The past 6 months have been entirely unprecedented and have filled all of our lives with newfound hardships and challenges. However, good food remains a critical and enjoyable part of our lives, especially as restaurants stay open for delivery and social distancing efforts scale.
Today, we’re sharing DoorDash’s mid-year Deep Dish, which checks in on popular food trends, nationally and regionally, how users ate through social distancing, cravings across the US and Canada, the largest amount of money spent on a single order, and more. Using order data from January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020 and a national consumer survey that polled 2,000 Americans on their eating behavior, we bring to you the State of Flavor in America.
Our Customer’s Favorite Cuisine Was…
Mexican food! 40% of our consumers found that they missed Mexican food the most while staying at home. However, seafood was a close second at 34% and was more popular than Mexican food on the West Coast.
Top 10 Ordered Items of the Past 6 months
#Trending: what we are expecting to continue to see more of in the second half of 2020.
- Oatmeal — 1,768% increase
- Queso Blanco — 1,735% increase
- Iced Caramel Coffee — 1,660% increase
- Grilled Chicken Taco — 1,502% increase
- Create Your Own Pizza — 1,501% increase
- Cinnamon Rolls — 1,400% increase
- Cheese Nachos — 1,130% increase
- Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie — 1,193% increase
- Spinach and Artichoke Dip — 1,092% increase
- Iced French Vanilla Coffee — 1,028% increase
- Shrimp Tacos — 997% increase
- New York Style Cheesecake — 843% increase
- Strawberry Banana Smoothie — 822% increase
- Biscuits with Gravy — 818% increase
- Vegetable Samosa — 788% increase
- Blueberry Muffin — 779% increase
- Plant-based Burgers — 433% increase
- Chicken Fajitas — 318% increase
- Churros — 260% increas
- Horchata — 200% increase
The DoorDash Customer in the first half of 2020
- Breakfast surged in 2020 with an increase in items such as breakfast burritos and oatmeal as well as an influx in coffee orders.
- During this period of time, people are craving comfort food over healthier options by over 30%.
- 41% of customers are tired of cooking chicken but have proven to not be tired of ordering it in.
- Trend-worthy food habits include 30% of people trying intermittent fasting, 16% of consumers trying food infused with CBD, and 13% eating foods with collagen.
- Plant-based foods are on the rise with a huge surge for meatless burgers with a 443% increase. 18–24 customers were found to be the most interested in finding plant-based and vegan ordering options.
- 2.5k magic! The most money spent on a single order in the past 6 months was $2,578 which included 70 orders of Mediterranean herb chicken, 40 orders of grilled vegetables, and 20 cheese plates. YUM!
Breakfast for dinner, or dinner for breakfast?
The East Coast ordered iced coffee, donuts, and belgian waffles for breakfast, crispy chicken sandwiches, chips, and iced tea for lunch, chicken quesadillas, caesar salads, and fried rice for dinner, and chicken fingers, apple pie, and sugar cookies for late night snacks.
The West Coast ordered breakfast burritos, bacon, and french toast for breakfast, create your own pizzas, miso soup, and orange chicken for lunch, spicy tuna rolls, chicken tikka masala, and mongolian beef for dinner, and stuffed jalapenos, mini churros, and cheesecake for their late night cravings.
The Midwest ordered oatmeal, strawberry banana smoothies, and BEC on a biscuit for breakfast, mac & cheese, hot dogs, and italian beef sandwiches for lunch, potstickers, chimichangas, and street tacos for dinner, and french fries, chocolate milkshakes, and cinnamon rolls for late night.
The South ordered sausage biscuits, hash brown burritos, and orange juice for breakfast, buffalo wings, strawberry lemonade, and nachos for lunch, fried chicken, sweet iced tea, and ribeyes for dinner, and onion rings, chocolate chip cookies, and nachos for late night.
