Yelp Documents Food Trends Over the Last 10 Years

yelpYelp, founded in 2004, is celebrating its 10 year anniversary this year. Over that span of time, users have contributed almost 60 million reviews for local businesses, including many restaurants and other eateries. This week, Yelp’s official blog documented some of the food trends they saw over the past decade. Thanks to their horde of review content, Yelp can effectively track when food trucks started gaining momentum, and when poutine peaked in certain cities.

What food trends are arriving, and what food trends are now past their prime? Interestingly, as poutine’s trending indicated, each city has its own unique tastes. It wasn’t until 2010 that poutine began to take off in LA, and then started to experience a skyrocketing popularity. The Canadian-inspired french fry meal, though, had already hit its peak in NY in the same year.

San Francisco, like many other cities, is experiencing an increase in demand for craft beer, while PBR has gone from frequent mentions in 2006 to almost flat-lining in 2014.

Many people might be interested to read about the buzz in the dessert world. Everyone is constantly asking what the “new cupcake” is; does that mean the cupcake itself has finally reached its zenith? According to Yelp’s data, this seems to be so. The cupcake saw a peak of discussion between 2008 and 2010. Since then, it’s been experiencing a steady decline. In 2014, the donut surpassed the cupcake in online buzz for the first time in many years.

“Though the popularity in cupcake specialty shops may be dropping off, there are many bakeries that still get plenty of orders for cupcakes” said Lior Aronvici, Owner of Amadeus Fine Cakes

How did gluten fare? There was an initial spike in gluten-free back in 2011 — however, this year, interest seems to have dropped. This is likely in response to many nutritionists being more vocal about their disapproval of the diet fad.

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