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Oct 04, 2018 • By

Old El Paso celebrates 80 years of taco love

Today is National Taco Day, and Old El Paso is ready! For the last 80 years, Old El Paso has been bringing tacos and Mexican-inspired cuisine to dinner tables all around the world.

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Old El Paso goes back to 1917, when the brand started as the Mountain Pass Canning Company in Texas. Despite its U.S. origins, Old El Paso is an international hit, in part due to the brand’s ability to customize its products to meet the taste of local consumers around the world.

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According to the brand team, there’s truly no wrong way to taco. For Old El Paso’s 80th birthday, the brand put together “The United States of Tacos,” an infographic that showcases unique taco recipes inspired by search trends in each U.S. state.

How does your state like their tacos?

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In addition to celebrating the taco’s diversity from state to state, the Old El Paso team showcased the brand’s international product lines at an event yesterday for employees at our headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Did you know that tortilla chips are part of the product line in Belgium?

Or that Australia has a miniature version of the Stand ‘N’ Stuff crunchy hard shells?

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The lunchtime festivities were joined by illustrator Tim Foss. Old El Paso asked him to capture the emotions and feelings that tacos can bring – from the joy of adding your favorite taco topping (hello, avocado!) to the nostalgia of a regular taco dinner with family.

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Employee Clare Gandenberger, told us that as a child, taco night was a weekly staple in her house.

“Both my parents worked full-time jobs, so tacos were always quick and easy. Also, my sisters were picky eaters – one was a vegetarian and one hated vegetables. So even though we all liked different things, tacos were the unifier. It was our favorite meal,” she says.

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Clare isn’t alone in growing up with a taco night tradition.

According to Old El Paso’s consumer research, tacos have become a weekly staple for many homes. In fact, Americans alone consumed over 4.5 billion tacos in 2016, according to NationalTacoDay.com.

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It’s not just tacos that are trending. According to the Old El Paso team’s research, Pinterest searches for Mexican dishes like taco casseroles are up 105 percent for the year. “Taco parties” and “taco bars” are growing search terms used by Pinterest-goers looking for recipe inspiration.

“We really believe that the one thing that tacos bring to people that no other cuisine can do is the individual nature of tacos. Everyone can make their own, yet everyone still sits at the same dinner table,” says Katie Herr, marketing communication manager for Old El Paso. “It’s personalized, but it still keeps everyone together.”

And today as taco fandom continues to grow in the U.S. and around the world, Old El Paso is excited to celebrate everyone’s unique take on the dish and ability to customize it with their own flair. Even unconventional toppings like coleslaw, bacon, fruit, seafood, kale are welcomed – it’s always up to you.

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Throughout its 80 years, Old El Paso has delivered on what makes tacos great: the ability to layer up your plate with the toppings you love. It’s your own taco masterpiece, every time.

Editor’s note: For media, download Old El Paso’s National Taco Day infographic, here.

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