Fastest rising Google food search? 'Best foods for acid reflux'
A new report from Google shows many of us do web searches while cooking and eating. (DragonImages/Istock.com)
Published Friday, April 29, 2016 1:03PM EDT
You spear a piece of kale and wonder aloud which green leaf packs the bigger nutritional punch: spinach or kale. Your dinner companion wagers spinach. You think kale.
Promptly, the conversation stops as you pick up your smartphone sitting next to the butter knife to look up their nutritional value -- a reaction Google calls "micro-moments," in a sweeping 2016 Food Trends report released this week.
After collecting data between January 2014 and February 2016, analysts released a synopsis of what consumers in the U.S. have been cooking, eating and Googling over the last two years. They also break down statistics to show how eating habits have changed.
Over the last decade, as smartphones have become less an accessory and more an extension of hands, consumers have increasingly turned to Google to ask which foods are most nutritious and which are best for the brain, skin, energy and sleep.
It's a habit that is raising the collective food IQ. In fact, according to Google Trends, the search term "best foods for" has grown 10 times since 2005.
The most common affliction consumers are hoping to remedy with food? Acid reflux, which saw a 921 per cent year-over-year increase in the U.S. (with the search term "best foods for") between 2011 and 2015.
Consumers also took to Google to look for the best foods for an upset stomach (321 per cent), skin and energy (both 131 per cent).
Along with the most popular food searches, the report also details when consumers are more apt to look up nutritional information and what they do with it.
For example, analysts found that searches for the top 10 functional foods -- foods with health-boosting properties like turmeric, ginger and manuka honey -- peaked on Mondays when conducted on mobile devices, declining steadily by Friday.
The theory goes that searches for nutritional information peak at the beginning of the week when people may be planning meals, making grocery lists or detoxing after an indulgent weekend.
Likewise, for five of the top 10 trending functional foods, more than half were conducted on mobile phones.
And it's not just Google that yields answers. Consumers are also turning to YouTube for ideas. Beyond cooking, for example, vloggers show viewers how turmeric can be useful for teeth whitening, face masks and dyeing clothes.
Here are some of the top recipe searches on Google over the last two years:
- Sugar cookie
- Chocolate cake
Here are some of the top "how to" searches:
- How to cut a mango
- How to bake bacon
- How to make cake pops
- How to cut a pineapple
- How to make ice cream