NEW YORK — Think your take on chocolate chip cookies could be the next viral recipe? You’re far from alone. Half of Americans believe they’ve got a great idea for the next big food trend, according to a recent survey.
That said, if your idea doesn’t involve oat milk, plant-based protein, or any other healthy option, you’re probably S.O.L. The poll of 2,000 U.S. adults reports that 73 percent think trendy foods need to be healthier and include nutritious qualities. Just as many (74%) said they’re more likely to try a food trend themselves if it’s healthy.
To really make a trend take off, these “food-fluencers” need to set their sights on social media. More than a third (37%), unsurprisingly, say they discover food trends from one of four major platforms — Facebook (67%), YouTube (62%), Instagram (58%) and TikTok (45%).
Outside of social media, cooking shows or segments (34%), friends (34%) and family (33%) are leading sources for learning about trendy foods and recipes. Over two-thirds (68%) believe they’re likely to try a new food trend and nearly as many (66%) claimed it’s because trying new things is an “exciting” experience.
More than half (58%) also stated they are more likely to try a new food if they see it’s been endorsed by celebrities, chefs or food influencers.
Which trendy foods are Americans’ favorites?
Commissioned by Beef + Lamb New Zealand and conducted by OnePoll, the study finds that food trends were found to be most appealing to respondents when they were either convenient to prepare (23%), nutritious (21%) or used flavors they already like to use and eat (20%). Some of the trendiest foods that check all these boxes are avocado toast (24%), fermented foods (21%), restaurant-inspired dishes (20%), street food (19%) and cauliflower as bread replacement (19%).
Many respondents also report that trendy foods need to include ingredients that have added nutritious benefits — things like yogurt (32%), garlic (29%), ginger (29%), turmeric (29%) and dark leafy greens (28%). This could explain why 59% claim that trendy diets are just as appealing to them as trendy foods. The trendiest diets right now include flexitarian (35%), low-carb/no-carb (29%), carnivore (29%) and Mediterranean (29%).
When it comes to future food trends, respondents suggest it may be a new kind of burger, avocado tacos, something spicy, or even budget-friendly meals. “People often look to food trends because they want to try something new and exciting, but that doesn’t mean they need to compromise on nutrition and taste,” says Michael Wan, Global Manager at Beef + Lamb New Zealand. “By combining trending flavors or ingredients with familiar favorites, consumers can enjoy the best of both worlds.”
Healthy foods for the win
For seven in 10 Americans, it’s important they can find nutritious foods. Nearly as many (68%) said they pay close attention to the nutritional value of most things they eat. Respondents are especially concerned about not getting enough vitamins (38%), protein (36%), fiber (32%) or Omega-3s (31%) in their diets. That’s enough for 74 percent to actively look for ways to increase their protein and nutrient intake from natural food sources, such as grass-fed beef and lamb, rather than processed ones.
They’re also paying attention to claims when purchasing food products. High protein (38%), low sugar (37%), all natural (35%) and low fat or organic (31%) are some of the leading claims, while sustainable (26%) and regenerative (20%) are also top of mind when shopping for food.
Sixty-nine percent are willing to try imported food products if they better meet their dietary preferences than domestic food products. Seventy percent would be willing to spend the extra money on foods they know are going to be healthier for them.
“Getting the most out of a nutritional food trend starts with being a more conscientious shopper and examining what goes into it,” adds Wan. “Using quality, nutritious, and sustainably raised ingredients to replicate food trends at home is a recipe for success. And with half of Americans saying they have a great idea for the next big food trend, we’re bound to see some delicious new ideas popping up on social media soon.”