(NEXSTAR) – Just like our doctors have repeatedly asked us to do, Instacart found out what we all ate in the past year.
Instacart, an online grocery ordering and delivery platform, looked at its data to identify the most common supermarket purchases in the US, both nationally and locally. In general, the results suggest a shift away from pandemic-era purchases (hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, yeast for baking, etc.) towards more products that indicate a return to normal buying habits.
It’s worth noting, however, that Instacart’s Year in Groceries report is based on data compiled between January 2021 and November 2021, and doesn’t necessarily reflect how our nation’s purchases are performing in response to the dominance of the Omicron variant in the US could have changed
Another caveat: the report only takes into account Instacart delivery purchases, so it offers a limited look at the country’s shopping habits.
However, the fastest growing foods in the country showed more on-the-go lifestyle-related purchases than in 2020, at least for much of 2021. Among them, Americans bought more granola bars, prepared sandwiches, and energy drinks, along with more traditional staples like Gemelli pasta and frozen French toast.
At the local level, Instacart’s data identified the hottest purchases in each of 14,000+ U.S. cities, at least when compared to the rest of the country. For example, when compared to other metropolitan areas, Chicagoans bought more Thai sweet basil and Sauvignon Blanc, while Bostonians bought more canned chickpeas and pesto, among other things.
In other surprising news, the results of a separate Instacart survey (conducted online by Harris Poll) seem to indicate that nearly half of the population (44%) have tried a viral recipe idea after posting it on TikTok or other social media platforms has seen . We tried to make baked feta noodles, salmon rice bowls or “natural muesli”, at least according to the ingredients we bought on Instacart.
Laurentia Romaniuk, Instacarts trend expert, believes this fad will continue into 2022.
“Based on the overwhelming growth in food trends on social media over the past year, we can expect more viral food moments to emerge, affecting the way we plan food, shop for groceries and cook in the kitchen. … In particular, we can expect to see new interpretations and variations of our favorite foods like pasta, stews and casseroles, especially as we settle in front of us for the colder winter months, ”said Romaniuk.
Of course, it’s always worth consulting a professional medical expert before cramming too much feta-smothered pasta on your face this winter. After all, your doctor wants to know.
For more information on Instacart’s Year of the Grocery Store, please visit Instacart.com/2021-delivered.