Food For Thought From Trafalgar

Operator’s Research Reveals What Travel-Inspired Foods Were On Canadians’ Lockdown Menus

There’s having a taste for travel and satisfying that taste for travel and new research from Trafalgar reveals the top food trends that inspired Canadians to dream about their ‘bucket list’ travel destinations during the lockdown.

The data-driven campaign used over 50,000 search queries related to food and travel and offers a insights into how the world satisfied its hunger for travel experiences in a year of closed borders.

Diving deep into the culinary behaviours, pulling global and Canada-level Google search demand data to unveil the true breadth of food desires.

And the results revealed the food trends and experiences that will likely shape how people explore the world once travel fully resumes.

Here in Canada, the trends included:

  • Japanese food being crowned the most popular food in Canada in 2020 making sushi one of the nation’s favourite dishes and also a go-to takeaway option, with demand for Japanese takeaways up 37%.
  • Canadians certainly loved travelling with their taste buds. In 2020, Canada searched for new exciting flavours from Moldova’s cuisine (+188%), Guyana’s food (+60%) and Jordan’s booming food scene (+50%).
  • Across Canada, 2020 was the year of home-cooking. Searches for recipes were up by 48% while queries for local restaurants dropped by -18%.
  • While Canada loved experimenting with new worldly flavours, in 2020, Canadians also looked for food travel inspiration at home, sending searches for Canadian food tours up by 9%.

As for city trends, the data revealed that:

  • Toronto looked to the Far East for food inspiration making Mongolian food the hottest takeaway trend of 2020 with searches up by 357%.
  • Calgary preferred searching for warmth and spice. Searches for Jamaican recipes were up by 100% as were queries about Jamaican food tours (+350%). When travel resumes, Trafalgar predicts Jamaica will be at the top of Canadian foodies’ bucket lists.
  • In Montreal, a new foodie trend emerged in 2020: Nicaraguan food. This Central American nation was a favourite amongst Montreal residents searching for local restaurants. (+106%)
  • Canadians across the country agreed on one thing: Italian home-cooked food. Searches for Italian recipes skyrocketed throughout 2020 making it the most searched for cuisine for home-cooking.

Leaving Canada, the global data revealed that:

  • One of the most intriguing trends uncovered a desire for food travel to one of the world’s tiniest countries: Andorra. With 80% more searches about their national cuisine, Trafalgar predicts there will be a global appetite to explore this landlocked nation once worldwide travel resumes.
  • A dish on everyone’s lips in 2020 was ram-don noodles. The Korean dish featuring in Bong Joon Ho’s film, Parasite, was searched for 5,671% more times in 2020 making it one of the top trending dishes of that year. But in 2021, Trafalgar Travel predicts the top finger-licking trends will be Asian bhorta (511%), Basque burnt cheesecake (174%) and juicy birria from Mexico (173%).
  • While in most markets the demand for food tours was down overall, people were satisfying their cravings by recreating favourite holiday meals at home – searches for recipes went up by +46% globally. And while demand for restaurants was stalling, in many countries including the UK, Australia and Singapore, takeaways got a big boost in demand.
  • Travel might have been off limits for many, but that didn’t stop travel aficionados. With more than 15,000 searches, New Orleans was the jewel of food tour destinations putting the USA on the map for future travel. Demand for food tours globally increased by 24% in the first 3 months of 2021 alone.

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Posted in Canada, COVID-19, News, Tour Operators, Trends & Research