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For most of us, travelling since last year has been a lot less about jading jet-lags, pool-side proseccos or must-do museums and a lot more about travelling with our tastebuds. 
 
After a full year of lockdown, we’ve explored the world – quite literally - via word of mouth, following our palate rather than our hunger for new travel adventures. The result? We’ve seen new food trends and experiences emerge, that will likely shape how we explore the world in the future. In short, lockdown has made us hungry for food travel, and we can’t wait to see where your bellies will lead you on your next holiday.

Quarantine food trends around the world

Curious to discover what food experiences the world searched for last year? Simply click on the icon to virtually travel through the globe's most popular dishes and cuisines.
Lockdown Food Trends

With so many of us embracing the stay-at-home message, even the most novice of cooks attempted baking, proofing or cultivating their own yeast starters. Ever wondered why your local supermarket’s flour and yeast stocks were always depleted? Now you know: pizza. With a 26% increase in pizza searches worldwide, many of us attempted (and perhaps just a few succeeded) to make one of Italy’s most popular food dishes. 

When it came down to food trends however, the world looked to Latin America for inspiration. The proof? Searches for Mexican enchiladas and Latin American street food, like churros, were both up by 42%.

Food experiences

How we searched for food experiences
When we weren’t kneading dough or looking for food travel inspiration, we also gave our best shot at recreating our favourite take-away dishes. One of the most popular cuisines in the world is Chinese food, and last year proved that not even a pandemic could stop our global desire for dim sum, chop suey or chow mien.
   
Yet while we all love a good Chinese takeaway, in 2020 we also looked to new exciting food experiences and explored previously overlooked foods of the world, too. Our interest in new flavours inspired one of the biggest food trends of the year: Eastern European food. And with searches for Belarussian local restaurants up by 1,600% and interest in Romanian food tours up by 85%, we're predicting that food travel to Eastern European countries will boom. 

Keen to try the delights of Eastern European food for yourself? On our Highlights of Eastern Europe food tour, you can look forward to sampling the best of Vienna, Budapest, Prague and more.

Foodie nations

Lockdown might have changed our habits, but it definitely hasn't changed our love for food experiences, or our desire to explore the world through our taste buds. These were the most popular dishes from some of our favourite foodie nations:
 
Sweet and sour chicken move over, it's all about the dim sum! These small but delectable dumplings topped the list of most popular Chinese dishes followed by the ever-popular chop suey and chow mein. 
 
Whether you’ve made your Italian mamma proud by cooking your own lasagne or discovered a new talent for making homemade pizza, over lockdown we couldn’t get enough of masterning the Italian culinary experience from home.
 
Did someone say taco Tuesday? We might not have been able to take up this tradition at a restaurant (or better yet, on the Yucatan's sandy beaches), but we definitely loved recreating the Mexican at home food experience.
 
Those little rolled up bundles of gastronomic delight commonly known as sushi rolls have been all-time favourites for a while now. But any foodie will tell you there's way more to Japanese national cuisine than sushi, so we've rightfully been getting stuck into ramen and takoyaki, too.
 
If you can't get enough of a good biryani, you're not alone - biryani is one of the most popular dishes in the world. But there was also a global appetite for butter chicken and naan, too. 
 
And as for new food trends that made their way onto the trendy food list? Well, while travelling to paradisiac Pacific places was off-limits, that didn't stop us from searching about exotic cuisines like Tuvalu and French Polynesian food.
Most Popular Foods
Whilst we all know and love pizza, how familiar are you with Andorran cuisine? This small landlocked microstate perched amidst the high peaks of the Pyrenees was the talk of the world this year. With 80% more searches about Andorra’s national cuisine than the previous year, we predict there will be a global appetite for exploring the 16th smallest country in the world once food travel resumes!

Top 10 cuisines

Food tours

In 2020 we roamed the world from our kitchen tables, but what were we searching for? Well, warth and spice evidently, based on the fact that food tours to the Caribbean island of Jamaica grew by 1,451%. But it wasn't just warmth we were after, as the next most searched destination was chilly Nepal, with many of you keen to explore its national cuisine.

