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    These 50 Brands Absolutely Blew Up This Year

    By Kristin Hitchcock,

    24 days ago

    This post includes affiliate links. If you purchase anything through these affiliated links, may earn a commission. Forget legacy brands – it's the challengers who are taking the business world by storm! According to a new report by Yelp , upstate companies are leading the pack in terms of growth and consumer interest.

    It isn't just a sprinkle of innovation, either. Many of the fastest-growing businesses are challengers, meaning they're disrupting industries with fresh concepts. You'll probably be surprised to hear that food courts are back, and fried chicken is slowly becoming America's best-loved food.

    Here are the 50 fastest-growing companies in the United States, listed in descending order:

    Why Does It Matter?

    Growing companies can be a great option when choosing what to invest in. However, these companies can also be riskier, as they often don't have the staying potential of larger companies. Before investing in these potentially riskier companies, you should consider your investment strategy and risk tolerance.

    Many of these companies sell food, so they can be a great choice if you're looking for a restaurant to visit !

    50. Ethan Allen

    Ethan Allen is a furniture company known for its classic and traditional styles. This company is just barely in the top 50 growing brands this year, but it is one of the few furniture stores to grace this list.

    49. Insomnia Cookies

    This bakery specializes in delivering warm, gooey cookies late at night, and it seems to be at the leading edge of America's sweet tooth. Its growth is likely driven by the surge of online ordering over the last few years and the convenience of the delivery model.

    48. HomeGoods

    HomeGoods is a haven for home decor enthusiasts seeking to find discounts and unique items. The home improvement trend likely also helped carry this company onto our list.

    47. Total Wine & More

    This one-stop shop sells wine, beer, and spirits. It specializes in having a wide selection, and its placement on this list suggests that the company is driving in new customers.

    46. Red Wing Shoes

    Best known for their work boots, Red Wing Shoes made it onto this list, too. The data suggests that this company is experiencing a surge in customer interest, indicating that new customers are choosing to shop with them.

    45. Kung Fu Tea

    Kung Fu Tea is a chain specializing in creating boba tea, a Taiwanese drink made with chewy tapioca balls that has grown in popularity over the last few years. Its growth is likely linked to the growing popularity of boba tea overall.

    44. Playa Bowls

    Playa Bowls targets health-conscious consumers with its acai bowls and juices. This company is capitalizing on the trend towards healthy fast-food options.

    43. Costco Wholesale Corporation

    This warehouse club has been around for decades, but the company is growing quickly. Its growth likely reflects a combination of factors – increased consumer interest in bulk shopping for savings or the enduring popularity of its food court offerings attracting new members.

    42. Charleys Philly Steaks

    This company is best known for its cheesesteaks and other Philly fare. Its growth is likely a combination of drawing in customers who already love cheesesteaks and introducing the food to new customers.

    41. Krispy Krunchy Chicken

    Krispy Krunchy Chicken is one of the many fried chicken chains clucking its way up this list. For one reason or another, Americans love fried chicken, and this company is riding on that wave of popularity.

    40. Crumbl Cookies

    This bakery specializes in giant, gourmet cookies with unique flavors rotating every wear. Its growth likely reflects a surge in consumer interest driven by its viral-worthy cookies and social media presence. This company knows how to do social media.

    39. Waffle House

    If there is any company we're surprised to see on this list, it is Waffle House. This diner chain is famous for providing 24/7 service and offering classic Southern comfort food. Despite being around for decades, it appears that people are still crazy about Waffle House.

    38. Ashley

    Ashley Furniture is known for its wide selection and range of styles. It appears this company is another winner in the growing home improvement trend.

    37. Ross Dress for Less

    This discount clothing retailer provides trendy finds at very low prices, which likely is why it's on this list. Their growth could signal a consumer shift towards affordable clothing.

    36. Dutch Bros

    This coffee chain is best known for its drive-thru convenience and unique drinks like "proffer" (protein coffee). Its rise is probably related to these innovative drinks and the underlying health focus. Plus, just about everyone loves a drive-thru.

