- Anchovies, the once reviled pizza topping-turned-umami-secret-weapon, are starting to boom — up 85% in year-over-year sales.
- Kewpie brand mayo, the extra-creamy Japanese mayonnaise that restaurant chefs and food editors swear by, saw a 153% bump in year-over-year sales.
- Who exactly is indulging? Urbanites from New York and San Francisco bought the most anchovies this year, while residents of Seattle and Los Angeles purchased the most Kewpie mayo!
THE UNITED STATES OF KETOSIS
One of the buzziest diets in recent years — the high-fat/low-carb Keto diet — continues to be top of mind for many consumers. In fact, according to our survey, Keto appears to be one of America’s favorite diets — with 28% of those who have tried a diet this year saying they opted for Keto. Instacart sales trends show a growing interest in the diet.
- Within the Instacart marketplace, we saw a 72% increase in year-over-year sales of products with “Keto” in their name.
- Consumers in the Western U.S. ordered the most Keto products this year, with Californians and Texans stacking the list.
Austin, a city known for its Texas BBQ, buys more Keto products than anyone else!
Will the Keto craze keep trending upwards in 2021? It looks promising. According to the survey, 82% of Americans who tried a new diet this year claimed they’re sticking to it — or at least trying to stick to it! Marketplace sales suggest that Keto devotees are eagerly snapping up sweet Keto treats. Here are the most popular Keto products available on Instacart that we expect to fly off the shelves:
- KetoPint Salt and Caramel Keto Bar
- Think! Keto Protein Bar — Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie flavored
- Birch Benders Keto Pancake and Waffle Mix
- Sundae Shoppe Keto Peanut Butter Fudge Ice Cream
- Sundae Shoppe Keto Cookie Dough Ice Cream
- Lenny and Larry’s Keto Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie
- Sundae Shoppe Keto Mint Chip Ice Cream
- Epic Chicken Sriracha Protein Bar
- Ratio Keto Friendly Strawberry Dairy Snack
- Ratio Keto Friendly Vanilla Dairy Snack
(LESS) GUILTY COCKTAILS
New Years Eve 2021 may be shaping up to be a bit more “dry” than in years past. After a few months of extra imbibing in springtime quarantine, newly health-conscious consumers are reaching for more alcohol-free spirits, low-calorie alcoholic beverages, and boozy versions of popular healthy beverages as we head into next year.
Hard kombucha, the cultured (in more ways than one) quaff, is trending upwards:
- Hard kombucha is up 320% in searches across the Instacart marketplace.
- Instacart marketplace data reveals that hard kombucha is largely a West Coast drink. The top five cities buying the most hard kombucha — Seattle, San Diego, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Francisco — all hug the Pacific.
White Claw Hard Seltzer has historically topped our search charts and quickly became one of the most commonly searched brands on Instacart. But searches in the hard seltzer category have been strong across the board.
- Searches for brands across the hard seltzer category were up 519% from last year.
- Sales for hard seltzers are strong in the Midwest and in the Eastern U.S., spiking in Orlando, Chicago, St. Louis, Tampa, and Washington, D.C.
Teetotalers rejoice! With the wide range of alcohol-free spirits coming to market, we expect to see more of the guiltless mixers make it into 2021 online orders.
“Homemade craft cocktails have been popular this year with the work-from-home crowd. We’ve seen sales for trendy alcohol-free spirits boom, increasing by 195% year-over-year. Perhaps consumers are looking to turn a new leaf in 2021 with tasty, guilt-free libations.” — Laurentia Romaniuk, Instacart’s Trends Expert and Senior Product Manager
SHOPPING WITH A PURPOSE
Shopping with a purpose means something different to everyone. Whether you’re consciously choosing to shop from small and local retailers, buying “green,” or adding more women- or BIPOC- owned brands to your cart, being selective about the stores you shop from and the brands you buy seems to be top-of-mind for many this year.
- In 2020 alone, Instacart welcomed more than 125 new small and mid sized retailers and unique brands to the marketplace. These range from local and regional grocers like Vallarta Supermarkets (Los Angeles, CA), Northgate Market (Southern California), and Earth Fare (Ashville, NC) ; specialty grocers like Bristol Farms (Southern CA), Caputo’s Fresh Markets (Chicago), and 99 Ranch Market (West Coast, East Coast, Texas); and revered cult favorites like Mustard Seed Market (Akron, OH).
- According to our survey, nearly a quarter of Americans (23%) have researched brands that are locally run or owned this year.
Early survey data signals that Americans seem to be paying more attention to the people who own and operate the brands they buy. Interest in women- and BIPOC-owned brands is evident with more than one in ten Americans (14%) reporting they’ve researched brands run or owned by women and the same amount (14%) indicating that they’ve researched BIPOC-run or owned brands in 2020.
While there’s still a lot more room to grow, Instacart search data suggests that this trend is on the up and up. We took a look at high-performing brands on the Instacart marketplace that have experienced large upswings in search this year to compile this list of women- and BIPOC-owned brands to watch for in 2021:
Partake Foods — the delectable vegan, gluten-free and top 8 allergen-free cookie brand — was one of the top-performing women- and BIPOC-owned brands on the platform, experiencing a 1,028% year-over-year increase in searches!
“Partake creates super delicious snacks that are also gluten-free, vegan and allergy-friendly, so families and friends can share with confidence,” says Partake CEO Denise Woodard. “What started as selling cookies from my car has blossomed over the last three years, and we’re only getting started. Families across the United States can now find Partake’s school-safe cookies on Instacart, and we’re excited to feed even more families in 2021.”
WEEKDAY WARRIORS — SHOPPING ON THE CLOCK IS ON THE RISE
With more people than ever working on flexible schedules, Instacart order data hints that the “Sunday Shop” may soon turn into the “Monday Mission” or the “Tuesday Trip.”
This year, we’ve observed a noticeable shift in consumer shopping schedules:
- Almost a quarter (22%) of Americans say they have shifted from weekend to weekday shopping runs this year.
- Instacart data reveals that while weekends still remain the most popular days for the online ‘grocery run,’ orders in 2020 are more evenly distributed throughout the week. All in all, the share of orders placed on weekdays grew by 8% platform-wide this year.
- Consumers seem to be playing “digital hooky” at home. Instacart orders placed during working hours (9 am to 5 pm) have increased this year by 32% — a change almost definitely related to social distancing guidelines and large-scale shifts towards working from home.
Will the weekday shopping hold into the spring? Laurentia will keep her eyes on the data and upcoming trends. Stay tuned for more Instacart insights from our digital aisles.
Here’s to a fun and flavorful 2021!
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Instacart analyzed anonymized, aggregated search and purchase activity across our marketplace to understand what products and categories are trending. For year-over-year measurements, Instacart compared searches and sales from ‘January 1, 2019 — November 1, 2019 to activity from January 1, 2020 — November 1, 2020. All year-over-year data is normalized to account for user growth.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Instacart from November 5–9, 2020 among 2,050 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact [email protected]