Consumer Trends

Grubhub reveals the most popular takeout and delivery orders of 2023

The platform’s annual report tracks more than sales. It provides a snapshot of the eating and drinking trends driving diners’ decisions.
delivery order
Grubhub's 2023 Delivered report tracks the most popular items ordered for takeout and delivery on the platform. | Photo: Shutterstock

Grubhub’s 2023 Delivered report released Tuesday, providing a snapshot of Americans’ eating and drinking habits as seen through their orders on the platform.

While 2022 was tagged “the year of the burrito,” this past year reflected how diners stepped out of their comfort zones and broke with convention. Grubhub characterizes 2023 as “doing it for the vibes.”

Grubhub analyzed millions of takeout and delivery orders from diners, crunching the data to pinpoint overarching trends as well as specific flavors and ingredients. According to the report, 2023 was all about self-expression, with diners embracing customizations and unlikely food pairings.

Here are some of the platform’s top findings or “vibes.”

We added a little bit of … spice. Classic favorites like Sriracha were added to orders over 91,000 times, and over 53 million items were ordered with added spice. Condiments such as chipotle sauce and jalapeno cream sauce rose in popularity.

Spicy potato soft tacos, spicy chicken sandwiches, spicy tuna roll, hot and sour soup and drunken noodles were the top five fiery dishes recorded by Grubhub. And Buffalo chicken wings topped the list as the most popular wing flavor.

Casual-dining chain Buffalo Wild Wings is celebrating that win by offering Grubhub users 50% off (up to $10) on wing orders of $30 or more placed on Dec. 12.

• Late-night coffee for caffeine cravers. Customers are getting caffeinated later in the day. Over 10 million coffee orders were placed after 5 p.m. this year. Top choices: Iced coffee, caramel frappe, mocha frappe, cappuccino, and bringing up the rear, regular hot coffee.

• Cows made a comeback. Despite the fact that almost every coffee concept now offers almond, oat and other nondairy milks, cow’s milk rose 20% as an option for coffee orders year-over-year. Whole milk took the lead, followed by 2% milk and chocolate milk. Looks like coffee drinkers are creating their own mochas.

Workers pause for a fizzy pick-me-up. Diet Coke won out as a refreshment break with the workplace crowd. In-office orders of the soft drink increased by 17% in 2023, and #dietcokebreak trended with over 43 million views on TikTok.

Fries bring balance for salad fans. French fries were the top-ordered side dish of 2023, but they weren’t only paired with the usual burger or chicken sandwich. Over 600,000 Grubhub customers ordered their salad paired with fries over the last 12 months—boosting the french fry to the most-ordered side of 2023.

But every diner has a favorite style. Classic cut fries earned the No. 1 spot, followed by waffle fries, cheese fries, sweet potato fries and curly fries.

NYC orders

Grubhub customers in New York City were delivery trendsetters in 2023. | Image courtesy of Grubhub. 

• From food to fashion, pickles were on everything. People placed over 6.9 million orders for pickles in 2023—an increase of 89% over 2022. That was the largest growth of any individual item, with diners ordering them on sandwiches, burgers, pizza and deep-fried on their own. And then there was the pickle sweatshirt that went viral.

• Pineapple earns status on pizza. Pineapple has been a favorite though controversial pizza topping for a long time, but this year its popularity soared 33% over 2022. Seems like people are no longer embarrassed to opt for Hawaiian Pizza.

That said, it came in at No. 5 among the top pizza choices, led off by cheese pizza, followed by margherita, pepperoni and Buffalo chicken in second, third and fourth places respectively.

Grubhub customers can compare their year of orders with these national trends with an individual 2023 Delivered report. Users should receive a customized recap report Tuesday to trace their own takeout and delivery journey of the year.

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