Grubhub Releases 2nd Annual ‘State of the Plate’ Report

Americans crave plant-based burgers, spicy chicken sandwiches, cinnamon rolls, shakes and iced lattes.

July 17, 2020

CHICAGO—How did Americans eat their way through the beginning of 2020? Grubhub’s latest “State of the Plate” report looks at trends across the more than half a million orders placed a day. Grubhub’s mid-year report checks in on the popular food trends to date and what quarantined Americans ordered through contact-free delivery, and it offers predictions on what to expect during the second half of 2020.

Some notable insights include how Americans grabbed chorizo burritos (270% more popular) for breakfast, gobbled cheesy breadstick snacks (412% more popular), devoured plant-based burgers (291% more popular) and ordered fit-for-quarantine meal kits (orders of meal kits rose 55%).

Chain and independent restaurants added chicken sandwiches to their menus for diners to enjoy. The spicy chicken sandwich saw a nearly 300% rise in popularity this year, with other top foods spanning a range of categories and plenty of newcomers.

  • Spicy chicken sandwich: 299% more popular
  • Plant-based burger: 291% more popular
  • Vanilla shake: 273% more popular
  • Iced latte: 261% more popular
  • Chili: 228% more popular
  • Cinnamon roll: 205% more popular
  • Chimichanga: 195% more popular
  • Beef burrito: 181% more popular
  • Potato taco: 169% more popular
  • Taro milk tea: 168% more popular

Similar to Grubhub's 2019 Year in Food Report, diners are continuing to eat vegan and vegetarian dishes. So far this year, vegan orders have risen by 23%, specifically plant-based burgers increased by 90% and general plant-based orders grew by a whopping 135%.

On March 18, the first shelter-in-place order was initiated in San Francisco, and the rest of the country followed suit shortly after. As Americans stayed home, they continued to order food using features like contact-free delivery to enjoy their favorite meals from local restaurants.

Over the months, Grubhub has observed diners turning to comfort foods, ordering alcoholic beverages, and getting D.I.Y. orders. Under quarantine one thing was clear: Morning coffee routines changed as orders of cold brew rose by 232%.

Across the country, it’s all about comfort foods and shareable plates as people order in items such as:

  • Spicy chicken sandwich: 353% more popular
  • Red velvet cupcake: 196% more popular
  • Plant-based burger: 166% more popular
  • Cajun shrimp chicken pasta: 164% more popular
  • Cheeseburger sliders: 158% more popular.