Chick-fil-A ruled the roost of most-read QSR stories in 2023, while Mtn Dew sports drinks topped CPG readership.
Four of the top 10 CPG/QSR stories detailed Chick-fil-A’s quick-serve dominance in brand intimacy, YouTube commercials, customer satisfaction and Google searches
Mtn Dew was the subject of the #1 most-read story, a report on the exclusive launch of Mtn Dew Legend at Buffalo Wild Wings sports bars. Mtn Dew Legend was a new version of Mtn Dew, with flavors syncing to sauces served at Buffalo Wild Wings, promoted by Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson and four-time NBA champion Tony Parker.
In the #2 position was an analysis of a survey of 3,000 adult QSR patrons showing that Chick-fil-A scored the highest in terms of “brand intimacy” in 2021. The chain led the pack for the second consecutive year, with a Brand Intimacy Quotient of 47.7, followed by Starbucks (44.5), Dunkin’ (39.1), McDonald’s (38.2) and Taco Bell (34.1).
The third most-read CPG/QSR story revealed that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was seeking public input on product labeling for plant-based alternatives to animal-derived foods." The FDA’s initiative included research to determine whether consumers are confused by product labeling using the word “egg” or images of eggs on products that don’t contain real eggs.
Touting a QSR brand name or menu offering isn’t necessarily the best way to engage with YouTube viewers. That was the message provided by the #4 story, which detailed how Chick-fil-A achieved top status on the platform in 2021 -- by way of a heart-warming two-minute video ad titled “The Whoopsery.” The only mention of Chick-fil-A was its name superimposed at the very end of the spot.
There’s never a doubt that Kraft Heinz’ Oscar Mayer brand will do something wacky—it’s just a question of what that will be. Last summer Oscar Mayer reinvented the 1980s-style scratch-and-sniff magazine ad with a placement in entertainment titles that emitted the aroma of sizzling bacon. That story ranked #5.
Folgers Coffee can thank rock-and-roll legends Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and grandmothers everywhere for a campaign that percolated to the #6 story. The J.M. Smucker brand decided to leverage the group’s “Bad Reputation” hit from the 1990s to engage with younger consumers who might consider Folgers to be “your grandma’s coffee.” The campaign spot featured a denim-clad grandmother rocking to the song along with Folgers employees in the brand’s home of New Orleans.
A story about Jersey Mike’s Subs and its $10 million pledge to local Special Olympics games earned the QSR chain the 7th most-read story of 2022. The ties between New Jersey Mike’s and the Special Olympics date to 1975, when founder and CEO Peter Cancro bought his first sub shop at the age of 17.
Skewering such traditional advertising tactics as product placement caught the interest of enough Marketing Daily readers to land a story about actor Charlie Day promoting Mtn Dew to the #8 most-read position. Also starring NBA All-Star Zack LaVine and Mtn Dew’s Puppy Monkey Baby character, the campaign spot followed Day—best known for his role in “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”—as he portrayed a variety of over-the-top characters.
Chick-fil-A rounded out this year’s top 10 with a story (#9) about its #1 status in QSR satisfaction, according to American Customer Satisfaction Index, and another that quantified its dominance in internet search activity. No. 10 discussed a separate study released in July by brand-tracking provider My Telescope, which found that Chick-fil-A had the highest share of Google searches for restaurant chains in 27 states.