For over 20 years, salsa has outsold ketchup in the United States, as first reported in the New York Times in 1992. Hispanic foods and flavors continue to have an increasingly important impact on the diets of all Americans, not just Hispanics.

If we look at the search statistics on Google Trends, we see that search volume for the Mexican-American food items “tacos” and “burrito” have grown dramatically in the past eight years:


Not surprisingly, we can see that states with large Hispanic populations, like California and Texas, represent the heaviest search volume for terms that include the word “taco.”


More specifically, we can see from this list on Google Trends all of the variations of search terms that include the word “taco,” of which “fish taco” is the most popular.


Eight years ago, “fish tacos” were hard to find. Today you see them on menus far more often and even some restaurant chains, like Wahoo’s Fish Tacos, position themselves around this specialty.

The trade website Food Navigator USA reports that “The growing Hispanic market holds huge opportunity for food manufacturers in the U.S., but understanding cultural dynamics is vital to new product success.” Developing successful new products in the food business requires understanding the Hispanic market.

Taking a deeper look, Food Navigator USA suggests that “Flavor trends blending familiar ingredients with formerly exotic tastes such as Mexican caramel (cajeta) will drive food product and restaurant menu innovation in the coming year.”

In the years ahead, the market research company Packaged Facts predicts that the Hispanic food and beverage market is expected to grow aggressively as companies pump more dollars into innovation around Mexican flavors and Hispanic marketing.

Ironically, even though there is a lot of debate around the immigration and legalization of Latino immigrants in the U.S., Gustavo Arellano, the nationally syndicated columnist of Ask a Mexican!, says “The biggest fans of Mexican food in this country [the United States] hasn’t been Mexicans, it has been Americans” in the following interview:

Arellano explores the history of Mexican food and how it has become as popular as pizza in his insightful and entertaining new book Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.

This post originally appeared on

Share This