    35. Panda Express

    Panda Express is a casual restaurant that specializes in American Chinese cuisine. They’re like many companies on this list that have benefited from the surge of delivery and takeout popularity. Plus, food courts and traditional malls are also seeing a comeback, causing restaurants often found in malls (like Panda Express) to see a comeback, too.

    34. Jack’s

    Jack’s is likely benefiting from the same increase in takeout that many of the chains on this list are experiencing. This regional fast-food restaurant also shows up in several mails and shopping centers, which have seen an increase in activity over the last few years, too.

    33. REI

    REI is an outdoor recreation retailer that’s also seen record growth in the last year or so. They’ve likely benefits from increased consumer interest in outdoor activities and wellness. Many people re-discovered activities like camping and hiking during the pandemic, and these trends may continue into 2025.

    32. Marble Slab Creamery

    Marble Slabs tend to be located within malls and shopping centers. Food courts and the companies that typically have locations within them have seen growth. This company has also experienced a menu reboot over the last couple of years, and customers are taking a liking to it.

    31. Caribou Coffee

    This coffeehouse chain is best known for their premium coffee drinks and cozy atmosphere. Again, this coffeehouse is seeing an increased trend due to their tendency to be in malls. Coffeehouses in the Midwest and South are also seeing increased interested overall.

    30. Marco’s Pizza

    This counter-service pizza chain functions much like you’d expect a pizza chain to. They provide takeout and delivery pizzas that customers can customize to their liking. Their growth might be fueled by the ongoing popularity of takeout and convenient food options.

    29. Rack Room Shoes

    Rack Room Shoes sells footwear for many different budgets and styles. They often offer many deals and sales, allowing customers to save money. With the downturn of the economy, more families may be going to Rack Room to save money.

    28. The HoneyBaked Ham Company

    This specialty ham store sells glazed spiral hams and other holiday meals. Despite not being exceptionally popular for much of the year, they have seen significant growth over the past five years or so. This growth may be linked to the popularity of convenience meals, which seems to be bleeding into the holidays, too.

    27. Pizza Factory

    There are several pizza stores on this list, so seeing the Pizza Factory on it isn’t very surprising. Again, many customers are purchasing more convenience food, and pizza is about as convenient as it gets! Pizza Factory also offers some unique pizza options, which may explain why they’re particularly seeing growth.

    26. Nothing Bundt Cakes

    This bakery specializes specifically in bundt cakes. They’re on this list with several other convenient, takeout dessert stores. It seems that the drive for convenient food is affecting the dessert industry, too.

    25. Cinnabon

    Again, Cinnabon is likely riding the increase in food court popularity. Cinnabon has many locations within malls and outdoor shopping centers. More and more people are using these centers now that Covid-19 is no longer a concern for many, and food stores within those traditional malls are seeing a comeback.

    24. Ace Hardware Corporation

    As a hardware store catering to DIY, ACE is benefiting from the overall surge in home improvement popularity. In fact, ACE is leading growth in several states despite only being about halfway down this list!

    23. First Watch

    This chain restaurant specializes in brunch and breakfast dishes. Today, more and more consumers are prioritizing convenience food, and this restaurant absolutely fits in that category. Their high-quality breakfast items also set them apart from fast food chains that also sell breakfast.

    22. Wetzel’s Pretzels

    This pretzel chain is unanimous with malls and shopping centers, so it isn’t surprising to see it on this list! As more and more people return to malls to shop, they’re also buying more traditional mall food, including pretzels.

    21. L&L Hawaiian BBQ

    This chain restaurant sells Hawaiian-inspired barbecue plates, including many of the staples people expect. Their growth may be linked to the growing popularity of convenience food. However, their unique focus also sets them apart from many of the other stores on this list.

    20. Mod Pizza

    Here’s another pizza chain that is seeing record growth. They allow for extreme customization of their pizzas, as you might expect. As more and more consumers prioritize convenience foods, companies like Mod Pizza benefit from the revived interest.

    19. Once Upon a Child

    Once Upon a Child is a national chain that sells gently-used children’s clothes, toys, and furniture. More and more people may be trying to cut back on their budget with rising inflation, and shopping second-hand is an easy way to do that. Plus, this company also advertises that it’s sustainable, which is another big plus for many consumers.

