Everyone tries to predict what the new cupcake will be. Rather than rely on mere speculation, we turned to Google Trends, which measures the search interest in a topic, plots it on a graph and predicts when it'll reach its peak. We searched dozens of food items and drinks to see what's over, what's hot right now and what's going to take off soon. Because it's Google, the data are constantly changing, but here's what we uncovered. In order to see the "future forecast" plot, click on "view full report."
The takeaways? Sriracha is over, poutine is hot right this second, ramen and toast are on the rise and bacon just won't die. Also, graphs are fun.
Rum - peaked December 2011
Sorry, Three Dots and a Dash, but rum peaked several years ago. Maybe the tiki bar will help bring it back?
Cupcake - peaked February 2012
Absolutely no surprise here.
Tequila - peaked July 2013
Tequila is due for a comeback.
Biscuit - peaked November 2013
We're kind of surprised the biscuit still isn't on the rise, since we have so many fantastic versions in Chicago (Analogue, Bang Bang Pie Shop, Big Jones and others), but the biscuit's decline might pave the way for the rise of other baked goods.
Sriracha - peaked November 2013
Yeah, once sriracha is going into cocktails and showing up as chip flavors, it's over.
HOT RIGHT NOW
Poutine - projected to peak April 2014
This month, Big Cheese Poutinerie, a Canadian restaurant that just serves poutine, opened in Wrigleyville, meeting all our poutine needs forever.
Doughnut - projected to peak June 2014
This still hasn't peaked yet?
Ramen - projected to peak August 2014
This was one of our top bets for a future trend, given that we've seen a spike in new ramen spots (Strings, Ajida) and expect forthcoming ramen joints from Brendan Sodikoff (High Five Ramen) and the Melmans (Ramen San) very soon.
Toast - projected to peak December 2014
San Francisco is in the midst of a toast craze, but it hasn't reached Chicago yet. Someone should get on that.
Bacon - projected to peak December 2014
Mezcal - projected to peak December 2014
One of the most underrated spirits, tequila's smoky cousin is going to have its moment soon.
Kimchi - projected to peak January 2015
This has been building for a while, but the fermented Korean dish hasn't reached its peak yet.
Fried chicken - projected to peak January 2015
Leghorn and the Roost just opened fried chicken sandwich shops, but how has fried chicken mania not reached its peak?