Why Do Food Brands Market Specifically to Texans?

McDonald’s has announced a contest to build a “Texas burger.” Will Texans take the bait?

By Laura RiceMarch 21, 2016 12:39 pm

Texas takes its food seriously – consider the breakfast taco war between San Antonio and Austin just a few weeks ago.

It’s no wonder advertisers are keen to target Texans. Even the behemoth fast food chain McDonald’s is trying to get an edge in the Lone Star State. McDonald’s is currently baiting Texans to create the first official McDonald’s “Texas burger.” What is a Texas burger exactly? Dallas Morning News restaurant critic Leslie Brenner gave the burger builder a try, but she said some crucial ingredients were missing.

“Then I’m looking for the cheeses, and there’s like, American cheese and provolone and Swiss and all these different cheeses,” Brenner says. “And there’s no queso. How can you have a Texas burger without queso?”

McDonald’s isn’t the only company to try to strengthen ties with the Lone Star State. Dunkin’ Donuts recently announced that it would be expanding across Texas. So why do companies try specifically to target Texas, rather than, say, Kansas?

“We’re so colorful and we’re so excited about being Texans and we’re so much fun that I think they’re capitalizing on our coolness, probably,” Brenner says.

But could a gimmick like this have any sort of lasting impact? Probably not, Brenner says.

“I think it might get them some quick excitement and people want to create something. And it’s fun and graphic and it’s about us being Texan,” she says. “So, I think it’ll get some attention, but I don’t think it’ll have in any legs. I mean, we have Whataburger.”

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.