What are the most-searched foods, cooking methods and ingredients on the Internet? We look at search engine giant Google’s report to find out more.
Millions of users log on to Google daily to look for information, and according to official Google statements, statistics point to at least a 72 per cent aggregate of mobile search volume for “Food & Beverage”, compared to other topics such as health, travel, sports and lifestyle. In 2016, Google released its Food Trends Report on the top searches for food keywords, and derived five key food trends which have been driving the food industry in the US and internationally. We examine these five food trends and look at what, how and why we are consuming now.
Top Trending Keyword Searches: Rigatoni, Tortellini, Linguine, Penne, Fusilli, Mac and Cheese Bites.
The Pasta Comeback
The Italian staple might have lost some of its sizzle a few years ago, but it’s now becoming more popular than ever. According to research by Nielsen posted on April 2016, sales of pasta in America were up 2.9 per cent year on year. The Google Food Trends Report confirms pasta’s resurgence by revealing that one of the top Google food searches is rigatoni – interest in the commonly-used tube-shaped pasta has started to rise since 2015.
Even though pasta is not as widely consumed as rice or noodles in Asian countries, it can still be easily found in restaurants and supermarkets here. Increasingly, home cooks are finding reason to cook pasta, as they discover more recipes and sauces to experiment with different dishes. Also, more are discovering the nutritional benefits of pasta, with whole grain varieties gaining popularity.
Chicken And Olive Pasta Bake
Baked Chilli Tuna Pasta
Top Trending Keyword Searches: Pork Shoulder, Andouille Sausage, Bacon Jam, Smoked Sausage, Pig Feet, Prosciutto Di Parma.
Experimenting With Pork
Meat is still one of the best sources of protein for most people, and according to research specialist Worldwatch Institute, pork is the world’s most consumed meat. So it’s no surprise that pork, specifically pork shoulder, is one of the top searches on Google.
And it’s not just traditional preparation of pork which people are interested in nowadays, as home cooks and food lovers look to other ways to experiment with the meat. Google’s Food Trends Report reveals that while three out of the five top videos on YouTube for pork shoulder feature American-style BBQ recipes, viewers are also interested in Asian variations of the dish (the top five videos are Korean Spicy Stir-Fried, BBQ Roast, Slow Smoked Pulled Pork, BBQ Pulled Pork and Char Siu (Cantonese BBQ Pork)).
While we know that pork is the most popular meat for both consumption and Internet searches, what we can also conclude from the report is that people are more open to experimentation and trying out different ways to cook a familiar, staple meat, and putting a new spin on traditional dishes in the process. In Singapore especially, our love for fusion food has led chefs, foodies and home cooks to the creation of many exciting new recipes.
Char Siu Pork & Noodle Soup
Pork And Pineapple Salad
Top Trending Keyword Searches: Turmeric, Apple Cider Vinegar, Jackfruit, Manuka Honey, Kefir, Coconut Milk, Cumin Seeds, Cauliflower Rice.
Food With A Function
More are getting on the health track when it comes to cooking and eating, and these foodies are interested in how eating well can help them improve their health. That is why foods and ingredients with nutritional benefits are among the top searches, with the spice turmeric leading the list.
The Google Food Trends Report tells us that searches on turmeric are focused not only on its benefits, but also on recipes and the ways it can be incorporated into various dishes. In Singapore, we get to experience all kinds of cuisines easily, with the use of different ingredients and culinary styles a common practice in our kitchens.
Functional ingredients have always been around, but now with more awareness via sources online, plus video tutorials on how to cook them step by step, it means we can discover even more how they can help optimise our diet.
Beef Rendang With Lemongrass and Turmeric
Top Trending Keyword Searches: Pho, Ramen, Bibimbap, Mochi Ice-Cream, Wonton, Japanese Snacks.
Travelling Through Taste
As we become more connected globally, via increasing access to travelling and greater social media engagement through the Internet, we are also more interested in food experiences and global cuisines. Google’s Food Trends Report says Americans are “turning to food to experience new cultures – whether they’re eating the dishes themselves or watching others”.
This also explains the online proliferation of food bloggers and amateur cook shows on YouTube and blogs all over the world. In Singapore, travelling and queuing up for food is the norm. A poll conducted by travel site Wego (www. wego.com.sg) of Singaporean and Malaysian travellers suggested that close to 60 per cent of travellers choose their destination based on food, and top destinations include Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea and Europe. So food tourism is huge for Singaporeans, but many are also experimenting with recipes of international cuisines at home, now that we have more sources to guide us.
Prawn Pad Thai
Spicy Coconut Fish Soup
Get the full recipes of dishes featured here on www.womensweekly.com.sg We also have hundreds of traditional and creative recipes on Asian foods, festive staples, bakes and party favourites!
*Key information derived from Google Food Trends Report. Source: Google internal data, January 2014 – February 2016, United States.
Text: Sean tan / Photos : 123rf.com, bauersyndication.com.au.