Using Google Trend Reports to Predict Future Food Trends

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We recently came across an article on the Huffington Post food section (you know, an ideal source for incredibly accurate news), and found an article entitled "According To Google, Nothing Is Ever Going To Trump The Cupcake."

That can't be right, we thought, weary of the cupcake. It's been a very trendy food item for years now, and while most food writers and chefs admit to being so over the cupcake, the Huffington Post claims that Google Trends shows the cupcake's popularity isn't in decline. Unfortunately.

The image above shows the comparisons the HuffPo author made to prove that the cupcake is still going strong.

Disheartened, we made our own chart showing the rise of the cupcake and other similar baked goods.

We figured that cronuts and ice cream sandwiches (the gourmet kind) are more trendy than whoopie pies and cake pops, and we also spelled doughnuts the more popular way, "donuts," which showed an increase in searches. According to our trend report, cupcakes are still pretty damn popular, but it appears donuts are inching up there.

And then we decided to have some more fun with Google Analytics. Behold, more supposed food trends and what the Internet has to say about them.

It seems kale is still the king of greens, but spinach has real staying power. Surprisingly, a search for "microgreens" didn't even make a blip on the chart, so we replaced it with "chard."

Quinoa appears to still be the top grain, surpassing its fellow superfoods in 2010 and never looking back. Interesting to note that in spite of all the talk of eating more unconventional grains (as opposed to, say, wheat), barley and millet have both experienced a decline, while couscous and buckwheat seem to be holding about steady.

Next we stacked dining trends against each other, and found that organic and gluten free are still super popular, while Paleo cuisine is experiencing a steady rise. It is important to note, though, that any of these search terms (aside from gluten free and farm to table) can be applied to things outside of the culinary world, so that could account for their popularity as well.

Finally, we wanted to look at the biggest food trends compared to one another. To our surprise, ramen is less popular than cupcakes (apparently Houston has a clear noodle bias), while bacon, obviously, is ridiculously popular. It's forecasted to experience a bit of a decline, but not enough to knock it down from the top. We also tried inputting "truffle" on the graph, but it barely made a blip. Sorry, truffle fries.

If you're bored this weekend, spend some time experimenting with the trends report on your own and see what you can find. You can also change the settings on the graphs we've already made to limit the search terms to just "Food & Drink" or just the United States or just Houston. To look up only results in H-Town, scroll past the graph, click on the map and keep zooming in until you get to Houston. Let us know what you find!

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