Our data has shown us that there has been a wide variety of cravings across the U.S with sushi and seafood becoming increasingly sought after on the west coast, and Mexican food gaining popularity on the east coast. In Seattle the top ordered food was seafood with items including sushi rolls, fish and chips, and tartar sauce topping things off. San Francisco saw an increase in Indian food with orders of tikka masala, samosas, and garlic naan while Los Angeles saw spikes in sushi ordering of California, spicy tuna, and rainbow rolls. In Denver, we saw that cheese has ranked supreme and in Austin, there was an increase in Tex-Mex. Chicago’s top ordered food was a variety of sandwiches, while Atlanta proved to have quite the sweet tooth with chocolate chip cookies, cookies & cream milkshakes, and banana bread leading the chart. Philly saw a rise in American classics and Miami brought the heat with Latin American flavors including sweet plantains, fried yuca, and jerk chicken. Last but not least, both D.C and N.Y.C saw spikes in food items with chicken such as chicken noodle soup, roasted chicken, and curry chicken.
Top Condiments of 2020
Whether you’re a ranch on pizza or a ketchup on eggs kind of person, these are the top 10 condiments ordered in 2020 so far.
- Sour Cream
- Soy Sauce
- Hot Mustard
- Spicy Mayo
- Hot Sauce
- Honey Mustard
- Honey BBQ
Top 20 Ordered Items of the Past 6 months in Canada
No surprise, poutine was one of the most popular dishes customers in Canada ordered, making the Top 10 foods in seven Canadian provinces.
- Burrito Bowls
- Butter Chicken
- Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Miso Soup
- California Roll
- Dynamite Roll
- Chips & Guacamole
- Tuna Poke Bowl
- Spicy Tuna Roll
- Plant-based burger
- Garlic Bread
- Caesar Salad
- Chicken Quesadilla
- Pad Thai
- Chicken Shawarma
- Avocado Rol
- Chicken Tacos
We look forward to seeing what our customers order to satisfy their cravings during the second half of 2020!
DoorDash Deep Dish National Survey Results
More time spent cooking is tiring people out:
- 70% have spent more time cooking; 33% much more. Only 7% have spent less time cooking
- 25% order more food when they order takeout so they have leftovers
- 47% agree that they are “tired of cooking for myself after 3 months of Covid-19 restrictions.”
Chicken is the number one dish people are tired of cooking, selected by 41%:
- Pasta and microwave meals, are what Americans are also tired of cooking, selected at 37%
- 53% say they’re bored when cooking these foods, followed by 35% who say they’re tired of cooking the following: 1. Chicken or other meat based dish 41%, 2. Pasta dishes 37%, 3. Microwave meals 37%, 4. Hamburger and hot dogs 32%, 5. Instant noodles and soup 31%, 6. Meals in an instant cooker, slow cooker and/or air fryer 22%, 7. Casseroles and meatloaf 21%
Cookies are filling cravings for comfort food:
- By a nearly 3:1 margin, people are more likely to crave comfort food (53%) than healthier foods (18%)
- Almost half of the respondents (49%) have bought new kitchen items during the Covid-19 crisis. 24% have bought new pots and pans, and 22% have bought new baking sheets
- Younger respondents are more likely to have bought new items: 57% of under 44-year-olds have done so, compared to 35% of over 54-year-olds
- Cooking and baking items most purchased: 1. Pot or pan 24%, 2. Baking sheet 22%, 3. Measuring cups 19%, 4. Coffee maker 17%, 5. Pizza cutter 16%, 6. KitchenAid 13%
80% have baked since the crisis, and cookies are the number one item, baked by 60%. Cake and brownies are statistically tied for second at 48% and 46%, respectively:
- Items baked during the pandemic:
– Cookies 60%
– Cake 48%
– Brownies 46%
– Banana bread 32%
– Pie 24%
–Sourdough bread 19%
People missing eating out, especially Mexican food and margaritas, and sushi:
- 88% agree that they’re “excited for the day when I can eat restaurant food the same way I could before Covid-19.”