Found yourself craving warming flavours and exotic spices, and ready to explore beyond the kitchen table? Why not follow the trend by embarking on a Morocco food tour? Sample the country's national flavours like mint tea, tajine and couscous while exploring on our Best of Morocco tour. As well as diving into Morocco's colourful history and way of life, you'll be immersed in the nation's famous foodie scene through rich cultural experiences like our exclusive 'Be My Guest' dinner experience, hosted in a traditional Riad in Fes.

Top Trending Food Tours

 

Fast-forward to 2021 and despite the travel restrictions, our appetite for globalfood travelis just as ravenous as ever. In fact, demand for food tours globally increased by 24% in the first 3 months of 2021 alone. So where do we have our sights set on? Trendy food destinations include Vietnam, where searches for Hue food tours have boomed by an incredible 253%. In a country famed for crispy spring rolls, steaming bowls of pho and fresh salt and pepper squid, it's not so hard to see the foodie appeal. Discover it for yourself on our Vietnam and Cambodia Uncovered vacation. 

Regional food tours have also proved popular so far this year, with 86% more searches for US food tours, making it one of the most trendy food destinations. Travel to New Orleans has been particularly trendy, with searches for the 'big easy's' food tours up by 123%. 

Trending regions 2021

Do you believe that food and travel go hand in hand? Our Be My Guest dining experiences are exclusive to Trafalgar and designed to connect you with locals in the places you visit. These experiences will see you breaking bread and sharing stories with fascinating individuals from all across the world as families welcome you into their home to share recipes passed down from generation to generation. Whether sampling rich bodied Chianti in a Tuscan vineyard, tasting Japanese delicacies in a traditional ryokan or enjoying the farm to table dining experience at an organic farm in Hawaii, Be My Guest is the ultimate celebration of food travel.

Trendy Foods

Trendy foods

Curious to discover last years top quarantine food trends? Our number one trendiest food was the newly launched Mexican mango tajin popsicle with a 7,923% increase in searches. But Mexican food was also trending on social media with dishes like birrieria and quesabirria tacos featuring in all our favourite foodie's blogs.

If Mexico's national cuisine was on everyone's lips in 2020, fast-forward to 2021 and it's all about Bangladeshi food with searches for bhorta increasing by 511% making it one of our favourite trendy foods of the year. More finger-licking trends we'll sure hear more about in 2021 are Basque burnt cheesecake (174%) and juicy birria from Mexico (173%).+

 

Trendy Dishes in 2021

Canada food trends

What trendy foods and most popular dishes made their way into your kitchens in 2020?

In terms of food trends, it was all about discovering Eastern European cuisines with Moldovan food topping your list of trendy foods. If you're keen to explore Eastern Europe's hidden gems and best kept foodie secrets, check out our Highlights of Eastern Europe tour for 2022 travel inspiration.

Also in the top 5 food trends list were Middle Eastern food experiences with searches for Palestinian and Jordanian cuisines up by 54% 50% respectively.

What did you love cooking at-home? Your top food experience was Italian food, with searches for Italian recipes up 51%. You might not have been able to travel to Italy in 2020 but with all that at-home practice, we're sure you'll wow Italians with your cooking skills next time you travel to their shores!

But when it came down to the most popular foods in Canada, you loved searching for Japanese food experiences, making it your number one most popular cuisine!

Canada food trends

Canada food trends

What culinary experiences did Canadians crave in 2020? Well, you surely couldn't get enough of Japanese cuisine making it your go-to virtual food destination.

But Canadians didn't just like researching about Japanese food experiences online, they also loved ordering their favourite Japanese dishes like sushi to enjoy at home. Searches for Japanese takeaways were up by 37% in 2020 - arigato!

When it came down to food trends though, Canadians were all about trying new and exciting food experiences from around the globe with searches for Moldovan and Guyanese recipes up by 188% and 60% respectively!
Canada most popular food experiences
2020 was all about virtual food trips to the Far East with Japanese and Chinese cuisines featuring as the most popular foods in Canada. Many of you were also interested in Mexican food experiences, with searches for this spicy cuisine up by 23%!
 
