Food delivery platform Grubhub has released its annual 'State of the Plate' report for the first half of 2020.
The mid-year report checks in on the most popular food trends to date, and what quarantined Americans ordered through delivery, and predicts what we can expect to see more of in the second half of the year.
Nobody knew what the year 2020 would bring, but as people sheltered in place, and restaurants pivoted to takeout and delivery, the delivery platforms boomed. So it’s a good place to start for a look at what people are eating more of, and what they might be wanting to order this summer and beyond into the winter.
TOP FOODS OF 2020 TO DATE
In 2019, we were introduced to the chicken sandwich war, and in 2020 it raged on as chain and independent restaurants added the sandwich to their menus for diners to enjoy. The spicy chicken sandwich saw a nearly 300% rise in popularity this year, with other top foods spanning a range of categories and plenty of newcomers.
spicy chicken sandwich: 299% more popular
plant-based burger: 291% more popular
vanilla shake: 273% more popular
iced latte: 261% more popular
chilli: 228% more popular
cinnamon roll: 205% more popular
chimichanga: 195% more popular
beef burrito: 181% more popular
potato taco: 169% more popular
taro milk tea: 168% more popular
The Top Food in America's Most Populous Cities
New York City: Mushroom burger: 150% more popular
Los Angeles: California burrito: 286% more popular
Chicago: Gyro: 299% more popular
Philadelphia: Buffalo chicken pizza:323% more popular
Dallas-Fort Worth: Elote: 191% more popular
Bay Area (SF, Oakland, San Jose): Saag paneer: 389% more popular
Washington, DC: Drunken noodle: 166% more popular
Houston: Fried mushrooms: 238% more popular
Boston: Lettuce wrap: 268% more popular
Atlanta: Plant-based burger: 147% more popular
TOP TRENDS ACROSS MEAL TIMES
Breakfast: while bacon, egg & cheese came in as #1 in 2019, we have yet to see the breakfast staple among 2020's top foods.
acai bowl: 359% more popular
chorizo burrito: 270% more popular
potato pancakes: 259% more popular
shrimp and grits: 179% more popular
vegetable wrap: 112% more popular
Lunch: salads and sandwiches lead the charge, while avocado toast makes a bit of a comeback.
Thai chicken salad: 399% more popular
tuna salad sandwich: 262% more popular
chicken avocado melt: 188% more popular
kale caesar salad: 165% more popular
avocado toast: 164% more popular
Dinner: from Italian to Indian, diners are getting in a mix of cuisines for dinner.
rigatoni bolognese: 292% more popular
lamb vindaloo: 283% more popular
vegetable korma: 267% more popular
moo shu pork: 266% more popular
salmon avocado roll: 244% more popular
Top late-night orders: it's no surprise carbs come in on top, but 2020 brings in the appearance of a sweet treat.
cheesy breadsticks: 412% more popular
strawberry cheesecake: 247% more popular
cheese sliders: 220% more popular
jalapeno poppers: 216% more popular
pizza puffs: 182% more popular
A LOOK AT HOW QUARANTINE HAS IMPACTED AMERICA
On March 18, the first shelter-in-place order was initiated in San Francisco, and the rest of the country followed suit shortly afterwards. As Americans stayed home, they continued to order food, turning to comfort foods, alcoholic beverages, and D.I.Y. meal kits. Under quarantine one thing was clear: morning coffee routines changed as orders of cold brew rose by 232%
Most popular foods nationwide: It's all about the comfort foods and shareable plates as people order in.
spicy chicken sandwich: 353% more popular
red velvet cupcake: 196% more popular
plant-based burger: 166% more popular
cajun shrimp chicken pasta: 164% more popular
cheeseburger sliders: 158% more popular
Most popular items searched: while restaurants and bars were closed, we can see that diners are searching for a way to bring home the full dining experience.
Top Alcohol Orders (in ranking order): as delivery rose in popularity, so did alcoholic beverages while diners stayed home.
frozen strawberry margarita
Meal Kits rise to the occasion: During quarantine, orders of meal kits rose 55% compared to the year before as diners put their own personal touch on the ingredients delivered.
Food subscriptions have found their moment during the pandemic. Here's a round-up of some of the best food and drink subscriptions to sign up for, from vegan meals, to bottles of fine wine. Take a look.
MrBeast isn't generally known for his gastronomic proclivities, but the famous YouTuber has hit on a viral fast-food idea that might revolutionise the restaurant industry. Iris McCarthy investigates...
Seamus Blackley, known as the father of the Xbox, is a physicist and amateur gastroegyptologist whose mind-bending adventures in sourdough baking have made him the 'High Priest' of the sourdough movement.