Were you under the impression your searches for “what is gluten?” and “best weight loss shakes” were between you and Google? Think again.
The latest Google Food Trends report, from Google U.S. gives readers a glimpse into what everyone’s cooking, buying and ordering. Or at least what they’re typing into a search bar.
“With every query typed into a search bar, we are given a glimpse into user considerations or intentions,” reads the report.
Google pulled top volume queries related to food from January 2014 to February 2016. The company removed any seasonal effect then measured year-over-year growth, velocity and acceleration for every search.
So what did it find? An intense interest in health and wellness, for one. According to Google Trends, “best foods for” searches have grown 10 times since 2005, with acid reflux, upset stomach, skin and energy being the top contenders.
The report also took a look at foods gaining traction, and food trends that are declining in popularity.
Here’s a deep dive into five key food trends:
FOOD WITH FUNCTION
According to Google, Americans are turning to food to fill needs beyond hunger or cravings. Rather, they want to be educated on the impact of ingredients and want to to optimize their diet to look and feel their best.
They’re more likely to look online for more information related to functional foods at the beginning of the week, when “consumers are perhaps most motivated to reboot and optimize their lifestyle habits. Top searches for food with functions included kefir, coconut milk, avocado oil, ground ginger, flax oil
Top search: Turmeric
TRAVELING THROUGH TASTE
Today’s shopper is reconciling a desire to cook more at home with an appetite for global cuisine. To help, consumers are turning to Google to find professionals and nearby restaurants to satisfy cravings. Top searches include ramen, bibimbap, Mexican candy, taquitos and empanadas.
“As consumers strive to taste the world, there’s new opportunity for brands to help make these dishes more DIY-friendly,” the report says. “Brands may look into partnering with influencers to provide authentic cultural experiences via content and endorsements.”
Top search: Pho
EXPERIMENTING WITH PORK
People want to put a new twist on a pork. Whether it’s a new flavour or new method of preparation, Americans are embracing pork in many forms.
“With big cuts of meat and slow cookers, [shoppers] are turning meals into a full weekend experience that they can do on their own from the comfort of home,” says the report. Searches for pork show that it’s top of mind most often during weekends, summer and the holidays.
Top search: Pork shoulder
Bite-sized snacks appeal to both the busy and the health-conscious consumer. The report notes that brands looking to appeal to shoppers with small snacks need to offer more than just customized flavours, but also need to prioritize dietary restrictions. Top searches include cheese curds, mocha ice cream, edible cookie dough and buffalo cauliflower bites.
Top search: Mug cake
There’s nothing quite like comfort food, and Google’s Food Trend report shows that consumers are still willing to dig into carbs. While growth was slow for interest in pasta from 2011 to 2014, demand picked up again in 2015 and continues to rise through 2016.It seems consumers are more likely to meek pasta dishes on weekends. “It’s time for marketers to refocus their attention on pasta,” reads the report. “There’s growing interest for a variety of pasta recipes, and consumers are seeking new ideas for their weekend eating adventures.”
Top search: Rigatoni