But when it came down to the most popular dishes, you couldn't get enough of Italian dishes like pizza, with searches up by 2% and Japan's beloved sushi, up 5%. 

Whilst you travelled far away for recipe inspiration, your most trendy food ingredient came from somewhere closer to home: the American pickle! In 2020, Canadians searched for this pickled veg a whopping 32,558% more times!

 

Canadian treats, most loved abroad

In anticipation for travel to Canada's wild natural landscapes and bustling cities to resume, we still made sure Canada featured as one of our top virtual food travel destinations.

This year's most popular Canadian national dishes abroad were poutine with a staggering 8,588,000 global searches! Curious to know what poutine tastes like? Why not experience this Canadian delicacy directly from the locals by booking one of our many food tours to Canada?

Global searches were also up for Canadian bread, proving that proofing your own bread at home remained one of the most popular food experiences this past year.

In terms of the top grossing Canadian national dishes abroad, no list would be complete without this quintessential Canadian dish: pancakes with bacon and maple syrup!

Most popular Canadian foods

Canada food tours

Despite many countries putting a stop to international holidays, Canada still featured as one of your favourite food travel destinations to visit once travelling resumes. Many of you got some food travel inspiration by searching the web for Canadian food tours making it a popular food tour destination in South Africa, Singapore, New Zealand and Ireland.

Looking to plan a trip to Canada this year? Then check Trafalgar's Spectacular Canadian Rockies food tour where you'll be able to enjoy a delicious traditional Canadian lunch at a family-owned farm in Vancouver Island and guided tours through the Rocky Mountain's most scenic lakes.

Many of our Be My Guest experiences touch upon these popular foodie destinations. Gain a new understanding of what food means to indigenous culture with a workshop in Calgary, or visit a blackcurrant farm in Quebec to make your own tea and toast to the good life with local wines.

Canadian Fries

9 iconic Canadian dishes you need to try next time you visit Canada

A country renowned for its epic landscapes, polite people, ice hockey, Northern lights, hipster cities and… edible BeaverTails?! Before you jump to conclusions, no Canadians do not enjoy devouring their national animal.

A bridge in Montreal by night

Where to go and what to do in Montreal, Canada

What to do in Montreal? Let us count the ways! As one of the most incredible cities in Quebec and all of Canada, you can’t miss seeing the city’s gorgeous architecture, vibrant streets, wonderful parks and superb eateries, including those sweet sugar shacks.

Panoramoci view of a city in Canada

11 things Canadians adore about their beloved Canada

To help inspire your next trip, we’ve rounded up the top 11 reasons why Canadians love Canada. Because if they can’t persuade you, who can?

Foodies in the city

How did Canada's food experiences vary between cities?

In Toronto you loved searching for local restaurants and were particularly inspired by Iraq's national cuisine making it one of the most trendy foods of 2020.

One of the top trending food experiences in Calgary was Mongolian food takeaways, with searches for this national cuisine up by 600%.

Montreal loved to indulge in Nicaraguan food at local restaurants in 2020. But when it came down to getting food travel inspiration, it was all about Jamaica. Searches for Jamaican food tours were up 350% making it one of the most popular food experiences.

Canada foodies in the city

How we got our findings

Methodology

• We have created a database with 50,000+ English language keywords related to cuisines, local food specialities, food travel and national restaurants/takeaways.

• We have focused on new food trends and cravings users got during 2020 – the year of lockdowns. We have used Google Trends and Google News to correlate the top trending terms/cuisines to social and cultural events. • We have explored the industry reports to find out the emerging food trends of 2021.

• We used the data from Google Keyword Planner to identify the most popular and most quickly growing trends globally, based on search demand from January 2019 to March 2021.

• Most popular options are based on the highest 2020 search volumes, most trending – on the biggest demand growth rates, compared to the previous year.

• We also pulled country-level and city-level search volumes for the same period.

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