    18. Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers

    You may be surprised to learn that many fast-food chicken restaurants are seeing record growth. For one reason or another, Americans have decided that they love fried chicken. Combined with an increased interest in convenience food, that’s led to restaurants like Raising Cane’s to grow quickly.

    17. Panera Bread

    Panera Bread is riding the interest in two different types of food: convenience food and healthy food. This company advertises its food as both fast and healthy, which has prompted significant growth over the last couple of years.

    16. Nordstrom

    This upscale department store caters to higher-end clientele. They may be seeing a boost thanks to an increase in “little treats.” Simply put, more people are purchasing smaller items from more upscale places.

    15. Levi Strauss & Co.

    This iconic denim brand is seeing a comeback. Levi offers a timeless, versatile product that’s remained popular for some time. They emphasize durability in their jeans, and many people use them for work and outdoor activities.

    14. Culver’s

    This fast-food chain emphasizes it’s Midwestern roots, which lead to it seeing some growth over the last few years. Many consumers live their butter burgers and cheese curds. Some other Midwestern brands are growing, too, indicating a rising trend towards regional foods.

    13. Bojangles

    Bojangles is yet another chicken fast-food chain that’s growing quickly. Its focus is more on Southern-style fried chicken and biscuits, which also goes along with the revived interested in regional restaurants. Plus, once again, Americans just seem to love fried chicken!

    12. Jack in the Box

    Jack in the Box has seen a surprising amount of growth. Their food is both fast and inexpensive, which may be driving the new interest in their food. They’re leading growth in several states, too, including Hawaii.

    11. Sprouts Farmers Market

    This grocery chain isn’t actually a farmer’s market, but it does focus on natural foods. As more people become concerned with wellness, Sprouts offers a more affordable alternative to traditional “health grocers.”

    10. Jersey Mike’s Subs

    This fast-casual chain offers fresh, customizable subs. As more people prioritize food that is fast and fresh, it makes sense that this sandwich chain would see growth.

    9. Olive Garden

    Olive Garden may seem like it’s out of place on this list. Yet, for one reason or another, it saw a high rate of growth over the last year. This Italian-inspired casual dining chain offers many familiar dishes and may be benefiting from its perceived affordability while still being fancier than fast food.

    8. Rally House

    Rally House is a sports apparel retailer that caters to sports fandoms. Their rapid growth over the last few years may be due to the resurgence of attending live sporting events. More and more people may now want to represent their team at these events, leading to Rally House growing.

    7. Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers

    This fast-food chain is another that’s seeing heightened interested due to the uptick in convenience foods. They offer basic American comfort foods, like burgers and custards.

    6. Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

    This fast-food chain specializes in fried chicken with a Louisiana-inspired twist. Their growth can be contributed to the continued popularity of fried chicken and the increased interest in regional restaurants.

    5. Wawa

    Wawa is a convenience store chain that also focuses on fresh food. They’re becoming more popular with consumers looking for healthy food that’s also fast, like many of the other brands on this list!

    4. The Habit Burger Grill

    The Habit Burger Grill offers traditional American burgers fast, but they’re higher quality than many other burger chains out there. Once again, this fast food restaurant is riding the wave of “fast eating” that’s becoming more popular.

    3. LongHorn Steakhouse

    LongHorn Steakhouse is a bit out of place compared to other restaurants on this list. They aren’t focused on convenient, fast food. That said, they are often considered a cheaper alternative to more expensive steakhouses, which may explain their popularity.

    2. Scooter’s Coffee

    Scooter’s Coffee is focused on serving coffee quickly by focusing largely on drive-thrus. They’re riding the trend towards faster food and the growing interest in coffee, which has allowed them to capitalize on a lot of growth.

    1. Cava

    Cava is the fastest-growing company on our list. Its upward growth is stimulated by many of the trends we’ve already discussed. It’s a fast-casual restaurant focusing on Mediterranean food and a healthier menu. I, it’s convenient and healthy, like many consumers are looking for, on top of being focused on a very specific type of food.

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