If overheard social media conversations are an indicator of trends to come, expect the year ahead to highlight chicken feet, Facebook Inc. reported Wednesday.
Facebook’s consumer and advertising insights division released its “Topics & Trend Report by Facebook IQ,” which the social media platform said is its first “review of some of the conversations on the rise in 2017 and that are poised to go mainstream in 2018.”
Facebook found “palates are expanding, food delivery finds new formats and diners are eating with their eyes. In food and drink next year, people will crave the adventurous, the convenient and the spectacular.”
Source: Facebook IQ
Using findings and data from Facebook’s 2 billion users worldwide, the company found international cuisine and flavors have been on the rise since January 2016.
“The trends we feature are starting to take hold and enter the mainstream,” the report said. “This is not necessarily their point of conception, but rather as they are going from niche to norm.”
Of special note were Bangladeshi and Indian cuisines, with dosas, shawarmas and South Indian cuisine trending in conversations, the company said. In the United States, Chinese and Mexican food were the most mentioned. Conversations around Bangladeshi food increased nearly eight times since 2016, Facebook said.
Specific items seeing increased conversation included chicken feet, a Chinese delicacy, and adobada, a dish common in Mexico but lesser known in the United States. Adobada generally is meat, often pork, marinated in a thick, chile-based mixture.
Of concern to brick-and-mortar restaurants might be an increase in Facebook conversations about meal kits. And conversations about online food ordering since 2016 have seen an increase of more than 30-fold, Facebook said.
Food photography at restaurants, much of it spurred by Facebook subsidiary Instagram, was also much discussed.
“Since January 2016, conversations have grown across food photography” the company said, with an increase of 2.75 times the rate in earlier periods.
“Even what we eat is changing based on Insta- (or photo) appeal,” Facebook said. “Colorful cuisines are popping: Since January 2016, conversation has grown around cotton candy (2.72 times) and milkshakes (1.2 times).”
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