Chew on this: Food insights from coast to coast

Food is our largest category on Pinterest with 15 billion Pins and counting. Last year we saw a 24% increase in Pinners who engage with food content and a 21% increase in food Pins. People are always hungry for inspiration so they turn to Pinterest to discover new ingredients, evaluate recipes and try new ideas.

Because people use Pinterest to plan, we often get a first look at emerging trends. Search, save and click patterns are like a window into consumer behavior, giving us early insight into what’s popping up on plates across the country. Every now and then we dig into that data, looking for hints about upcoming trends and Pinner cravings. This time, our Insights team looked at save data to see what’s over-indexing in each state, relative to the rest of the country. Here’s the scoop on which dishes and ingredients are disproportionately popular in each state right now: 

Northeast: Sweet tooth alert! Searches for sugary treats rose 27% in the Northeast last year. That means a spike for peach Schnapps in Pennsylvania, donut cravings in Maine and a growing interest in flower cupcake tutorials in Rhode Island.

Midwest: Midwesterners are curling up with comfort foods, from broccoli salads in Minnesota to taco soup in Oklahoma. Altogether, searches for “comfort food” are up 58% for Midwestern Pinners, comprising both meals and snacks.

South: Saves for indulgent food Pins are up 20% in the south, but indulgent can mean a lot of things. Louisianians are especially into shrimp pasta, while people in Georgia are more likely to look for wings. And save room for dessert: South Carolina is into red velvet cupcakes these days, while peanut butter fudge is all the rage in Kentucky.

West: The west is trying to keep things healthy, with a 79% increase in searches for healthy treats. California digs figs, but Wyoming is getting its boost from energy bites.  

Southwest: The Southwest is living up to its name, with searches for recipes like empanadas up 40% in the past year. Texas is particularly into stuffed avocados, while Colorado prefers carnitas.

Our early insight gives marketers an advantage too. With relevant and useful content, brands can tap into emerging trends on Pinterest well before people start signaling those interests on other platforms. If you’re a food brand, try using these insights to create recipe Pins, ingredient spotlights or cooking tutorials. And even if you don’t sell food, you can have some fun working regional nuances into your creative to pique Pinner interest.

Curious about menus beyond the US borders? Check out our international map for more intel. The results aren’t quite what you’d expect. For example: did you know Munich is really into chicken fried rice?

—Thea Carp, currently saving ideas to my home

Sources: Pinterest analysis, 2017