November 26, 2019

Brand Building Series: What Can We Learn from Tacos & Digital Lists?

Category Spotlight: Mexican Food

A new study, by Asurion, states that Americans check their phones once every 12 minutes – or 80 times a day! Let’s be honest, this means that humans are truly attached to their mobile devices at all times (cringe). But, good news for advertisers, this also means that consumers are now sending off thousands of data points, or “clues”, as to what they’re thinking, doing, planning for, etc. at all times.

For CPGs, this is where digital shopping list apps and the behavior they represent, come into play. When someone is using a digital shopping list, they MUST be thinking about grocery shopping and planning for their next trip.

Through our Brand Building Series, we take a deep dive into different CPG categories and report on the insights collected from mobile in-app activities (clues). Just in time for Super Bowl planning….we’re spotlighting the Mexican Food Category. Here we answer the intriguing question “What can we learn from tacos and digital lists?”

Mexican Food Appears on Many Digital Grocery Lists

Likelihood of Mexican Food Being on Digital Lists:

  • 64% of users have some kind of Mexican Food on their list
  • 40% of users have tortillas on their list
  • 32% of users have salsa on their list
  • 30% of users have tacos or taco products on their list

What this means for advertisers:

  • Since we see things like tortillas, tacos and salsa being added to the list we can start to build an understanding of what other products might show up with those items. This type of information can help brands better target and capture their consumers.  
  • Brands can also use this intel to promote complementary products. For example, let’s say you are a brand that sells refried beans and salsa. If you know someone is adding tacos to their list you can target that consumer with your products and encourage them to add beans and salsa to their list alongside those tacos they plan to pick up next time they shop.

Consumers Have Some Brand Loyalty with Mexican Food Items But Could Have A Lot More

Brand Analysis:

  • Approximately 4% of all Mexican Food transactions are brand relevant
  • This number is low; most categories have 10-20% branded transactions (and this value is always growing)
  • Mission, Pace and Taco Bell are the most popular Mexican Food brands

What this means for advertisers:

  • Lots of room for Mexican Food brands to capitalize on the lack of branded items on the list.
  • Mexican Food ranks as category number 22 of 96 in the rankings of list transactions, meaning a lot of consumers are engaging with Mexican Food items on a regular basis and adding things like tortillas, salsa, tacos and more to their list on a frequent basis.
  • All of this presents a unique opportunity for Mexican Food brands to promote their products and harness the activity levels dedicated to Mexican Food in list-building apps, which in turn results in GREAT engagement rates and increased purchase intent.

Regional Demographics Matter with Mexican Food

  • Texas was the state with the MOST Mexican Food transactions
  • South Carolina was the state with the LEAST Mexican Food transactions

What this means for advertisers:

  • Targeting based on regionality is really important for Mexican Food items.
  • This is a great insight to help inform the allocation of funds when running a targeted campaign for Mexican Food.
  • Engagement rates are going to be higher in locations that are already adding Mexican Food items to their list.
  • Other locations with fewer transactions currently occurring represent an opportunity for growth or building awareness, but by utilizing regional insights you can adapt your strategy on a regional basis to reflect the right approach for the right audience.

How Do I Respond to Taco Tuesday?

  • When we look at taco transactions versus all list building transactions we do not see much difference, indicating that consumers tend to buy tacos and taco products at the same time they are shopping for all their other grocery needs.
  • This would lead us to believe that while people may consume their tacos on Tuesday, they are not necessarily buying them on Tuesdays.

What this means for advertisers:

  • The good news? You can continue to promote Taco Tuesday if it helps your brand and has a positive influence on sales.  
  • When engaging the exclusive and contextually relevant list building audience there is no need to go heavy on Tuesday. It makes more sense to increase promotions on the days leading up to the weekend because this is when your Mexican Food consumers are
    shopping for those delicious tacos, tortillas, salsa, cheese and more!

About AdAdapted

AdAdapted ( is the number one add-to-list mobile advertising and insights solution for CPG brands and the agencies that represent CPG brands. AdAdapted offers CPG brands the ability to directly target their primary consumers in the apps they use to plan and shop. AdAdapted’s platform places CPG brands in front of consumers with native, non-disruptive ads at the exact moment of decision-making, targeting consumers with laser-like efficiency and getting products on digital shopping lists.

Stay up to date on the latest in CPG Advertising