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.
- boba tea
Top Alcohol Orders (in ranking order): as delivery rose in popularity, so did alcoholic beverages while diners stayed home.
- pinot grigio
- hot sake
- light beer
- frozen strawberry margarita
- pina colada
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.
Most Popular Meal Kit Orders
- D.I.Y. burger
- D.I.Y. lobster roll kit
- D.I.Y. salad
- D.I.Y. pizza
- D.I.Y. gyro kit