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It’s not much of a surprise that classic comfort food topped DoorDash’s 2020 State of Flavor Report, which details top national and regional food trends of the year and what to expect in 2021. Chicken fingers and fries, fried chicken sandwiches and breakfast favorites were among the top foods, but look for healthier fare to be on more plates next year as 72 percent of Americans planning to eat healthier in 2021 with nearly half (47 percent) sharing that they’ll incorporate more plant-based foods into their diets.

Supporting local restaurants is one trend that will continue. According to the report, 80 percent of Americans made an effort to order more from their favorite local small businesses in 2020, and 84 percent plan to make an effort to order more from local small businesses to support them in 2021.

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Top Foods of 2020 (Top Food Items ordered from 1/1/20 to 10/31/20 – US)
  1. Chicken Fingers + French Fries
  2. Fried Chicken Sandwiches (down from the #1 spot in DoorDash’s 2020 mid-year report)
  3. Mac & Cheese
  4. Chips & Guacamole
  5. Apple Pie
  6. Pad Thai
  7. Chicken Quesadillas
  8. Iced Coffee
  9. California Rolls
  10. Chicken Tikka Masala
  11. Sausage Egg and Cheese
  12. Cheesecake
  13. Nachos
  14. Breakfast Burrito
  15. Queso Blanco
  16. Chicken Parmesan
  17. Taco Salad
  18. Chimichanga
  19. Pancakes
  20. French Toast
DoorDash’s customers celebrate diverse flavors. Here are the top cuisines ordered in 2020
  1. Mexican
  2. American
  3. Chinese
  4. Tex-Mex
  5. Italian
  6. Sushi
  7. Thai
  8. Japanese
  9. Indian
  10. Mediterranean
  11. Vietnamese
  12. Greek
  13. Korean
  14. Hawaiian
  15. Caribbean
  16. Middle Eastern
  17. Southern
  18. Latin American
  19. Creole
  20. Cuban
Top 10 Foods on the Rise
  1. Sausage Egg and Cheese on a Biscuit – 2,872 percent increase
  2. Create Your Own Omelette – 1,915 percent increase
  3. Carrot Cake – 1,633 percent increase
  4. Cinnamon Rolls – 1,450 percent increase
  5. Caramel Latte – 1,435 percent increase
  6. Chocolate Brownies – 1,130 percent increase
  7. Black Coffee – 1,124 percent increase
  8. Donuts – 902 percent increase
  9. Blueberry Muffin – 859 percent increase
  10. Biscuits – 741 percent increase
Top Cuisines on the Rise
  1. Taiwanese – 807 percent increase
  2. French – 501 percent increase
  3. Filipino – 313 percent increase
  4. Australian – 308 percent increase
  5. Moroccan – 255 percent increase

*compared ordered behavior from January – October 2020 and January – October 2019

Vegan food trends are still growing in popularity at a steady rate

  1. Black Bean Taco – 456 percent increase
  2. Plant-Based Burger – 225 percent increase
  3. Mushroom Burger – 195 percent increase
  4. Veggie Sandwich – 149 percent increase
  5. Fried Tofu – 148 percent increase

In October 2020, DoorDash saw a 2,417 percent increase in the frequency of searches for Black-owned businesses in the US compared to May 2020. The US state that ordered from the most Black-owned restaurants this year was California, followed by Texas and Maryland.  Strong majorities plan to order more from Black-owned, Women-owned, and locally-owned restaurants in 2021:

  • 50 percent made an effort to order more from Black-owned establishments. 16 percent made a serious effort.
  • 58 percent plan to make an effort to order more from Black-owned restaurants in 2021. 25 percent plan to make a significant effort.
  • Young consumers (18-34) are even more supportive of Black-owned restaurants. 57 percent of 18-34 year-olds say they made an effort to order more from Black-owned restaurants in 2020, and 67 percent plan to in 2021. 58 percent of frequent orderers say they made an effort to order more from Black-owned restaurants in 2020, and 63 percent plan to in 2021.
  • 60 percent plan to make an effort to order more from Women-owned restaurants in 2021. 25 percent plan to make a significant effort.
  • 80 percent made an effort to order more from local small businesses. 38 percent made a serious effort.
  • 84 percent plan to make an effort to order more from local small businesses in 2021. 43 percent plan to make a significant effort.

Source: DoorDash’s 2020 State of Flavor Report: The Year of Comfort Food | Modern Restaurant Management | The Business of Eating & Restaurant Management News