- Half of them (44%) strongly agree
- 78% agree that, “I wish I had a wider range of food options than I do when restricted due to Covid-19”
- 82% of respondents miss eating at least one type of cuisine because it is too difficult to prepare at home.
- At 40%, Mexican is the number one food type people miss, followed closely by seafood at 34%
- The west coast disagrees: their top response is sushi, edging Mexican food 36% to 34%
Food respondents miss due to closed restaurants and difficulty of preparing at home:
- Mexican 40%
- Seafood 34%
- Sushi 30%
- Italian 30%
- BBQ 29%
- Desserts 23%
- Mediterranean 16%
- Ramen 11%
Mexican food is also the food people are most excited to eat when they resume normal restaurant routines, selected by 21%.
- Here again, seafood ranks second, at 18%
- The west coast disagrees again: their top response is sushi, edging Mexican food 23% to 18%.
- 25–34 year-olds agree: they select sushi 23% of the time, compared to 21% for Mexican
Food Americans are most excited to eat when restaurants reopen:
- Mexican 21%
- Seafood 18%
- Sushi 16%
- Italian 14%
- BBQ 12%
59% are excited to order an alcoholic drink when they return to a normal restaurant routine, and margarita is the number one option, selected by 20%:
- Men are more divided on the issue than are women. 17% of men select beer while 16% select margarita — a statistical tie.
- 24% of women select margarita, compared to just 5% who select beer.
- Drinks respondents are most excited to order when bars and restaurants open again: 1. Margaritas 20%, 2. Classic cocktail 11%, 3. Beer 11%, 4. Wine 8%, 5. Aperol Spritz 7%
Food habits are changing:
- 45% have tried at least one of three select new food habits: 30% intermittent fasting; 16% foods infused with CBD; 13% foods with collagen
- Intermittent fasting is especially popular with 25–34-year-olds… 40% say they’ve tried it
- 20% have seriously considered veganism, and 6% are or have been vegan at some point in time
- Vegetable pasta is the most appetizing vegan dish among options, ranked first by 31%. By contrast, tofu dishes are least appetizing, ranked last by 36%
- 18–24 year olds ranked plant-based meat first at 27% instead of vegetable pasta, showing that this age group is all in on plant-based meat
- 21% have visited a restaurant just because they saw it on Instagram. An additional 22% haven’t done so but want to
- 18–24-year-olds are more Instagram-influenced. 32% have visited a restaurant just because they saw it on Instagram, and 43% haven’t done so but want to
- 28% have ordered a specific dish because they saw it on Instagram. 10% did so because it would look good in a photo
- The most common dish that Americans order because of the ‘gram is pasta. Other food items that are Instagram worthy, according to respondents, are:
Fast food, pizza, dessert, chicken, Japanese, seafood, and Mexican
- 63% have cancelled vacation travel due to Covid-19. 26% have cancelled multiple trips
- Among those who’ve cancelled trips, 24% have cancelled a trip to Florida, 18% to California, and 55% to another US destination
- 80% say Covid-19 health and safety limits their vacation options, followed by 37% who say financial strain is a limiting factor
- 71% are still planning to take some vacation this summer. 47% say they’ll be visiting friends and family, followed by 32% visiting the beach or a lake
- 81% intend to travel by car, while only 23% say they may use airplane travel this summer
Dining while on vacation:
- 75% say food is important in determining summer travel plans. 17% say it is very important
- Food importance is correlated with youth: 86% for 18–24… 84% for 25–34… 80% for 35–44… 73% for 45–54… 63% for over 54-year-olds
- While on summer vacation, the top dining strategy is takeout, selected by 55%
*Survey Methodology Summary: This survey was conducted using the online survey platform Pollfish and compiled by DKC Analytics. The sample of 2,000 adults (18 years or older) in the United States was surveyed between June 29, 2020 to July 1, 2020. The margin of error is 2.2% and no additional weighting was done to the initial sample. Pollfish’s survey platform delivers online surveys globally through mobile apps and the mobile web along with the desktop web.