Trader Joe’s Tops Yelp’s Most-Loved Brands

Trader Joe’s Tops Yelp’s Most-Loved Brands

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Yelp released its first-ever most-loved brands list, and Trader Joe’s sits atop the 50 businesses. StreetFight spoke to Kadecia Ber, Yelp’s Advertising Trends Expert and Director of Multi-location Solutions, for more insights.

Launched in 2004, is a destination for crowd-sourced reviews about various businesses, from restaurants and beauty salons to doctors and gym clubs in every local region across the U.S.

Unsurprisingly, large, well-known brands such as The Cheesecake Factory (#7), Costco (#9), and Olive Garden (#15) scored high on the list. Others that started as hyperlocal products or offerings and scaled are also on the list.

For example, Nothing Bundt Cakes, which was established in Las Vegas in 1997 and now has 430 bakery locations in more than 40 U.S. states and in Canada, was number two on the list. Kung Fu Tea, founded in 2010, with nearly 300 U.S. locations, was number three. Florida-based restaurant chain First Watch with locations in 28 states, comes in at number four.

Meanwhile, legacy brands that have scaled globally, such as Nike (#32), Target (#33), Red Lobster (#42), and Starbucks (#49) occupy the second half of the list.

1. What was the methodology used to compile this list?

The most loved brands are ranked by the brands’ 2022 review ratings and the percentage of business page views by returning visitors. Our data science team looked at restaurant, food, and retail brands with over 200 locations across 25+ states in the United States with 500+ reviews and at least one review for every two locations in 2022. To rank the most loved brands, we assigned each brand a loyalty score, which consists of the brands’ 2022 review rating along with the percentage of business page views by returning visitors.

See more info on our methodology at the bottom of the report.

2. Why did Yelp decide to begin putting out a most-loved brands list?

For years Yelp has recognized the local businesses and restaurants that make an impact on their communities through our national and regional top business lists. With the Most Loved Brands list, we wanted to recognize the national brands that Yelpers love.

3. Will there be one next year?

Yes, we hope to release this report annually. Yelp’s engaged community of locals who share their opinions and reviews is what enables us to connect people with great businesses, no matter their size.

4. Why do you think big established legacy brands like Nike and Target occupy the second half of the list while relative “newcomers” such as Nothing Bundt Cakes and First Watch are up so high?

Based on the data, Yelpers tend to love challenger brands the most – those fast-growing brands that offer great customer service and unique, high-quality products that you can’t find anywhere else. First Watch and Nothing Bundt Cakes have successfully differentiated themselves from the established players in the market by offering high-quality menu options, innovative food items, and engaging customer experiences.

But Yelpers love legacy brands, too. Brands like Nike and Target have loyal fans and communities. They’ve successfully taken over social media to create new generations of sneakerheads and deal seekers, and fans will go to great lengths to share their love of these brands and encourage others to love them too.

5. Why do you think Trader Joe’s came in at number one?

Brands that focus on building local communities are well-represented on the list. Trader Joe’s makes their customers feel like they’re in a local grocery store as employees create relationships with patrons and generally adopt a cheerful, customer-centric attitude. The employees know the locals and often go out of their way to help customers. Trader Joe’s also prioritizes creating unique, high-quality products like Ube Mochi Pancake & Waffle Mix or Beef Birria that often go viral on social media because they’re unlike anything other stores sell.

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Kathleen Sampey