Food Trends:

Baking, comfort & sweet foods trending during lockdown

A lot changes in a pandemic. 

The meals we eat are just one part of our lives impacted dramatically by the coronavirus. 

It’s challenging to know what to eat under normal circumstances – let alone during a global health emergency when much of the world is being encouraged to stay home. 

As a result, the food industry and food trends have changed rapidly, due to the lockdown and online search results prove it.

Whether you’re braving the grocery store, ordering in, or looking to boost your immune system, we’ve compiled a list of the most searched foods as per Google and Google Trends that people are buying right now during the covid quarantine. 

Plus, we’ve grouped them by different categories to make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for. 

food categories breakdown header

3 Foods to Boost Your Immunity Now

There’s no need to explain why you’d be looking for foods that boost your immunity during a global health crisis.

Not only are most people facing limited access to their normal food sources, they’re also worried about getting sick.

Plus, the extra stress and uncertainty can add to the pressure on your body’s defense systems. Here are some top trending foods you can look into now to boost your immunity:

irish moss

Irish Moss

Irish moss is a specific form of seaweed that often has an orange or red tint. Because it comes from bodies of saltwater, Irish moss contains high levels of minerals. Depending on the variety it can also be rich in fat-soluble vitamins including A, B, C and E (2). Irish moss is typically used as a garnish or ingredient in a broth or stew, but can also be eaten on its own.

elderberries

elderberry kombucha recipeElderberry

Elderberry comes from the Sambucus genus of plants. People have eaten these berries for centuries – they’re often melted down into a syrup to be used as a sweetener. In studies, extracts from elderberry fruits grown in both Europe and America were found to be associated with anti-cancer properties (3). Searches for elderberry gummies have also spiked over the past few weeks. Checkout this elderberry kombucha recipe

wakame bowl seaweed

Wakame

Wakame is another type of seaweed native to coastal China, Japan and Korea. Multiple studies have shown that wakame can reduce hypertension (4), so if you have blood pressure issues this may be the food for you to eat during lockdown. It’s usually found mixed with cucumbers or other greens in a seaweed salad. You can usually find some at the salad bar at Wholefoods, or the leafy greens section at your local grocer. Here are some more benefits of wakame.

Comfort Foods to Warm Your Heart & Your Belly

With scientists and public officials painting a grim picture of the coming weeks and months, our mental health will be challenged as much as our physical health – more so, for some.

It’s great if you can stick to your normal eating habits, but sometimes you just want to eat something that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. We believe food should be nourishment for the body and mind.

Here's what people are searching for to help them relax right now:

comfort food bowl of noodles and beef

Lo Mein

Lo mein has been a staple on Chinese food takeout menus for decades, and is currently one of the top trending foods. However, this dish, based on thin egg noodles, is also easy to whip up at home.
Lo mein provides a flavorful canvas that can be painted with a variety of sauces, meats and vegetables depending on your tastes. As Chinese takeout connoisseurs know, it also reheats well, making it a good dish for bulk cooking. Make some yourself with this Spicy Chinese Noodles recipe.

cellophane noodles

Cellophane Noodles

Also known as mung bean noodles or glass noodles, cellophane noodles are a gluten-free alternative to traditional egg noodles used in many different dishes.
Studies indicate that cellophane noodles may produce less gas and bloating than regular egg noodles (5). An important fact when you're indoors a lot. You can use them the same way you use regular noodles, which makes this dish very customizable.

basmati rice

Jasmine & Basmati Rice

Another classic carb-based comfort food, basmati and jasmine rice are known for being high in minerals like zinc, calcium and copper. They’re the staple for tons of South Asian dishes, from your favorite butter chicken to more exotic nut-based curries and sauces. These dishes strike a perfect balance between flavorful zing and savory comfort.  Here's a nice guide on how to cook your rice.

raychan-B1AHcNg8BTU-unsplash

Flatbread

The term “flatbread” is actually a catchall for several different common styles of bread rolled into a flat, round shape similar to a disc. Pitas are often found in Greek and other Mediterranean-style dishes, while Indian foods feature crispy naan lightly seasoned with herbs to give them a slight kick along with a crunch.
All kinds of flatbreads are high in carbohydrates and healthy fiber. If you enjoy flatbread with garlic, checkout this recipe to make yourself a garlic herb flatbread.

What people are snacking on right now

As you may have discovered by now, it’s much easier to snack when working at home.

Many of us are dealing with an office that is now located just a few feet from the refrigerator or even inside the kitchen!

