As we've learned with each passing year, when the weather warms up, recipe traffic patterns take a sharp left turn. It's always fascinating for us to observe the tried-and-true recipes (people loooooove lasagna, chicken and crockpot cooking, you guys) that are well-trafficked year-round suddenly shift. You could almost mark the day when the weather on the East Coast warms up by taking a look at our network traffic patterns to see when shrimp and corn on the cob start trending over the usual cheesy pasta bake.
So, as we move into summer 2018, we wanted to share the trends that you can expect to see this summer. We may not be predicting the next avocado toast, but our network data doesn't lie: with the biggest shoppable recipe network in the world under our belts, we feel safe making the bold claim pasta salad is the ultimate picnic side.
Take a look at the other trends we unearthed by culling our recipe network of over 1,000 recipe sites, 3 million recipes and 80 million monthly unique users--and the infographics we developed to boot!
Easy cleanup is always a trend that home cooks gravitate towards, but in the colder months that means "one pot" meals, crockpot cooking and freezer-friendly prep ideas. When the grills get fired up, foil packs are uber popular among home cooks and shoppers.
Another quick pivot our network traffic takes happens in their pasta preferences. People love pasta year-round, but as soon as we reach late April, people no longer want ooey gooey pasta bakes. Instead, they dig into cold treatments that are shareable and perfect for outdoor eating.
Chicken dominates during colder weather--to an extent that cannot be overstated. Beef usually takes the second seat. Which is why shrimp's skyrocketing popularity during the summer is particularly interesting.
Unsurprisingly, incorporating more fresh flavors into recipes becomes more interesting to readers during warmer months. Beloved ingredients like pasta or parmesan cheese get paired with fresh summer friends like corn or squash.
Summer is when cooks get saucy. During the remainder of the year, extra flavors come from two sources, primarily: stocks/broths and cheeses. (I'm not complaining.) But as they fire up the grill, home cooks are way more likely to try something sweet and sticky for dinner.
Finally, what are the keywords that shoppers are using to search for recipes during the summer? More than "cheesy," "copycat" or "slow cooker," those beloved snowy day search terms, cooks gravitate toward "grilled," "crispy," and "melt in your mouth bbq." Who's hungry?