Bean Burritos To The Doorstep

In the minds of many food product developers that I interact with, veganism is rather...uh, fringe to put it kindly. Meanwhile, vegetarianism is only slightly less fringe. “Why create a food or beverage product for the 6% of US consumers who identify as vegetarian or the paltry 3% who identify as vegan”, they ask?


My answer: Because vegan and vegetarian foods are being eaten in increasing quantities by non-vegan, non-vegetarian consumers simply looking for health-conscious options.

The Data Tell the Story

One look at the latest data from Grubhub is telling. The popular online delivery service recently looked at the top 2018 foods that experienced a major uptick in popularity compared to a year ago. Here’s the list based on those percentage increases:

  1. Bean burrito - 276%

  2. Poke - 205%

  3. Chicken slider - 189%

  4. Baby Back Pork Rib - 165%

  5. Chicken Burrito - 164%

  6. Chicken Sandwich - 160%

  7. Cauliflower Rice bowl - 155%

  8. Chicken & Waffle Slider - 145%

  9. Parmesan Chicken - 139%

  10. Buffalo Cauliflower - 124%

Now I know, I know. The percents make it look like something big and huge is happening when really a 205% marker on poke just means poke orders doubled compared to a year ago. It’s worth noting that same poke dish saw a 643% boost in 2017. That’s called poke velocity. And more importantly, that’s called changing palates.


Key Takeaways

When I review the top 10 items that people want delivered straight to their doorstep, here’s what I see:

  1. Beans are seen as a viable plant protein to stuff in a burrito. Remember the meat and bean burritos of yesterday? Well, for growing numbers, they’re simply bean.

  2. Raw seafood made it in at number two. Consider poke to be the new canned tuna. And we all know Millennials are not buying canned tuna anymore.

  3. There’s no red meat anywhere on the list. Even when the ubiquitous slider manages to slide in at number three, it’s ground chicken, not ground beef.

  4. Cauliflower is hot. Some are telling us to get ready for ‘cauli-mania part two’, and I think I will.

  5. Bowls still delight consumers. Fill it with poke perhaps, and grain-free options like cauli-rice work too. Like I said, cauliflower remains hot.

  6. Sometimes indulgence is necessary. The hot, meaty, salty and sweet combo is a perennial favorite. Hello, chicken & waffle slider friend.

Oh and what about avo toast? A year ago it ranked number 3 on Grubhub’s list, and yet failed to even make the top 10 this year. My hunch is that more than a few consumers wised up and realized they can toast a slice of bread and cut an avocado in half all on their own. I mean there is new data out telling us that 77% of consumers actually want back in their own kitchens to, ya know, cook!