Luckily, if you choose the right foods you can eat snacks that give you energy and contribute to your health goals.

Remember to snack in moderation and switch it up for variety and a balanced diet.

puri

Puri

An Indian snack that consists of fried whole-wheat bread, puri is available in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on where you get it. Indians typically eat it as a small snack or for breakfast.
It’s usually served with some kind of curry for dipping, usually a savory or sweet flavor that contrasts with the whole-wheat to create an interesting flavor palette.

gummy bears

CBD Gummies

Last summer, the use of CBD and other cannabis-derived vape products plummeted due to a mysterious lung disease scientists associated with black market cartridges. Gummies are a much safer option for consuming CBD and tend to include a lower dose in a variety of different flavors.
Many users report a calming, relaxing effect that is also important during a pandemic. If you can get your hands on the right ingredients, you can make your own batch of CBD gummies.

chocolate nestle crunch

Nestlé Crunch

We’ve all got our preferences for comfort food, but sometimes you just need some candy!
Nestle’s Crunch bar is a classic, crispy treat made from rice and dark chocolate and people are snapping them up both in stores and online.
It’s a great choice for when you are in the mood for a sweet, crunchy snack and aren’t that worried about adding an inch or two to the ol’ waistline. Here's a low carb keto chocolate bar recipe made with some Crunch bars.

dumplings won ton soup

Dumplings

This is a broad category of snack that is done differently in almost all the major cultures of the world, although they are often most associated with Chinese cuisine.
Other forms of dumplings that are now popular in the west include the Indian samosa and the Nepalese momo. Take a look at this easy to make dumpling recipe.

Are people drinking more during the quarantine? Yes.

You might be surprised that many of the top beverages being consumed during the quarantine are alcoholic.

But then again, these are stressful times, and with fewer people on the roads and states like Maryland and Ohio offering alcoholic drinks for delivery, why not have a glass of something to help you take the edge off another day at home?

whiteclaw

White Claw

We’re getting to the time of year when this viral seltzer would normally begin showing up at social gatherings as they migrate out to backyards and beaches.
Unfortunately, we can’t physically gather right now – but you can still crack open a can of this hard seltzer with 5% alcohol.  Choose from flavors like raspberry, mango and black cherry.
It’ll have you feeling like you’re at a backyard BBQ, even if you can’t actually be there, yet!

sake bottle

Sake

Okay, Sake may not be super popular, but it's trending.
This rice-based beverage has been popular in Japan for over a thousand years and has recently caught on in the west, especially at sushi and Japanese restaurants in North America and Europe.
It comes in tons of different forms and is served at varying temperatures depending on the style. Many Samurai used to drink it warm, in case you were wondering.

white wine sauvignon blanc

Sauvignon blanc

This classic white wine is apparently experiencing a renaissance as people reach for a familiar drink to help them get through the uncertainty of the COVID-19 era.
While you’ve got to use moderation, studies show that the occasional glass of wine can actually help your heart function (
6). Pair it with fish or another lean meat for a classic taste combination.

alcohol free gin

Non-alcoholic gin

The “sober curious” movement of people who choose not to drink in normal settings involving alcohol was gaining steam even before we were all forced indoors. Heineken 0.0 non-alcoholic beer had made a cultural splash, appearing on Joe Rogan’s Podcast and YouTube show. Along the same lines, non-alcoholic gin allows people to enjoy craft beverages like martinis and negronis without the intoxicating fog of alcohol – it’s already hard enough to remember what day it is.

Grocers that are trending right now

In recent weeks, the spotlight has frequently been on grocery stores across the nation for negatives like a lack of essential stock and concerns about worker protection.

But we’ve also seen businesses of all sizes using their distribution networks to source essential equipment for healthcare workers.

Below are three food companies almost everyone is searching for:  

grubmarket logo

GrubMarket

GrubMarket has acquired several smaller food companies in a bid to dominate the farm-to-table local delivery market. The rapidly-growing startup entered the midwest market in December and in April they raised $25 million in a funding round. The company has received over $110 million in total funding. They make it so you can type in your zipcode and have your greens delivered to your door, straight from a farm near(ish) you.

trader joes logo

Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s was already getting a lot of attention in the news before the coronavirus pandemic kicked into high gear, as founder Joe Coulombe passed away at the end of February. While the famously quirky organic chain has shut down several stores for deep cleaning, employees also describe its reaction to coronavirus as “haphazard and chaotic.” 

sprouts market logo

Sprouts Farmers Market

Sprouts is a unique organic food retailer specializing in fresh vegetables and fruits arranged at the center of its stores, not the outer edges like most big-box grocers. Sprouts was growing at an impressive rate prior to the pandemic but has been forced to put a hold on plans to open new stores in Washington State. We’re hoping Sprouts is one of the organic grocery chains that can bounce back from this recession and be stronger than ever. 

