[Photo: Chris Hackmann/Wikimedia Commons]
What’s next for the $5.75 trillion food industry? Tastewise, an AI-powered food intelligence company and trend tracker, shares some insights on consumers’ ever-morphing tastes. In a new report, the Israel-based startup found that Instagram continues to make stars out of once niche or unpopular foods (like Spam), while new behaviors such as “restaurant hopping” transform the dining scene.
“Today, many of us are adventurous eaters, constantly searching for new food experiences, while prioritizing our health,” Tastewise founder Alon Chen said in a press statement. “In this new environment, all CPGs and restaurants whatever their size have to become as dynamic as food trucks and pop-ups.”
Some recent findings:
- The need for healthier food: Despite all the new organic spots opening up, there is $9 billion demand for healthy food in restaurants across the country.
- The next sriracha: Zhoug, a spicy Middle Eastern condiment, saw 129% growth in social media mentions and 3.5% uptick in menu placement in the last year. The gluten-free sauce is especially popular with those on the Keto diet.
- Purple cravings: Ube is reportedly “a natural fit for the Instagram and #foodporn generation,” as evidenced by 94% social media mention growth. The colorful yam is making quite a name for itself in the desserts category, specifically ice cream and frozen yogurt.
- Spam, redefined: Spam is making a comeback thanks to fusion varieties, like the Hawaii import Spam musubi. The exotic snack is made of grilled spam on top of rice, tied together with nori.
- ‘Shroom boom: Truffles saw a 5% spike on U.S. menus as restaurants added the Italian favorite to fries, burgers, and of course, and macaroni and cheese.
- Restaurant hopping: Diners no longer feel compelled to eat the entirety of their meal at one place. They’re increasingly choosing to eat one portion of the meal at a different restaurant, thereby ensuring they snag the most Instagrammable food moments. This tiresome trend increased by 160% from 2017-2018.
Learn more at Tastewise.