For those whose go-to munchie comes straight off of the McDonald’s menu, it looks like you aren’t alone. According to a recent study, pot smokers prefer McDonald’s over any other fast food chain.
As reported by Forbes, a survey conducted by Green Market Report and Consumer Research Around Cannabis, 43 percent of respondents—all of whom admitted to legally purchasing pot—answered that they favored McDonald’s over other competitor franchises, including Wendy’s, Burger King and Taco Bell, among others.
While the stats might seem like a clear-cut study on preferred food selections, it might be a bit more complicated than that—especially when factors like location and size come into play.
Fast Food Nation
Approximately 55 million people aggregated from different marketing groups were used as a respondent base. From there, participants were selected based on who had purchased cannabis legally, leaving a population of 4.7 million, or 8.5 percent, left. After being whittled down to this number, partakers in the survey were asked if they had eaten at a fast food joint within the past four weeks, and if so, where.
Besides the 43 percent who answered McDonald’s, Taco Bell won out as the runner-up, with 18 percent. Wendy’s came in third with a close 17.8 percent, followed by Burger King (17.6 percent), Subway (8.7 percent) and Kentucky Fried Chicken (5.5 percent). In comparison, other fast food chains like Arby’s, Chick-fil-A, Jack-in-the-Box, and Carl Jr.’s barely registered at all.
Final Hit: Pot Smokers Prefer McDonald’s Over Taco Bell
The results from the study, however, have very little to do with predilection or taste. Rather, they have to do with corporation size and accessibility. So, is it actually true that pot smokers prefer McDonald’s? Not necessarily.
“McDonald’s wins by virtue of the sheer number of locations—by default really,” vice president of consumer research around cannabis told Forbes. “Those competitors which better understanding [sic] cannabis users and their consumer habits can certainly close the gap by integrating what they learn through their marketing efforts.”
Even though McDonald’s came in first with such advantages, Taco Bell’s second-place status is due to a more conscientious effort on the company’s part.
Unlike its competitor, the Tex-Mex chain has made sly marketing appeals to their stoner consumer base, going as far as to form a partnership with the ride-share company Lyft in the Orange County, California area to let passengers stop at the nearest store to load up on snacks.
It seems that the higher-ups at the fast-food franchise are in on the joke. During a recent Reddit AMA, Brian Niccol, the president of Taco Bell, made sure to give a shoutout to chalupa-eating cannabis consumers. When one Reddit user asked how much Taco Bell sales had increased in Colorado since weed was recreationally legalized, Niccol candidly retorted “420 percent.”