Tracking Food Trends with Pinterest

Are you on Pinterest?  This virtual pinboard is a lot of fun, and it’s a been great tool for tracking food trends.  The Food & Drink category on Pinterest is one of the largest and food pins are re-pinned more than pins in any other category. Food lovers are an enthusiastic bunch.  We like to share.

If you’re on Pinterest, I encourage you to follow me.  I primarily pin recipes, including boards on whole grains, salads I want to try, tasty a.m. options, beans and legumes, cocktail nibbles and even a board dedicated solely to hummus, but you’ll also find a board featuring some of my nutrition articles, including posts from Nutrition Unplugged, along with clothes I covet and kitchens I love.  If you check out my Pinterest profile, you’ll also see a shared board for Healthy Aperture, the online food photo gallery I created with fellow food and nutrition blogger Regan Jones.  Many different bloggers are contributing to this board, which is dedicated to exposing what’s healthy on the web.

profilePinterestPinterest is a treasure trove of content, and I find it extremely valuable to see what foods are gaining popularity. You can search for terms within Pinterest, or check out the Popular category to see what pins are getting repinned and “liked” most often.  Here are some of my observations of food trends based on Pinterest.

  • Kale has been called the new bacon.  I don’t know about that, but I’m sure seeing lots of pins featuring this dark leafy green — from crispy kale chips and creamy kale smoothies to raw, massaged, marinated and braised kale in salads, soups, pastas, entrees and more.
  • Quinoa is the hot grain on pinboards.  I’m seeing quinoa in savory pilafs, sweet breakfast porridges, salads, muffins, vegetable patties, pancakes and even desserts.
  • Sweets are a favorite of pinners, and some of the most popular themes are salted caramel, nutella and red velvet.   If anything, red velvet seems to be the new bacon.  Beyond red velvet cakes, cake pops and cupcakes, I’ve seen red velvet pancakes, waffles, bread pudding, cheesecake, fudge, donuts, ice cream, crepes, popcorn and marshmallows. Just do a search on Pinterest and you’ll find lots of boards featuring nothing but red velvet recipes, including Red Velvet Addiction and Red Velvet Obsession.
  • Popsicles may be the new cupcakes. All sorts of frozen treats on a stick are showing up on Pinterest, including boozy popsicles spiked with vodka, rum and other liquors.  I’ve seen lots of boards dedicated to popsicles, for both kids and adults.
  • Food in jars seems to be big, and I’ve seen pins of layered salads, vegetables and desserts in jars.  For parties, drinks in jars are a popular trend.
  • Buffalo chicken is going crazy.  Pins include buffalo chicken dips, appetizer bites, grilled cheese, soup, pasta, mac’ and cheese, pizza, and wraps.  One pinner I follow has an entire board dedicated to Buffalo Chicken Love. Who knew there was a buffalo chicken movement brewing?
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches have grown up, and I’m spotting tons of souped-up sandwiches with interesting ingredients layered between two slices of bread, such as White Cheddar Grilled Cheese with Avocado and Tomato.  This pin was repinned 88 times, so that really tells you that grilled cheese sandwiches are hot!
  • Other pins that I’m seeing quite often include nut butters, pestos of all kinds, kimchi, mini appetizers and desserts, and meatless entrees.

What trends have you noticed on Pinterest?

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