Why every food retailer should read this report

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Why every food retailer should read this report

By Gina Acosta - 12/06/2017

Food retailers looking to get a leg up in the battle for "share of stomach" could learn a few lessons from GrubHub's Year in Delivery food trends report.

The report from Grubhub, a leading online and mobile food-ordering company, identified the trendiest food delivery dishes of 2017, as well as the foods expected to rise in popularity in 2018.

Increasingly time-starved U.S. consumers are spending more on restaurant foods than on groceries. And food retailers have been meeting that demand with improved prepared deli foods and foodservice.

The trend of adding full restaurants, sometimes called "grocerants," falls in line with the uptick in prepared store meals, which has grown 30 percent since 2008 and driven $10 billion in sales last year, according to the NPD group. Adding trendy foods to hot bars and in-store restaurants can help bring back foot traffic to food retail.

A few key takeaways from the Grubhub report include:

  • Poke was trendier than ever for delivery in 2017 and is forecasted to stay popular in 2018.
  • San Francisco preferred buttermilk fried chicken, whereas New York loved to eat Japanese cuisine, ordering more spicy miso ramen than the rest of the country in 2017.
  • Vegetable entrees, such as jackfruit and cauliflower steaks, are on the rise for delivery in 2018, reinforcing national culinary forecasts.

"We're always looking for ways to connect our diners to a wide variety of cuisines from our 75,000 restaurants nationwide," said Barbara Martin Coppola, chief marketing officer at Grubhub. "We were delighted to dig into our data and identify food trends, which this year reflect the wide-ranging tastes of our diners — from poke bowls to steak, and avocado toast to burritos."

The Most Popular Dishes of 2017:

  • Poke — 643% rise in popularity
  • Soft pretzels — 221% rise in popularity
  • Avocado toast — 212% rise in popularity            
  • Chips and queso — 163% rise in popularity
  • Acai bowl — 138% rise in popularity
  • Chicken fried steak — 130% rise in popularity
  • Bean and cheese burrito — 127% rise in popularity
  • Italian sandwich — 125% rise in popularity
  • Chicken dum biryani — 123% rise in popularity
  • Mini corn dogs — 109% rise in popularity
  • California cobb salad — 108% rise in popularity
  • Snow crab legs — 106% rise in popularity
  • Country fried steak — 104% rise in popularity
  • Sirloin steak — 94% rise in popularity
  • Lasagna bolognese — 89% rise in popularity


The Most Popular Dishes by City in 2017:

  • Atlanta: Buttermilk pancakes — 234% rise in popularity
  • Austin, Texas: Chicken fajitas — 416% rise in popularity
  • Boston: Butter naan — 362% rise in popularity
  • Chicago: Chicken taquitos — 373% rise in popularity
  • Cleveland: Loaded fries — 350% rise in popularity
  • Dallas: Beef burger — 325% more popularly ordered in Dallas this year
  • Denver: Tonkotsu ramen — 152% rise in popularity
  • Detroit: Lettuce chicken wraps — 340% rise in popularity
  • Houston: Beef fajitas — 289% rise in popularity
  • Kansas City, Mo.: Mac and cheese — 447% rise in popularity
  • Las Vegas: Tuna sandwich — 203% rise in popularity
  • Los Angeles: Poke — 260% rise in popularity
  • Miami: Sweet plantains — 418% rise in popularity
  • New York: Spicy miso ramen — 331% rise in popularity
  • Philadelphia: Sweet potato tots — 308% rise in popularity
  • Phoenix: Philadelphia roll — 403% rise in popularity
  • Portland, Ore.: Grilled steak burrito — 397% rise in popularity
  • St. Louis: Steak tacos — 316% rise in popularity
  • San Diego: Shrimp taco — 218% rise in popularity
  • San Francisco: Buttermilk fried chicken — 136% rise in popularity
  • Seattle: Bacon cheeseburgers — 344% rise in popularity
  • Washington: Pho — 143% rise in popularity

 

The Dishes Forecasted for Popularity in 2018:

  • Lettuce chicken wraps — 184% rise in average monthly popularity
  • Poke — 91% rise in average monthly popularity
  • Bulgogi bibimbap — 89% rise in average monthly popularity
  • Roasted cauliflower — 88% rise in average monthly popularity
  • Spicy tonkotsu ramen — 76% rise in average monthly popularity
  • Kimchi fries — 75% rise in average monthly popularity
  • Cinnamon buns — 74% rise in average monthly popularity
  • Pumpkin soup — 64% rise in average monthly popularity
  • Brisket sandwich — 54% rise in average monthly popularity
  • Yellowtail belly — 54% rise in average monthly popularity
  • Mini corn dogs — 53% rise in average monthly popularity
  • Pork belly — 53% rise in average monthly popularity
  • Brick pressed chicken — 48% rise in average monthly popularity
  • Shio ramen — 47% rise in average monthly popularity
  • Korean fried chicken wings — 45% rise in average monthly popularity


The Trendiest Dishes for Delivery, in Line with National Culinary Reports:

  • Spaghetti squash — 351% rise in average monthly popularity
  • Mezcal — 234% rise in average monthly popularity
  • Zucchini noodles — 230% rise in average monthly popularity
  • Jackfruit — 123% rise in average monthly popularity
  • Crudites — 27% rise in average monthly popularity
  • Deviled eggs — 26% rise in average monthly popularity
  • Rotisserie chicken — 26% rise in average monthly popularity
  • Cauliflower steaks — 21% rise in average monthly popularity
  • Tater tots — 13% rise in average monthly popularity
  • Roasted vegetables — 10% rise in average monthly popularity

Grubhub's data analysts looked at dishes that climbed in popularity this year, using three different methodologies for the analysis:

  • Top Foods of 2017 (national): Order data was compared from 2017 to order data from 2015 and 2016 collectively. The listed statistic is the percentage growth in 2017 in comparison to previous years.
  • Top Foods of 2017 (local): Order data was compared from 2017 to order data from 2015 and 2016 collectively — in comparison to the rest of the country. The listed statistic is the percentage growth in 2017 in comparison to previous years.
  • Forecasted Foods for 2018: Order volume was analyzed for dishes that rose in popularity each month in 2017, and the monthly cumulative percentage change is the listed statistic.