Weird food trends right now

Quarantine can make you do some things that seem crazy – and we don’t just mean not putting on real pants for days at a time!

Lots of people are using the newfound time at home to research and broaden their eating horizons.

In certain countries they’ve been eating things we consider strange for years – but others seem to just be trying it out of quarantine boredom.

Either way, some of these come with some benefits:

dairy free ice cream

Lab Milk

There are many different alternatives to traditional dairy-based milk, often made from nuts like almonds or walnuts.
However, many are predicting that dairy products created in a lab with synthetic proteins could be the future of the dairy industry.
The term “lab milk” made its way onto this list of top trending foods, thanks to a San Francisco startup called Perfect Day, which uses a lab technique to create dairy protein from plants. Perfect Day recently raised $140 million in funding to help them scale their supply chain (6). You can also try your hand at making dairy free milk with this recipe.

mukbang eating food on camera

Mukbang

“Mukbang” is a portmanteau of two Korean words that mean “eating” and “broadcast.”
While mukbang may have once been an oddity of YouTube, according to search trends more people are now getting interested in the logistics behind downing massive quantities of noodles, chicken wings or beef stew while on camera.
It’s likely that these livestream food shows are also increasing as a way to reminisce about what it was like eating out in a crowded restaurant.  

entomophology ants

Entomophagy

Ever thought about biting into a fried cricket or a juicy larva? No, seriously!
Apparently, lots of people are, as more people are searching for information about the practice of eating insects.
While you may be surprised, there’s nothing strange about consuming things that creep and crawl – they’re a great source of protein and exponentially less damaging to the environment than consuming meat from traditional sources. You can get some protein bars with cricket protein shipped to your door.

Sunday night dinner just got easier and tastier with this tender, juicy roast beef with vegetables. Only four steps, one pan, and 45 minutes required.

Cultured Meat

Meat farmers have been hit very hard due to the coronanavirus pandemic. Lapses in supply chain fulfilment have led to spikes in meat prices in-stores and online. Cue the solution: lab grown meat. You knew this was coming. However, this looks like another innovation that's being sought after sooner than expected, accelerated by the current pandemic. Cultured meat is grown from cell cultures, making this more environmentally friendly and animal friendly. Note that is not a vegetarian concoction like Beyond Meat, this is real meat grown in a lab. But will we see this on shelves soon? If online searches are a sign, the answer is a resounding: yes.

Healthy foods choices during your quarantine

“Healthy” is of course a broad, subjective term that can vary dramatically depending on your body type, pre-existing conditions, and goals for your health and physical well-being.

Generally, we classify healthy foods as ones that are dense with helpful nutrients without excessive amounts of sugar, fat or calories.

Again, it’s important to remember that “healthy” is subjective, but here are three foods that will almost always fit that category:

microgreen sprouts

Microgreens

A form of vegetable that’s between a sprout and a baby green, microgreens provide a unique option for getting your leafy greens. Its good for you, and there are many different types of microgreens, including:

  • watercress
  • radishes
  • leeks and beets.

Often served as a garnish or as a part of a larger salad or stew, certain kinds of microgreens are packed with essential minerals (7). 

Cocido Spanish

Cocido

Known as a Spanish-style stew or soup, Cocido is another food that can be customized however you’d like. It’s comparable to chili in the west. Created using a mix of broth, meats, and vegetables that varies depending on geographic location. Brazil, California, The Philippines and Spain all have their own unique versions of cocido. 

bone broth

Bone Broth

Humans have been eating bone broth for over 2,000 years!
Bone broth is high in collagen, which helps support digestive health, bone strength and joint mobility. Collagen is also associated with improved nail and skin health.
It’s a versatile meal that can be made in many different styles and helps those adhering to Keto, Paleo and Whole30 diets. 

Final thoughts on foods to eat during your quarantine

We’re living in an extraordinary time where even the most basic parts of our lives may have changed dramatically, including our diets.

We know that you may not be able to access all the food on this list, but we hope this information can show you that you don’t always need to compromise your meals due to external circumstances.

This page will be updated regularly with top trending foods, so check back to get new ideas or options for your next quarantine meal.  

Now, over to you. What food trend caught your eye? Let us know in the comments below.

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