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Trader Joe's Tops Most-Loved Brand List on Yelp

Grocery retailer Trader Joe's topped Yelp's first-ever list of the 50 most loved brands in the U.S., followed by bakery franchise Nothing Bundt Cakes, and bubble tea specialist Kung Fu Tea.

Yelp, the customer review site known for its restaurant ratings, compiled the list by looking at restaurant, food, and retail brands with more than 200 locations across 25 or more states and with 500-plus reviews. Yelp ranked the brands by assigning a loyalty score based on the brand's 2022 review rating and the percentage of business page views by returning visitors.

“Brands that focus on building local communities are well-represented on our list,” said Kadecia Ber, director of enterprise solutions at Yelp. “Trader Joe's and First Watch [the breakfast/brunch chain ranked No. 4 on the list], for example, make their customers feel like they're in a local grocery store or diner. The employees know the locals and often go out of their way to help customers—this is what consumers value and reward.”

In addition to Trader Joe's, two other grocery retailers are on the list: Costco Wholesale Corp. at No. 9 and Target Corp. at No. 33. Total Wine & More, a wine superstore with about 249 locations in 27 states, was another food and beverage retailer on the list, landing at No. 18.

The Honey Baked Ham Co., a direct-to-consumer seller of cooked ham and other prepared foods, landed at No. 14.

Most of the brands on Yelp's list were restaurants, along with some coffee cafe chains and several ice cream, smoothie, or treat shops.

Following First Watch, other most-loved restaurants (among the top 20) included:

• Texas Roadhouse (No. 6)

• The Cheesecake Factory (No.7)

• Bonefish Grill (No. 8)

• LongHorn Steakhouse (No. 12)

• Olive Garden (No. 15)

• Shake Shack (No. 16), and

• Carrabba's Italian Grill (No. 17).

The top-rated cafes and treat shops were:

• Menchies Frozen Yogurt (No. 11)

• Scooter's Coffee (No. 13), and

• Insomnia Cookies (No. 20).

Many of the brands on the list are known for affordable prices, generous portions, and quality ingredients, according to Yelp.

“They appeal to customers who want to get more bang for their buck without compromising on taste or service,” Yelp said in the report.

In addition, many of the top brands have loyal fans and communities who follow them and support them both online and offline.

Yelp also ranked the most-loved brands according to their popularity by state. Smoothie King (No. 47 overall) was the top brand in six states—Arizona, Kansas, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia—and sandwich chain Jersey Mike's Subs (No. 21 overall) was the top brand in four states—Arkansas, Minnesota, Montana, and Texas.

Yelp also combined data from the Grubhub online ordering and delivery service to determine the most popular menu items at the restaurants in the list. The top items, in order of popularity (no more than one menu item per restaurant was included) were:

• Skinny Sandwich + Cup of Soup, Potbelly Sandwich Works;

• Cheeseburger, Five Guys;

• Sixpack, Insomnia Cookies;

• Fries, Shake Shack;

• Create Your Own Pizza + Drink, MOD Pizza;

• Half Dozen Cheddar Bay Biscuits, Red Lobster;

• McAlister's Club, McAlister's Deli;

• Fettuccine Carrabba, Carrabba's Italian Grill;

• Bang Bang Shrimp, Bonefish Grill, and

• Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps, P.F. Chang's.

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Image: Trader Joe's