Hello, uncured bacon. Goodbye, gluten-free cupcakes.
According to Google’s Food Trends Report 2016, consumers are looking for new ways to prepare pork and rediscovering their love of pasta, at least based on the volume of their Google searches.
Those two subjects—pork and pasta—represent two of the five trending themes in the report, which compiled and analyzed U.S. Google users’ food-related searches between January 2014 and February 2016. Researchers then categorized the various searches into “sustained” risers or decliners, “seasonal” risers or decliners, and “rising” or “falling” stars.
So what’s hot and what’s not? Rigatoni, linguine, uncured bacon and Bundt cakes, among others, made the “sustained risers” list. Bacon cupcakes and bacon cinnamon rolls, however, landed on the “sustained decliners” list, along with gluten-free cupcakes, wheat-free bread, and evaporated cane juice.
Still, pork remains a highly popular food item among U.S. Google users, according to the search engine. In a deep dive into pork shoulder, it found that people are 22% more likely to search for “pork shoulder” on weekends and that the most searches occur in December. Who has all these questions about pork shoulder? People in Chicago, Denver, and Boston, according to Google.
Weekend is a popular time for people to search for pasta recipes and more, particularly rigatoni. Users are 29% more likely to search on rigatoni on Saturday and Sunday. But they aren’t necessarily the same ones looking for pork shoulder recipes; these curious would-be rigatoni eaters tend to live in Chicago, yes, but also San Francisco and Miami.
Google also looked specifically at “how to” searches related to food. Among the top 100 were “how to cook steak,” which was up 22% compared to the previous year; how to cook prime rib, which showed 14% growth compared to the previous year; and how to make beef jerky, which was up 11% year-over-year.