Everyone is marveling today at a Wall Street Journal article, which reports that Jack in the Box sells 554 million tacos per year. That’s a cool 1055 per minute. Which means that in 2016, Jack in the Box almost certainly sold more tacos last year than McDonald’s sold Big Macs — considering that 554M is close to what McD’s reported for Big Macs in 2007 (the last year they’ll admit to tracking the data), and Big Macs are widely known to be on the decline.
The taco article is fascinating in it’s framing and its choice to interview devotees of the taco, whose primary qualification seems to be “liking them.” The revered newspaper seeks, without daring to arrive at any conclusions, to fathom why this “wet envelope of cat food” is so popular.
But… we know why, right? We all know why. People get drunk, people spend too much money at bars, Jack in the Box is open late, and their tacos make amazing/amazingly cheap drunk food. This is no more a mystery behind this than there is to why Funyuns and naps are popular with weed smokers. Sure, there’s probably some science behind the flavors meshing well with an alcohol-flattened palate but… how far do we need to take this?
Have you ever ordered 10 Jack in the Box tacos at a time? This fancy food editor has. It was long past midnight and I was not sober and ordering tacos for a whole bunch of people who didn’t particularly want them made me feel like a millionaire. Using this as anecdotal evidence, I’d like to posit: Of course people eat a lot of Jack in the Box tacos. It’s the opposite of a mystery.
Every Jack in the Box taco is born at one of three plants in Texas and Kansas, where tortillas made from stone-ground white corn are cut, cooked and filled with the beef mixture. They are shrink-wrapped and frozen and eventually shipped to stores to be fried, topped and served in taco-sized bags.
But like your correspondent, plenty of folks on the internet had this all figured out pretty quickly:
Selena Gomez gets it:
I would add, that this taco isn’t terrible. The American cheese is a fun move, considering that it’s just solidified Velveeta and we’d all sacrifice our jobs for a bowl of queso. The meat is weird in texture but well spiced. The shell has a little crunch… Not great, of course. You could do a lot better. But could you do a lot better without spending more money at 2am? Ta da! Mystery solved.