Grubhub, the nation’s leading online and mobile food-ordering and delivery marketplace, released findings from its annual “Year in Food” report. To find out what food trends shaped the year (or didn’t), Grubhub analyzed tens of millions of orders placed by more than 21 million diners on its platform to uncover the flavors and tastes rising up the ranks among today’s diners.
Additionally, diners will receive their personalized “Taste of 2019” to get a glimpse of their favorite cuisines, menu items, and ordering habits throughout the year.
Key takeaways from the 2019 “Year in Food” report include:
Top Orders of the Year:
One thing is clear: plant-based foods are here to stay, with a majority of 2019’s top foods comprising of vegetarian- or vegan-friendly options. Cauliflower pizza claimed the top spot, rising 650% in popularity throughout the year.
Cauliflower pizza: 650%
Spicy brussel sprouts: 622%
Portobello empanada: 601%
Black bean & sweet potato taco: 513%
Miso pork ramen: 413%
Chicken burger: 318%
Bone broth: 298%
Brown sugar milk [bubble] tea: 281%
Vegan pad Thai: 280%
Impossible burger: 203%
While cauliflower dishes took home the #7 and #10 spots in 2018, this year cauliflower leads the charge.
Vegetarian- and vegan-friendly dishes took over 7 of our top 10 as opposed to only 3 of the top spots in 2018.
Breakfast: bacon, egg & cheese is a staple combo across breakfast that’s risen to the #1 spot from last year.
BEC (bacon, egg & cheese) biscuit: 442% more popular
Mixed berry acai bowl: 209% more popular
Chicken & waffles: 167% more popular
Strawberry banana French toast: 155% more popular
Dutch pancake: 149% more popular
Desserts: A balanced mix of fan favorites, a few classics with a trendy spin, and a vegan dessert in Grub Hub’s top five.
Butter cake: 641% more popular
Chocolate shake: 530% more popular
Fruit crepe: 223% more popular
Caramel churro: 206% more popular
Vegan carrot cake: 144% more popular
Late-night: Carbs come in handy for those snacking on late-night treats with yet another appearance from the vegan family.
Buffalo chicken empanada : 277% more popular
Brisket quesadilla: 200% more popular
Truffle parmesan fries: 157% more popular
Garlic & parmesan bread sticks: 132% more popular
Vegan burger: 128% more popular
The Rise of Plant-Based Options
Vegan and vegetarian trends are still growing, with vegan orders rising 27% in popularity overall in 2019 as compared to 2018. Specifically, the Impossible Burger saw a more than 200% rise in popularity this year.
The top meat-alternative options of 2019 (in ranking order):
Black bean burger
Top and Not-So-Hot Spots for Vegans:
Most Vegan-Friendly States (in ranking order):
Least Vegan-Friendly States (in ranking order):
The state you should visit if you relate to the following:
The Night Owl (rise of late night orders): Washington DC
The Health Nut (rise of healthy foods): California
The Most Energized (rise of caffeinated drinks): Oregon
The Sweetest State (rise of desserts): Texas
Placed on Grubhub in 2019:
Biggest single-item splurge: Osetra black caviar for $285 (30g)
Largest order (non-catering): More than 300 tacos for a Halloween party
Smallest order: A single hot sauce packet
The Trends of Years Past
Burgers, pizza and tacos will always be a delivery go-to; however, if there’s one thing we know it’s that trends come and go. Whether it’s cauliflower-everything or 2017’s top food of poke bowls, with more than 450,000 orders per day on average, it’s safe to say Grubhub has its finger on the pulse of what’s hot (and what’s not).
Trends on the Rise: it’s all about detox and milk alternatives this year
Middle of the road: Not rising the ranks in popularity, but these remain a trusty go-to dish among diners
Trends on the Decline:
Forget fermentation and hydration, these two are on the out
Fun fact: celery juice and oat milk saw a claim to fame in 2019, seeing a 302% and 285% rise in popularity (respectively).
Best Of Grubhub
While 2019 was a year for new trends, Grubhub also took a look at some of the top delivery go-to dishes and the restaurants that took home the title — Best of Grubhub — for each dish.
Burgers: Calibur in San Francisco is a local favorite known for its classic burger and homemade Calibur sauce.
Pizza: Joe’s Pizza (Greenwich Village Institution) takes it home for this delivery favorite.
Chicken wings: KyoChon in Los Angeles has been said to “more than compensate in addictive flavor” with a top dish being the restaurant’s honey wings.
Tacos: E Bar Tex Mex in Dallas is known for its tacos, especially “Jorge’s Tacos” featuring a set of four
Poke: A dish known for its customization, SeaSweets Poke in Portland (Oregon) is the top spot for poke with the Ahi Shoyu Poke Bowl being a favorite.
Pad Thai: Circles Thai in Philadelphia comes in as the number one spot for this delivery essential.
Meatballs: Diners love the Homemade Meatballs from DiPasquale’s Italian Marketplace in Baltimore, with the restaurant’s menu warning diners to “be prepared” for how large the meatball sub is.
A Year Of Giving Back
Since launching its “Donate the Change” feature in October, Grubhub diners have given back to those in need. In 2019 (Jan.-Oct.) alone, diners rounded up and donated more than $10 million to support organizations including Grubhub’s core partner, No Kid Hungry. Other organizations supported throughout the year include the James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Programs as part of the company’s RestaurantHER program and NYC Kids RISE, giving back to local public school students’ college and career futures to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Seamless, Grubhub’s New York-specific brand.
Grubhub’s “Year in Food” report is based on trends gathered from tens of millions of orders on the Grubhub platform. Order trends detail the rise in popularity of food items placed by Grubhub diners from January-November 2019, as compared to the same timeframe in 2018.
Grubhub works with more than 140,000 restaurant partners in over 2,700 U.S. cities and London.