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The top food trends emerging so far in 2020

A DoorDash survey reveals which items Americans were cooking and ordering during the first six months of the year.
DoorDash
Photograph courtesy of DoorDash

Third-party delivery company DoorDash surveyed 2,000 Americans to find out what and how they were eating during the first six months of 2020. The Deep Dish report reveals some overriding trends that emerged as the pandemic took hold over the country and housebound consumers turned to home cooking and restaurant delivery.

While 70% of Americans have spent more time cooking over the past half year, 47% agree that they are tired of it. Chicken is getting to be the most boring: 41% are most tired of cooking the bird, followed by pasta.

But chicken is a winner when it comes to ordering food for delivery. A chicken sandwich with french fries was the top item ordered on DoorDash so far this year, and in New York City and Washington, D.C., several chicken dishes came out on top. Chicken quesadillas, chicken Parmigiana and buttermilk fried chicken were all favorites.

The data also reveals that comfort foods rule for takeout and delivery. Menu items that showed dramatic increases include queso blanco (up 1,735%), create-your-own pizza (up 1,501%), cheese nachos (up 1,130%) and cinnamon rolls (up 1,400%).

On the rise

Image courtesy of DoorDash

Even though breakfast is quick and easy to make at home, breakfast foods saw a surprising surge in orders. Breakfast burritos were the seventh most-ordered item on DoorDash from January to June. Also on the rise was oatmeal (1,768%), iced caramel coffee (1,660%), blueberry muffins (779%) and those comforting cinnamon rolls.

Flavor preferences tended to skew regionally across the U.S. San Francisco customers are fans of Indian cuisine. The top items ordered in that city were chicken tikka masala, garlic naan, basmati rice, samosas, and saag paneer. Down the coast in Los Angeles, sushi is No. 1, with California rolls, spicy tuna rolls, rainbow rolls and salmon avocado rolls among the favorites.

Traveling east to Chicago, sandwiches are the most popular, especially regional specialties such as Italian beef, hot dogs and chili dogs. Not surprisingly, Miami customers love Latin flavors. Sweet plantains, yuca, tostones and jerk chicken were top choices. And consumers in Austin gravitated towards Tex-Mex food, including chips and queso, burritos, shrimp tacos and chicken fajitas.

But consumers do miss eating in restaurants and when they return, the cuisine they crave the most is Mexican. Forty percent of respondents miss Mexican food, followed by seafood at 34%. Both of these are too difficult to prepare at home, they said.

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