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The most popular foods across EMEA this year may not surprise you – tacos snagged the top spot, with pizza, poke and shawarma not too far behind. Some of the more unique favourites? Lotus, Mochi, and Bibimbap.

In South Africa, while there was a clear trend towards healthy eating, South African’s continued to show love towards their fast food options as chicken and burgers remain a firm favourite. Based on the Uber Eats Local Cravings Report from earlier this year, it was identified that South Africans also love supporting locals and home-known flavours. 

Some of the largest international food chains had to adapt menu items to cater for the Eater, with as many as 1000 order requests asking for traditional starch to be swapped out for local pap. We also saw chakalaka and achaar commonly used to replace chilli relish or BBQ sauce. We even saw some requests that a tomato base be replaced with a chakalaka base on pizzas. 

The most popular items include:

  1. Pizza
  2. Cashew
  3. Raw
  4. Shawarma
  5. Garlic
  6. Protein
  7. Halloumi
  8. Vegetarian
  9. Tempura
  10. Vegan
  11. Falafel
  12. Tacos
  13. Ginger
  14. Honey
  15. Poke
  16. Sushi
  17. Ube
  18. Tofu
  19. Edamame
  20. Coconut

Dave Kitley, General Manager, Uber Eats South Africa: “Over the last year, we’ve seen how important it is to celebrate local flavours. The country is rich with various unique cuisines that you aren’t able to find anywhere else, and providing local restaurants with a platform to grow this was imperative.

While the usual take-out is popular, we have seen a huge jump towards a premium dining experience, and eaters looking to enjoy foods that contain added health benefits – like flax seeds.

And while it’s always fun to see items like popcorn take center stage, we’ve noticed a few veggie favourites are here to stay. Our customers continue to enjoy ginger, edamame and garlic – and given this healthy eating trend globally, we don’t expect those to go anywhere anytime soon. 

With over 400 000 menu items, over 3 000 restaurants and over 80 cuisine types to choose from, Uber Eats sets the bar and we’re pleased to see how our platform is helping transform food delivery from that guilty weekend treat to your go-to healthy, everyday meal.”

But what will you be ordering in 2020? We took a look at which foods are accelerating in popularity on Uber Eats and uncovered a few key trends rising to the top as we quickly approach the new decade.

2020 Foodcast predictions

Looking at the sharpest increases in customer search and order volumes on the Uber Eats app, we’ve identified flax seed as the emerging superfood to watch in 2020 across EMEA.  

Products containing CBD oil are set to appear on more restaurant menus across South Africa and kombucha will become a staple side order with our meals.

Showing the changing palates of vegans and flexitarians and eagerness to try new things, jackfruit – which was declining in popularity last year – and tempeh are predicted to overtake other meat-free favorites like seitan and tofu. 

The ‘hottest’ food trends for 2020 include:

  1. Flax 
  2. CBD oil  
  3. Kombucha
  4. Garlic
  5. Chanterelle mushrooms
  6. Cacao
  7. Popcorn
  8. Pumpkin
  9. Jackfruit
  10. Tempeh

The ‘hottest’ global cuisines for 2020 include: 

  1. Israeli
  2. Scandinavian 
  3. Ethiopian
  4. Korean 
  5. Armenian

The ‘coldest’ food trends we see on the decline as we head towards 2020 include:

  1. Sriracha
  2. Taro
  3. Matcha
  4. Tofu
  5. Kimchi