Our benevolent Google overlords have mined their data to reveal the most popular (and the least popular) foods on the internet.
The Google Food Trends Report was compiled using monthly searches from January 2014 to February 2016, and released this week.
The purpose of the report is to help restaurants plan their menus based on what people are increasingly interested in eating, and to show foodies which way the wind is blowing — and though the data has been taken from the United States, it’s not a stretch to imagine that we’ll see the same trends here.
To nobody’s surprise, the report reveals ramen to be a “sustained riser” — meaning there was a steady growth in searches for it over the period of the study, making it a safe bet to keep its spot as a trending food.
Other foods in the “sustained riser” category included rigatoni, linguine, empanada, uncured bacon, bundt cakes, and bibimbap, a delicious Korean dish.
The bite-sized snack trend is also on the rise, with steady increases in searches for cheese curds, buffalo cauliflower bites, french toast sticks, and especially mug cakes, which benefited from customisation — the Google Food Trends Report reveals that people are searching for vegan, proteein, gluten-free and paleo mug cakes in chocolate, vanilla, pumpkin and banana flavours.
Other top trending themes in food included traveling through taste, experimenting with pork, and the pasta comeback, not that we were aware pasta had ever really left.
“Rising stars” — the foods that Google thinks haven’t quite caught on yet, but will totally blow up in a big way in the coming year, just you wait — include turmeric, jackfruit, cauliflower rice, sourdough bread, funfetti, and vegan donuts.
Interestingly enough, many of these “rising stars” are categorised as “food with a function”. Other “functional” food trends include kefir, bone broth, avocado oil and coconut milk, as people look to educate themselves on the impact of the ingredients they add to their diet.
“While they may be more aware of the added benefits that certain ingredients are said to provide, they are going online to educate themselves on how to consume these functional ingredients,” Google says. “This behaviour is more likely to occur during the beginning of the week, when consumers are perhaps most motivated to reboot and optimise their lifestyle habits.”
As for the food trends that we’ll soon see the back of, Google notes that searches for gluten-free cupcakes, evaporated cane juice, wheat-free bread, quinoa, kale chips, red velvet cake, agave nectar, bacon cupcakes, bacon cinnamon and even wedding cakes are declining.
The list no self-respecting food really wanted to be on, though, was the “falling stars” role call, reserved for “fads that have reached their peak and have already started to decline rapidly”.
If you’re a fan of rainbow bagels, vanilla bean paste, Dutch baby pancakes, and Mulligan stew, we’ve got bad news for you — Google says all of these trends are just about done.
Risers (ranked by volume of searches)
Gender reveal cake
Decliners (ranked by volume of searches)
Evaporated cane juice
Bacon cinnamon rolls
Red velvet cake
Vanilla bean taste
Dutch baby pancake
Buffalo chicken fries
Which foods do you think are due for their moment in the sun? Have your say in the comments below!