On average, leading up to Oct. 2016, the keyword 'avocado' is searched 49,500 times each month by US web users, with San Diego as its search capital (meaning that web users in this South California city search for avocado the most).
After avocadoes, food items that made it on Search Laboratory’s list, in order, are: Kale, turmeric, blueberry, kefir, almond, cauliflower, coconut, flax, and bulgur, based on Search Laboratory’s analysis of Google Trends data and Keyword Planner Tool.
Not just packaged guacamole
Search Laboratory’s data reflects the sentiments of trend forecasters such as Kara Nielsen, who said during a Packaged Facts’ webinar last month that avocado’s popularity has continued to climb since the fruit won mainstream appeal in a Super Bowl ad.
Since then, the fruit has become an ingredient in many innovative packaged food formats, such as the ‘scoopable’ probiotic smoothie Avoke Spoonables, non-dairy avocado-based ice cream Cado, and a line of avocado-oil based products—from mayonnaise to cooking spray cans—by Chosen Foods.
“We see industry packaging avocados in ways that make them more convenient, and thus allow us to have this delicious and healthful oil in our diets in more frequent ways or when you can’t get your hands on a natural avocado,” she said.
Does superfood mean functional?
Experts and analysts tend to agree that 'superfood' is purely a marketing term. Mintel analyst Stephanie Matucci explained that in general, consumers see the loosely-defined term as describing “healthy, nutrient dense or antioxidant-rich foods.”
Matucci’s remark is in line with how turmeric placed so highly, and how it was featured prominently in Google’s 2016 Food Trends 2016 U.S. Report.
“Americans are trying to understand how to consume turmeric. When searching for turmeric, users are often looking for forms, recipes, or type,” the Google report said.
US consumers’ understanding of turmeric’s functional property can also be seen from how web users look up turmeric on YouTube. “The top five turmeric consumption videos are educational,” the report added, with associated search terms ranging from acne to liver detoxification to weight loss.