Zagat’s latest National Dining Trends survey shows some of the influences that are shaping the food world, including food photography and several eating trends. The survey questioned nearly 10,000 avid diners across the country, highlighting 26 U.S. cities.
One of Zagat’s primary discoveries had to do with the growing trend of food photography. Almost half of diners nationally (44%) say that they take food photos when dining out to share on social media, many saying that they pick places to eat in the past simply based on what food photos they wanted to take.
Clearly, this trend is shaping dining frequency throughout the U.S. This is something retail bakeries will want to cater to, as more and more individuals are gravitating towards establishments that are inviting in both food appearance and favorable lighting.
Diners are choosing to take and share these photos right away. The survey found that 41% of diners say they do post food photos to social media immediately at the table. Even more shocking is that 60% admit to stopping dining companions from eating so they can take food photos, 50% say they have taken photos of every dish at the table, and 5% have even asked another table if they can photograph their dish.
One of the most popular foods to both order and take photos of is avocado toast. 33% of those surveyed say they “love it”. Avocado toast’s rising popularity is attributed to taste as well as its aesthetically-pleasing appearance. Other popular foods are ramen and pork belly (31% each).
Foods that are less popular with consumers, according to Zagat’s survey, are “food mashups”. These include items like cronuts (38% say they are “over it”), which were trendy for a long time but now may be seeing a wane in favorability.
Two other interesting notes on this survey: 17% admit they have or would lie about it being a special occasion in order to get a freebie while 14% have or would fake a food allergy to get a dish modified to their liking, such as gluten-free offerings.