Krispy Kreme might not even be on your radar during your daily coffee run, but maybe it should be. The fresh doughnut chain has been named 2018’s Brand of the Year for best coffee shop in the long-running Harris Poll’s 30th annual EquiTrend study, beating out other coffee competitors like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts.
Other food and drink categories were also included in the poll. Five Guys Burgers and Fries won for best burger restaurants. A tie took place between The Cheesecake Factory and Texas Roadhouse for best casual dining. Ben & Jerry’s received honors as top ice cream and fro-yo shop. And in a bit of a surprise, Taco Bell beat out Chipotle for best Mexican restaurants.
The annual study includes more than 3,000 brands across 300 categories ranging from luxury automotive to TV networks. More than 77,000 consumers are randomly asked to choose their favorite brands for familiarity, quality and purchase consideration.
While Krispy Kreme’s win is surprising to some, it represents a larger trend among consumers right now.
“This is actually a time when being ‘big’ is code for being the establishment,” CEO John Gerzema said in a release. “As private label and the popularity of craft products rises, brands are now differentiated on their values, personal connection and their ability to build community.”
Krispy Kreme first opened its doors in Winston-Salem, NC in 1937. In 2015, the 1,000th shop was opened in Kansas City, Kansas.