While plant-based foods were oh-so-trendy this year, chicken in a variety of formats (and even pork) were also among the foods that saw the largest jumps in popularity, according to a “Year in Food” report from Grubhub.
The online and mobile food ordering/delivery service based the report on an analysis of more than 16 million orders placed for delivery or pickup on its platform, and a nationwide consumer survey on ordering and eating habits.
The top 10, in order, were bean burritos (orders up 276% versus 2017), poke (up 205%), chicken sliders (up 189%), baby back pork ribs (up 165%), chicken burritos (up 164%), chicken sandwiches (up 160%), cauliflower rice bowls (up 155%), chicken and waffle sliders (up 45%), parmesan chicken (up 139%), and buffalo cauliflower (up 124%).
Poke bowls actually lost a bit of their edge this year: Last year, they were #1, as the result of a 643% surge in orders.
Avocado toast, the darling of 2017, didn’t make this year’s top 10.
Also conspicuously absent, even in our protein-obsessed culture: beef items of any kind.
Breakfast, late-night and dessert trends
The report also identifies the trendiest breakfast items: peanut butter acai bowls (350% more orders than in 2017), detox juice (up 193%), bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches (190% more popular), breakfast burritos (up 141%), and French toast (up 106%).
Those who order late-night snacks apparently have iron stomachs (dominated by young adults, no doubt). The item showing the greatest jump in popularity (up 169% versus
2015) was stuffed jalapeños, followed by spicy miso ramen (up 167%).
The other faves: sliders (up 148%), French toast (up 119%), and (back to spicy again) lamb shawarma (up 70%).
Trendy desserts, perhaps unsurprisingly, were still mostly of the traditional, comfort-food variety: brownies (orders up 413%), Oreo cookie cupcakes (up 316%), baklava (up 261%), salted caramel cookies (up 243%), and cobblers (up 238%). Still, plants managed to make a splash here as well: vegan brownies came in at #6, with orders up 211% versus last year.
Among the findings from a survey of nearly 2,000 respondents across the country who had ordered food in the past three months:
*Fast-casual restaurants accounted for 40% of orders, followed by quick service (32%) and casual dining (24%).
*80% of orders are for home delivery, 35% for work, 32% are with friends, 18% are on vacation, and 14% are during travel for work.
*The top reasons to order: Didn't feel like cooking (43%), satisfying a craving (30%), during at-home game/movie night (25%), and family-night dinners (24%).
*59% of men, compared to 36% of women, ordered pickup or delivery at least once a week during 2018.
*44% of women, versus 36% of men, prefer ordering/picking up from fast casuals. In comparison, 41% of men, and 36% of women, prefer QSRs.
*Pizza is the item that men (39%) and women (38%) agree on nearly equally as a top choice. Top-ordered foods among men are burgers (31%), BBQ (24%) and Chinese (23%); top choices among women are Chinese (32%), Mexican (27%) and burgers (25%).
*69% of women, versus 54% of men, tend to be spontaneous when it comes to ordering. When they've had a long day, 48% of men and 34% of women report that they’ll splurge on something more expensive than usual.
*Perhaps confirming the end of the “date” as it was once defined,38% of women and 31% of men say that they view ordering delivery or pickup is “a great way to spend time together,” and 34% of couples surveyed order pickup or delivery for a "date night at home.”
*Even more telling, fully 90% of all respondents said that they prefer it if their significant others share the same food, and 42% consider it a potential relationship-breaker if they don't. Men care even more than women, with 54% saying that shared food preferences "of course" matter, versus 31% of women saying the same.