The popularity of spicy foods reflects one of the National Restaurant Association's predicted food trends for 2016. The NPD Group reported in March that 56 percent of U.S. households keep hot sauce in their kitchens.
GrubHub looked through its data to determine the biggest year-over-year changes in ordering between 2014 and 2015. The online takeout food ordering and delivery service currently has 6.4 million active diners and processes more than 220,000 orders per day. The numbers were pulled from more than 900 U.S. cities and London and consisted of more than 35,000 restaurants.
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Since there were so many different cities and regions, it was difficult to determine accurately the most popular dish of 2015. However, several trends emerged.
Another major move was towards healthy foods. Items with labels like paleo, gluten free, organic, free range and grass fed saw an 18 percent spike from 2014.
In addition, healthy ingredients like acai saw a 19 percent spike. Ancient grains popularity went up 33 percent, especially orders with farro (105 percent), kamut (92 percent) and quinoa (34 percent).
"There are likely several reasons," Glading explained. "First, the increased availability of more incredibly tasty choices that are also healthy has allowed diners to make choices that are both fun and good for them. Second, diners branched out and tried some trendy healthy options that entered the consumer zeitgeist this year — kale Caesar salad and Brussel sprouts were big hits in 2015."