In the most recent issue of its Traveller magazine, easyJet airlines ranked the best street food stalls in Europe. The winner? Hija de Sanchez, a taqueria in Copenhagen run by Rosio Sanchez, a first-generation Mexican-American and former pastry chef at Noma. Her made-from-scratch tacos feature organic, locally sourced meats and vegetables, masa flour imported from a co-op in Oaxaca, and handmade Mexican-style cheese.
Meanwhile in the United States, Taco Bell was just named “America’s favorite Mexican Restaurant.” This depressing news was brought to us by the Harris Poll EquiTrend Study, an annual survey that assigns an “Equity score” to a wide-ranging group of brands across more than 300 categories. The score is calculated based on three variables: familiarity, quality, and consideration (which Harris defines as “How do I want to interact with [the brand]?”)
Somehow, when it added up the responses, Taco Bell was everyone’s fave and best-known Mexican brand. (The ‘most well-known’ aspect is honestly pretty hard to argue). The home of Living Más even bested Moe’s Southwest Grill, which had won the category for the past two years. Chipotle finished third, possibly because people haven’t forgotten about the 500-plus cases of food-borne diarrhea it served.
“Taco Bell’s marketing is ubiquitous so it wasn’t surprising to me that they came out on top this year,” Amir Kanpurwala, the director of the survey, told Yahoo! Finance. “It’s not so much that Moe’s or Chipotle are falling off the map. Taco Bell has just been a stronger brand as of late, as demonstrated by the strong familiarity and consideration marks.”
In another EquiTrend restaurant category, Five Guys was named the Best Burger Restaurant, beating In ‘N’ Out Burger. Also, relative newcomer Blaze Pizza is already the Best Pizza Chain, and the Cheesecake Factory edged Texas Roadhouse for the Best Casual Dining Restaurant, which makes us kind of wonder whether the Harris people just surveyed people it found wandering through strip mall parking lots.
In truth, the participants in the study were 77,031 US consumers aged 15 and older who responded to online questions earlier this year.
Be Best, America.