The Food Trends We are Watching

The Lempert Report
November 12, 2019

It’s Yelps 15th Anniversary and they’ve put together a list of the foods that have been the most popular in their history.

Back in 2010 it was all about Soba Noodles, Velvet Cake and Cured Meats. Today its Oat Milk, CBD, Immpossible Buger, Acai Bowls and Street Corn. Starbucks has remained in the number one position for the most searched food chains while the other top five, including McDonald’s, In-N-Out Burger, Chick-fil-A, Trader Joe’s and Chipotle have moved up and down the list. Yelp compiled these from their almost 200 million reviews.

So what’s 2020 going to look like?  Tastewise’s new Functional Foods Report 2019, “Putting Food to Work in the Age of Wellness,” uses an AI-powered platform to analyze billions of food data points, from social, menus and home recipes published online to track the “why” behind food trends.

They found that more than a third of consumers are seeking foods that improve their mood, sleep, gut health, fight aging or otherwise provide functional benefits.  

Functional Foods, according to the report, are “a category of ingredients, meals and preparations that serve a particular function and purpose beyond mere sustenance.” What used to be called nutraceuticals…

And the produce department may well be impacted the most.  

  • for gut health, 119% more people are talking about peppermint, 49% said leafy greens and 26% said watermelon;
  • for memory, 135% tied ginger and 125% said sweet potatoes are beneficial;
  • for sleep-inducing properties, 100% more people are talking about asparagus;
  • for weight loss, 63% more people are talking about cranberries;
  • for wellness, 121% more people have identified smoothies;
  • for energy, 48% more people talking about peaches;
  • for anti-inflammatory properties, 243% more people talking about pumpkin, 118% about pomegranates, 105% about walnuts and 86% about mangoes;
  • for anti-aging, 179% more people talked about blackberries, and 154% tied papaya;
  • for skin care, 204% more people are talking about kiwifruit, and 52% attributed avocado;
  • to recover from illness, 302% more people said peppermint, 268% said bok choy and 250% said artichokes help you recover;
  • for an immune system boost, 149% said kiwifruit and 136% said beets;
  • Celery was highlighted with its own section in the report touting benefits from weight loss, depression, sickness treatment and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Two exceptions: Provolone cheese and maple syrup are this year’s new weight-loss contenders.