Some food fads come and go relatively quickly (when’s the last time you opened a package of SnackWells, or ordered blackened redfish at a restaurant?). Others arrive on the scene, quite possibly overstay their welcome, but somehow just don’t ever go away. We’re looking at you, pumpkin spice.
The fact is that we still regularly enjoy many (if not quite all) of the comestibles that were the biggest food fads of the past 50 years.
The popular food delivery service Uber Eats, which completed its billionth delivery in 2019, recently recapped the year with some off-the-wall statistics, reporting, for instance, that the amount of sushi they delivered weighed almost as much as eight humpback whales.
Uber Eats also offered some general observations about the international food and drink scene — revealing, among other things, that Toronto was the most caffeinated city, accounting for more coffee orders than any other. (It was perhaps not a coincidence, then, that the University of Toronto published a study earlier this year finding that merely thinking about coffee, as opposed to actually drinking it, could cause our minds to become more alert.)
In addition to looking back over 2019, though, they also offered a list of “food searches [that] are accelerating in popularity on Uber Eats,” uncovering “a few key trends rising to the top as we approach the new decade.” These are presumably things, then, that we’ll be ordering more of in the coming 12 months.
Some of them are “faves [that] are here to stay,” according to Uber Eats, while others are, let’s say, specialized. And a few seem to relate more to wellness than gastronomy.
Interestingly, only one of the items on the Uber Eats list — Brussels sprouts — also appears on a parallel list recently released by its competitor, DoorDash, enumerating what that food-delivery services identifies as the top 15 foods on the rise for 2020.
Whether this suggests that the two operations have substantially different clienteles, or just different ways of crunching the data, is an open question.