Of the 75 billion Pins on Pinterest, 4 billion of those are food-related. (The rest are of kittens!) And all are data-rich.
Which means that when you—or your aunt or neighbor or that stranger on street—Pin a Pin, it translates into information that can be interrogated for patterns and trends and behavioral phenomena. (Did you know, for example, that the most chocolate-related Pinning happens in Utah? Or that interest in beer cocktails—bocktails?—is on the rise?)
Recipe-rich Pins—like the one above, where the yield, ingredients, and method are automatically extracted—are especially useful for tracking which ingredients are gaining traction year over year. And the Flavor Report 2016, released earlier this week, gave us a peek of what those ingredients are:
Coconut (and coconut bacon, in particular)
Cashew milk ("the new almond milk")
Basil, but beyond Caprese and pesto
Pinterest grouped these ingredients into themes: "secret weapon spices," "tropical twists," "sneaky substitutions," "herbs get creative," and "a new spin on sweets."
Turmeric is a power player in both lists, first of all. But whereas Google is more of a source for understanding (acquiring knowledge of what turmeric is, what forms it comes in, and what, in Google's word, "function" it serves in terms of nutrition and health benefits), Pinterest is a place for curiosity and ideation: education versus inspiration.
Perhaps most notable is what isn't on either list: kale, quinoa, zoodles, pumpkin spice (!!). And, what we're surprised didn't make it: tahini, harissa, matcha, buckwheat.
What's next for these trending ingredients? Brands, food websites (hi), and publications might capitalize on the somewhat-organic interest. Before you know it, we'll all be drinking turmeric-coconut iced lattes. (If we don't run out of coconuts first, that is.)
A (former) student of English, a lover of raisins, a user of comma splices. My spirit animal is an eggplant. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream. For that, I'm sorry.