods Market are organic and are made with sea salt. The customer reviews are off the chart.

One customer said, “These sunflower kernels embody the perfect balance of saltiness, coaxing you into a state of snack-induced euphoria. Whether devoured by the handful or sprinkled atop salads and soups, they never fail to deliver a burst of addictive satisfaction.”

Another commented, “The roasting process adds a delightful crunch to the kernels, making them even more enjoyable to munch on. Each bite is bursting with a rich, nutty flavor that will leave you craving more. The touch of salt enhances the taste without overpowering it, striking the perfect balance.”

When product reviews such as these border on the poetic, you know you’ve found a winner.

2. Chinook

sunflower field
Source: tomofbluesprings / Getty Images
Chinook uses high-quality sunflower seeds.
  • Parent Company: Chinook Seedery

Chinook Review

American flag
Source: CRobertson / iStock via Getty Images
Almost all of the ingredients in Chinook sunflower seeds come from the U.S.

Other than a few international spices, all the ingredients in Chinook sunflower seeds are sourced from the U.S.

Chinook offers huge sunflower seeds that don’t feature the salty burn of other brands. They have no MSG are are certified Non-GMO. The result is a very natural sunflower seed taste and texture.

Along with the Original variety, Chinook offers flavors such as Lemon Pepper, Jalapeño Ranch, Hatch Chile, Cinnamon Toast, and others.

This brand can be difficult to find in local stores in some areas, but the seeds are readily available online.

1. DAVID

DAVID sunflower seeds
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
DAVID sunflower seeds can seemingly be found in every grocery store.
  • Parent Company: Conagra Brands

DAVID Review

DAVID jumbo sunflower seeds
Source: Courtesy of Mike Edmisten via 24/7 Wall St.
DAVID offers regular and jumbo-sized seeds.

DAVID is probably the best-known brand of sunflower seeds in the U.S. The brand is ubiquitous in grocery stores. It also claims to be “the official seed of baseball and softball.” Not only are these sunflower seeds found practically everywhere, but they are also the best on the market.

DAVID ranked far above any other brand in our survey. One reviewer said, “I would choose [David’s Original Sunflower Seeds] 1:1 in any sunflower seeds draft. You will never be disappointed, and you will never get tired of eating [the] original seeds.”

One customer commented, “I buy these sunflower seeds regularly. I LOVE the taste. [They] are made with care [and are] the perfect salty snack…”

Another customer raved that DAVID seeds are, “the best of the best, they are always fresh and nicely salted. I’m an addict I must admit.”

Along with the Original flavor, DAVID also offers Bar-B-Q and Ranch seed flavors. The flavors expand even wider with the Jumbo seeds. Some of those varieties include Cracked Pepper, Bacon Mac & Cheese, Spicy Queso, Sweet and Salty, Sour Cream & Onion, and many others.

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