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Online Trends

Published August 24th 2016

Social Data Reveals the Trends Influential Food Bloggers Are Tweeting About Most 2016

What's the most popular food of 2016? The Brandwatch React team looks at the data surrounding 250 influential food bloggers to find out for once and for all

Food is undoubtedly one of our favorite things to talk about online.

The internet is having a huge impact on food trends across the world. Whether that’s from insta-famous influencers posting about their favorite new restaurants or the rise of a novel new food combo that spreads like butter across the web, the internet’s favorite dish can be kale one day and cauliflower pizza the next. Social media exposes us to recipes of all kinds, from extreme clean eating to gratuitously unhealthy comfort food, and we’re lapping it up.

Millions upon millions of posts, tweets and comments related to food every year mean that there’s a whole lot of noise, but it also offers the opportunity for users to gain a sizeable following with fun and accessible content on tasty and healthy treats.

We recently discussed the effects of rapidly changing consumer tastes on the food and beverage sector and how it’s proving difficult for the giants of the industry to keep up with trends that can take off quickly and present lucrative opportunities for fast moving suppliers.

Foodie influencers can be instrumental in seeing these (sometimes random) food trends explode on the internet, so Brandwatch React decided to take a look at 250 of the most influential food bloggers and vloggers on Twitter to see what insights could be gleaned from diving into the data surrounding their conversations.

Having used Audiences to identify the top 250, we analyzed over 400k tweets from the authors in question.

Who are they?

The influencers we identified were found by searching for “food blogger” or “food vlogger” within Twitter bios and combining a variety of factors (from their following to the influence of people they interact with) to come up with an influencer score that determined their place in the top 250.

While some of the accounts we tracked were organizational (e.g. named after a blog rather than a person), a large proportion of the influencers we identified were female and around 13% identified as moms. Around 10% included the word “author”, while 18% expressed an interest in travel and 11% had an interest in photography.

It’s clear that these food bloggers have got their work-life balance straight with a noticeable difference between their tweeting during the week compared to their weekend activity.

Food bloggers tweet days
They could be missing a trick, though – it seems like the internet is most interested in new recipes at the weekend according to Google Trends data.

Despite not tweeting much at the weekend, these tweeters are all about seasonality. They’ve got recipes and tips for New Year, Mother’s Day, the Super Bowl and more.

Food, glorious food

We tracked the influencers’ conversation since January to see if we could identify a pattern in trends by looking at keywords that were mentioned most between them for each month.

We took a look at the food types being mentioned most. Identifying keywords that recurred in different tweets each week, we were able to look at short term trends. We should note that we removed mentions of “salad” from our trending food data since the word appeared so commonly but referred to lots of different forms.

If you read the list below you’ll see the popularity of chocolate, cheese and peanut butter as well as more fleeting trends. Or you can skip the chart and read the highlights here.

Week beginning No. of mentions Top mentioned foods
Jan 1 – 3 4,092 Bread, pizza
Jan 4 – 10 13,241 Chocolate, smoothies, sweet potato
Jan 11 – 17 14,382 Chicken, chocolate
Jan 18 – 24 13,288 Chicken, soup, bacon, cheese
Jan 25 – 31 12,711 Peanut butter, dip
Feb 1 – 7 13,482 Pasta, apple, chicken, cream cheese
Feb 8 – 14 12,329 Chocolate, cake, beef, cheese
Feb 15 – 21 11,190 Chocolate, chicken, cake, cheese, peanut butter
Feb 22 – 28 11,662 Chicken, cheese, apple, peanut butter, coffee
Feb 29 – Mar 6 11,706 Chicken, pork, strawberry, kale, quinoa, chocolate, banana
Mar 7 – 13 12,249 Chocolate, soup, peanut butter, sugar
Mar 14 – 20 12,689 Chicken, chocolate, cookies
Mar 21 – 27 11,903 Lemon, mustard, bacon, butter, banana, pineapple, chocolate, cheese
Mar 28 – Apr 3 10,769 Cake, ice cream, pineapple, mushrooms, black beans
Apr 4 – 10 11,557 Pizza, chocolate, egg, cheese
Apr 11 – 17 11,643 Bread, garlic, peanut butter, shrimp, smoothie, kale, cheddar
Apr 18 – 24 11,749 Peanut butter, sweet potato, shrimp, avocado, lemon, ice cream, cookies, chicken
Apr 25- May 1 12,417 Ice cream, soup, cheese, lemon, peanut butter,
May 2 – 8 13,023 Cake, bacon, bars, soup
May 9 – 15 13,348 Coffee, chocolate, cake, tacos, garlic, pasta, chicken, ice cream
May 16 – 22 13,404 Cookies, lemon, peanut butter, soup, burger
May 23 – 29 11,928 Chicken, potatoes, cake, ice cream, chocolate chip,
May 30 – June 5 12,260 Beef, coffee, cake, burgers, apple, mint, cookies
June 6 – 12 12,922 Ice cream, smoothie, pork, strawberry
June 13 – 19 13,967 Peanut butter, lemon, chicken, cake, cheese
June 20 – 26 13,570 Lemon, cheese, onion, meat, pasta, gin, ice cream, bacon
June 27 – Jul 3 12,334 Cake, coconut, tomato, strawberry
Jul 4 – 10 12,561 Chicken, ice cream, chocolate, peanut butter
Jul 11 – 17 12,566 ice cream, avocado, cheese, peanut butter
Jul 18 – 24 11,274 Chicken, ice cream, apple, zucchini, cake
Jul 25 – 31 10,844 Cake, ice cream, peanut butter
Aug 1 – 7 12,701 Ice cream, tomato, chicken, bbq
Aug 8 – 14 11,324 Cookies, cheese, shrimp, peanut butter, chocolate, zucchini, chocolate
Aug 15 – 21 11,047 Peanut butter, cake

Aside from chocolate and chicken, the more seasonal trends are definitely evident. “Dip” was a top mentioned term in the lead-up to the Super Bowl as they shared their recipes, while ice cream trended more and more as we entered the summer months.

Our data also reveals that 2016 appears to be the year of peanut butter, which appeared as a repeated term for a lot of the weeks we monitored.

Aside from being a favorite snack for Olympians, we can’t be entirely sure why peanut butter has taken off amongst influencers this year but an informal poll of the office demonstrated that most people think it’s absolutely amazing.

Dietary data

A huge trend within the influencer conversation between January and August this year was gluten free food. It got far more mentions than vegan or vegetarian.

Food bloggers dietary data

Gluten has developed a bit of a bad reputation recently and it’s certainly reflected in the data. We found 15k tweets including the words “gluten free”.

Comparing that to search data, you can see “gluten free” slowly inclining over the last five years while mentions of “vegan” have rocketed.

With more and more people taking up a vegan diet and reports that millennials are key drivers, it explains why “vegan” out-mentioned “vegetarian” in our data.

Who’s your favorite food blogger?

If you’re a Brandwatch customer you can explore this research in Insights Central

Are you a journalist looking to cover our data? Email [email protected] for more information.

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