Grubhub Reveals Most Popular Eating Habits for 2021

Annual 'Year in Food' report details the top ordering trends
Marian Zboraj
Digital Editor
Marian Zboraj
Grubhub Reveals Most Popular Eating Habits for 2021
Grubhub's research found that the Impossible cheeseburger was this year's top food of the year.

Before we usher in the new year, Grubhub is rewinding to see how consumers ate and drank their way through 2021: The Chicago-based online food delivery marketplace has released findings from its annual "Year in Food" report. Grubhub analyzed orders from more than 32 million diners to see what rose in popularity during January-November 2021, as compared with the same timeframe in 2020. It has also provided its predictions for the top foods of 2022.

With more time spent at home in 2021, Grubhub found it was more important for consumers to have all of their convenience and grocery essentials whenever they needed them. The following are the top trends in convenience.

Top Convenience Orders

  1. 2% milk (+190%)
  2. Toilet paper (+190%)
  3. Instant ramen (+143%)
  4. Paper towels (+130%)
  5. Pepperoni pizza rolls (+103%)


  1. Gummy bears (+98%)
  2. Peanut butter cups (+92%)
  3. Caramel shortbread chocolate bar (+82%)
  4. Cookies-and-cream chocolate bar (+73%)
  5. Sour candy (+71%)

Grubhub is making it even easier for consumers to grab all of their convenience and grocery essentials. The company partnered with Instacart for a limited time to offer existing Grubhub diners two months of Instacart Express free and $10 off their first Instacart order of more than $35. Annual Instacart Express members can also receive 12 months of Grubhub+ for free, including unlimited free delivery on Grubhub orders of more than $12 from 300,000-plus restaurants nationwide, exclusive perks and members-only deals, and donation matching when members donate their change to a charity at checkout.

For Top Orders of Year, the Impossible Cheeseburger nabbed the top spot. The complete list is as follows:

  1. Impossible cheeseburger (+442%)
  2. Shredded pork taco (+310%)
  3. Apple pecan chicken salad (+287%)
  4. Detroit-style pizza (+263%)
  5. Margarita (+240%)
  6. Pub mac and cheese (+174%)
  7. Pork dumplings (+173%)
  8. Chicken burrito (+166%)
  9. Poke nacho (+158%)
  10. Lettuce wrap (+155%)

Grubhub also analyzed the top orders by mealtime:


  1. Sausage, egg and cheese sandwich
  2. Long john doughnut
  3. Chorizo breakfast burrito


  1. Birria taco
  2. Clam chowder
  3. Impossible burger


  1. Burrito bowl
  2. Cheese pizza
  3. Beef sliders

Late night 

  1. Al pastor taco
  2. Chicken tenders
  3. Chimichanga

When it comes to beverages, Grubhub saw diners settle into their new morning routines, which resulted in coffee orders rising 100% in popularity. Alcohol orders increased by 11%, and the margarita was the first alcohol order to crack the top orders of the year.


  1. Pumpkin spice latte (+363%)
  2. Vanilla latte (+256%)
  3. Cold brew (+116%)
  4. Flat white (+110%)
  5. Nitro coffee (+68%)


  1. Margarita (+240%)
  2. Mexican beer (+174%)
  3. Mango mojito (+110%)
  4. Cabernet Sauvignon (+106%)
  5. Prosecco (+102%)

Similar to 2020, vegan- and vegetarian-friendly orders continued to steadily improve. According to Danone North America's “At the Table: The Multicultural Plant-Based Food Perspective” report, plant-based eating is on the rise among multicultural consumers, particularly the younger Millennial and Gen Z demographics. In 2021, Grubhub found that vegan- and vegetarian-friendly orders grew by 16% and 13%, in comparison with 2020.


  1. Vegan hot cocoa (+320%)
  2. Vegan passion fruit mochi (+236%)
  3. Vegan mint chocolate chip cookie (+236%)
  4. Handmade vegan chorizo taco (+236%)
  5. Black bean arepa (+152%)


  1. Cheddar scallion biscuits (+362%)
  2. Plum tomato broccoli parmesan risotto (+320%)
  3. Flaxseed and date specialty smoothie (+320%)
  4. Vodka margarita pizza (+236%)
  5. Butternut squash parsnip soup (+236%)

Most Vegan-Friendly States

  1. California
  2. New York
  3. Florida
  4. Texas
  5. Georgia

Additionally, Grubhub analyzed hundreds of millions of orders over the past three years to provide its prediction on the top foods of 2022. In no particular ranking, here are the orders that it predicts will rise in popularity next year.

  • Margherita flatbread pizza
  • Buffalo chicken tots
  • Peanut butter protein smoothie
  • Cajun steakburger
  • Apple cobbler
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