How do we know what foods are trending, and which are inspiring less interest? One way is to take a look at the Google Food Trends 2016 Report, which reflects the top food-related queries between January 2014-February 2016.
Global Cuisine Rising: Given globalization, both the rapid movement of people and the emergence of new brands to make less familiar foods friendly, you may not be surprised to hear that the American appetite for international flavors is strong and growing. Ranked by volume, top searches include pho, ramen, Mexican candy, taquitos, empanada, queso fresco, mochi ice cream, and wonton.
Interestingly, pho, a Vietnamese noodle dish, has sparked growing interest, rising at an annual rate of 11% since 2013. Linked to the dish are such keywords as “recipe” and “how to make,” as well as “restaurant” and “delivery,” indicating the desire to both make it at home, and order in or eat it out.
Popular Pigs: Pork continues to be a very popular item, in many forms; pork shoulder, andouille sausage, bacon jam, pig feet, and prosciutto. Interestingly, people are more likely to search for pork shoulder on the weekends. There is also strong interest in pork shoulder in December, when it is often paired with these keywords: “how to” and “crock pot,” or “slow cooker” and “recipe.”
Small Snacks: People are looking for snacks, which offer easy portion control, convenience, and personalization. Among the trending snack searches were cheese curds, edible cookie dough, buffalo cauliflower bites, and French toast sticks.
Google suggests that consumers are becoming more sophisticated when it comes to their food choices, and that snacking reflects such sophistication. According to Google, “Brands will need to offer more than just customization based on flavors, but dietary restrictions, as well. Personal choices come best in solo portions — and make for convenient snacking.”
Pasta Rising: Pasta is back. While interest in pasta had been slow a few years ago, demand has since picked up and is growing. For instance, searches for rigatoni increased 26% in one year, from January 2015 to January 2016. Related searches were linked to keywords like “baked,” “pie,” “casserole,” “stuffed” and “spicy.” Google suggests that growing consume interest in pasta reflects a growing interest in re-imagining familiar dishes and seeking new culinary experiences. Rigatoni, tortellini, linguine and penne were all recently ranked among the top pasta-related search terms.
Keep an eye out for these trends when you come to Chestnut Hill for lunch or dinner. They may not be immediately visible, but undoubtedly they will show up in one form or another in the coming months and years.
Food Business News