Google Gets Into Food Trends

Barb Stuckey’s column on makes for an interesting read when it comes to the juncture of food and trends. 

It appears that Google, which now accounts for over 3.5 billion food-related searches each day, has put its Food & Beverage team together with itsTrends team in order to not only mine that rich resource of data, but hopefully come up with “what’s next.” 

Google, she writes, has christened a top seven list of "Sustained Risers," food terms that have shown steady growth over the past years. Google anoints them as “safe bets” – presumably as trends with strong underpinnings. 

The Sustained Risers list includes ramen, rigatoni, bibimbap, linguine, empanadas, uncured bacon and Bundt cakes. 

Meanwhile, Google’s "Rising Stars" include turmeric, jackfruit, cauliflower rice, sourdough bread, funfetti (yes the cake icing) and vegan doughnuts. 

Now keep in mind, these trends are all based on what you and I search for – the higher the amount of searches, the higher the ranking for each of the ingredients or products, with the idea that the most popular searches will yield the most likely food trends. 

I would argue with that – certainly it's a great indicator of what people are asking about – but what about products or nutrients like protein that are certainly top of mind for shoppers these days, or sugars? The debate and confusion continue about just how much sugar to consume and how we can reduce our intake. Certainly, funfetti, with 22 grams of sugars in a 1.3 ounce-serving, sort of bucks that rising-star trending. 

Google’s "2016 Food Trends" report is an interesting read, but should be taken as just one tool, along with a dozen or so other influences, before we decide to restock our supermarket shelves. 

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