Is Frugality the New Food Trend?

Posted by Stephanie Asymkos

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  • Grubhub, the nation’s leading online and mobile food delivery marketplace, released its annual Year in Food report.
  • Bean burritos took the No. 1 spot, but the pricey staple associated with millennials, avocado toast, didn’t rank in the top 10.
  • Americans appear to be opting to eat foods made with cheaper and more budget-friendly ingredients.

Sorry, avocado toast, your 15 minutes of fame are up.

Grubhub’s annual Year in Food report, which ranks dining trends, published its findings based on millions of orders placed by more than 16 million hungry users. The top 10 food orders reveal that Americans appear to be leaving some famously trendy foods behind and are making more food choices with their wallets.

Avocado toast, the chameleon dish that got the job done for breakfast, brunch, lunch and even dinner — and the food many people believe was emptying the pockets of hungry millennials — experienced a fall from grace in 2018 and didn’t even crack the top 10.

Is Frugality the New Food Trend?

The report reveals that Americans had an insatiable appetite for bean burritos in 2018, followed by runner-up poke and chicken sliders in third place. If the axiom “you are what you eat” is true, then this report might reveal a trend in frugality among American diners as last year’s No. 1 food, poke, appears to be on the decline.

The year’s most popular food, conventionally made processed ingredients including rice, beans and cheese, comes at much a lower cost than poke — Hawaii’s latest raw-food export to captivate the stomachs of mainlanders.

In a city such as New York, a poke bowl loaded with the requisite raw fish, avocado, cucumber, seaweed and edamame can easily set back diners $20, whereas a bean burrito will run about half that at just $10 — and at some locations, it can be much cheaper. Even though poke might be replacing avocado toast as the latest high-priced food trend, the appeal wasn’t enough to beat a more affordable burrito.

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Red Meat Fails to Make Top 10 List Dominated by Chicken

Along with that, five of the top 10 most popular foods are chicken dishes and none include red meat. The desire for the white meat protein is also the most economical and budget-friendly pick. Out of the meat trifecta of beef, pork and chicken, the price of chicken in both retail and wholesale is far and away the cheapest meat, according to the National Chicken Council.

Overall, Grubhub’s top 10 foods in 2018 are:

  1. Bean burrito
  2. Poke
  3. Chicken slider
  4. Baby back pork rib
  5. Chicken burrito
  6. Chicken sandwich
  7. Cauliflower rice bowl
  8. Chicken and waffle slider
  9. Parmesan chicken
  10. Buffalo cauliflower