From superfoods to exotic cuisines: Google search data reveals 10 years of food trends

By Flora Southey

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags superfood Google Chia seeds Korea

Data from Google Trends has revealed how consumers’ tastes have changed over the last 10 years, including a growing interest in exotic cuisines and ‘superfoods’.

A new study looking at the last ten years of Google search data has pinpointed which international cuisines and so-called superfoods have risen in popularity – and fallen out of favour – since 2009.

To analyse consumers’ ever-changing taste buds, UK-based food and technology supplier leveraged the Google Trends platform. The function assigned each topic – whether a cuisine or a superfood – a proportionate score out of 100 based on searches for each month.

Google stats

Google search statistics have significantly grown over the past 10 years. The popular search engine processed approximately one billion searches per day in 2009, and according to Internet Live Stats, currently receives 5.4bn daily.

Google search rate has grown at a stable 10-15% annually in recent years.

According to data from Statista, approximately one quarter (27%) of visitors to Google come from the US. The second most popular user country is India (8.7%) followed by Japan (4.6%), China (3.6%) and Brazil (2.8%).

For each topic, the company input the overall score for each year from 2009 to 2018 and calculated the percentage change between these two years.

Findings reveal consumers’ palettes are constantly evolving, which SousVideTools suggested is linked to changes in how food is produced, consumers’ better understanding of nutrition, and greater globalisation.

The rise of ‘superfoods’

The past 10 years have seen so-called superfoods – a marketing term used to describe foods considered nutritionally dense – grow in popularity.

According to the report findings, chia seed has observed the greatest boost in superfood fame since 2009. The tiny black seeds which hail from Central and South America are rich in fibre, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, and according to Google search data, have grown in popularity by 858.89%.

Turmeric, a spice that comes from the root of the turmeric plant, came in second position with a 431.88% increase. Curly kale, which is high in vitamin K, A and C, grew in popularity by 300%, ahead of fermented beverage kefir (297.07%) and avocado (226.19%).

Ten year % change in Google searches for superfoods ©

Exotic flavour boost

Popularity in exotic cuisines is also on the up. The leader, according to Google search data, is Korean cuisine – with 163.17% growth.

Chinese cuisine followed in second place at 95.40%, then Vietnamese (78.13%), Mexican (77.92%) and Turkish (65.17%).

‘Traditional favourites’ such as French cuisine experienced slower growth at 18.4%. Other favourites including Italian, Indian, and Mediterranean were stable between 30-40%.

Whereas British and Moroccan cuisine saw declines over the 10-year period, with perceived popularity of UK cuisine dropping 6.27% and Moroccan by 21.02%.

Ten year % change in Google searches for cuisines ©

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