These Are the 10 Most Popular Food Trends From the Last Decade, According to Instacart

Pass the hot sauce!

Dairy free alternative plant and nut milk in glass bottles on a gray background. Healthy vegan food concept. Top view
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Instacart recently celebrated its 10th birthday, and to mark the special occasion the grocery delivery platform revealed the top 10 food trends that have taken shape over the past decade. In addition to delivering more than 859 million bananas to doorsteps across the country, Instacart has scoured nearly 3 billion grocery items from more than 750 retailers. With that, the California-based company has had a front row seat to a veritable hall of fame of food trends. We're talking everything from the shift from still water to the sparkling stuff, to how TikTok has influenced America's grocery shopping habits.

Keep reading to find out more about the most popular food trends from the past 10 years!

01 of 10

The Rise of La Croix

Before La Croix transfixed shoppers with its array of adventurous sparkling water offerings in the fall of 2016, Americans generally preferred still water. However, the overwhelming rise in popularity of La Croix led to dozens of other sparkling water brands and a big shift in how Americans like their H2O. According to Instacart, one out of seven Instacart orders included flavored sparkling water in September 2016, and consumers haven't turned back. The company currently delivers more than 3,000 stock keeping units (SKUs) of the bubbly goodness, which is a whopping 129 times higher than the earliest sparkling water days in 2013.

RELATED: Here's Exactly How Much Water You Should Drink Every Day—and How to Tell If You're Properly Hydrated

02 of 10

TikTok's Undisputed Influence

Given that TikTok has blessed us with dishes such as dalgona coffee and baked feta pasta, it's no surprise that the social media platform has had a profound impact on what Americans purchase from the supermarket. Case in point: The rise of trendy meals like the aforementioned pasta, salmon rice bowls, and nature's cereal led to some of the largest spikes in Instacart orders that included the dish's main ingredients, with all of them nearly doubling during peak trending moments.

03 of 10

The Quest for Perfect Produce

As more Americans rely on grocery delivery services like Instacart, they have become particularly picky about their produce, especially notoriously fickle avocados. Per Instacart, the popular green fruits are one of the most commented-on items. In fact, over the past decade there have been 5 million shopper instructions about avocados logged. Notes range from "feel free to pick out what looks best to you!" to the detailed "please try to find almost ripe, but not yet ripe, but not yet soft." And it doesn't stop with avocados—over the past 10 years, customers have left 60 million instructions for shoppers regarding all sorts of produce.

04 of 10

America Loves Hard Seltzer

Hard seltzers burst into carts in 2018, and have remained there ever since. Sales for these bubbly and boozy drinks grew an unprecedented 164 times in the last six years, with 55 times more SKUs now available via Instacart compared to July 2016. With warmer months just around the corner, Instacart is predicting another buzzy year for these trendy libations.

05 of 10

Nutritious Is Delicious

Over the past several years, shoppers have prioritized their health and wellness more than ever before. According to a recent Instacart survey of more than 2,000 Americans conducted online by The Harris Poll, among those who have ordered groceries online, 81 percent say doing so helps them make healthier choices. Additionally, Instacart's latest purchase data shows that approximately 90 percent of orders from grocery stores contain items from perimeter aisles—also known as the areas within the store that typically stock healthier items including produce, proteins, dairy, and grains.

RELATED: Top 10 Superfoods of 2022, According to More Than 1,100 Registered Dietitians

06 of 10

Cauliflower Power

Cauliflower's adaptability—it's pizza! It's rice! It's mashed potatoes!—has propelled it to a spot on this list. The versatile veggie likely got a boost from the keto diet, but it doesn't look like it will be fading into the background anytime soon. According to Instacart data, sales of products made with cauliflower have grown by 194 percent since April 2013.

07 of 10

Plant-Based Milk Picks Up Steam

In the early days of Instacart, the company noted that it delivered just five types of plant-based milk—almond, coconut, flaxseed, rice and soy milk. That number has now grown to nearly 20, and includes options like black bean milk, macadamia nut milk, sesame milk, and oat milk. The latter is currently the most recent fan favorite, with the share of deliveries including oat milk increasing by over 3,000 percent in the past four years.

08 of 10

Meat Who?

Similar to the rise of plant-based milk, Instacart has seen new traction for other plant-based options, including meat. Brands like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have fueled this trend, as they are becoming increasingly available to consumers, and it certainly helps that these newer plant-based meat options taste just like the real deal. They have encouraged many to cut down on their meat consumption, and the data speaks for itself. In fact, Instacart currently delivers more than 1,000 SKUs of plant-based meat—85 times more than the company did in April 2013.

09 of 10

Precious Pets

With pet adoptions on the rise in the past few years, Instacart has noticed that pet supplies like food, treats, grooming products, and cat litter are becoming mainstays in shopper's carts. Need proof? The company has seen sales of pet products triple since April 2013.

RELATED: 5 Products that Make Being a Pet Owner Virtually Effortless

10 of 10

Some Like It Hot

Per Instacart purchase data, hot sauce is the most popular condiment across the largest U.S. cities. In fact, it's so popular that the company has delivered a whopping 1.1 million gallons of the spicy stuff since 2012. What's more? Hot sauce's popularity isn't cooling down, with 130 times more options available now than in April 2013. Nationwide favorites include Huy Fong, the makers of the famous "rooster sauce," Sriracha, and Frank's RedHot.

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