The Winter Effect: How Cold Weather Influences Food Orders

Winter may be slowly fading away, but there are still parts of the U.S. that continue to endure subfreezing temperatures. Have you ever wondered how arctic conditions impact your food choices? Well, the team at GrubHub did, and their findings are quite intriguing!

The Rise of Winter Comfort Foods

GrubHub’s data experts delved into their vast network of over 30,000 restaurants to uncover the menu items that experience a surge (and decline) in popularity during the winter season. What they discovered was a fascinating array of winter-specific food trends.

The Top 10 Menu Items that Get a Winter Boost

When the cold weather hits, people naturally crave warm, hearty, and immune-boosting foods. Here are the top 10 menu items that experience a significant increase in orders during the winter months:

  1. Tom yum soup
  2. Vegetable soup
  3. Minestrone soup
  4. Chicken noodle soup
  5. Orange juice
  6. Italian beef sandwich
  7. Chocolate milk
  8. Lentil soup
  9. Chimichanga
  10. Reuben sandwich

Unsurprisingly, dishes with words like “frozen” or “cold” in their descriptions remain relatively flat in popularity throughout the coldest months. Instead, diners prefer to indulge in soups like tom yum and vegetable, which see a 23% increase in orders compared to other seasons. Additionally, sandwiches like Italian beef and Reubens witness a nearly 20% surge in popularity during this time.

The Winter Dip: Menu Items That See a Decline

While some foods flourish during winter, others experience a decline in orders. Here are the top 10 menu items that see a dip in popularity during the winter months:

  1. Pizza slice
  2. Mac and cheese
  3. Muffin
  4. Fried pickle
  5. Turkey sandwich
  6. Cajun fries
  7. Meatball
  8. Chicken taco
  9. Meat lovers’ pizza
  10. Spaghetti and meatballs
See also  Pizza Hut Ultimate Hershey's Chocolate Chip Cookie: A Sweet Escape

Even comfort foods like pizza slices and mac and cheese lose some of their allure during the winter, with a 20% and 15% decrease in orders respectively. Surprisingly, even spicy delights like Cajun fries experience a dip in popularity during the Polar Vortex.

The Reign of Winter Soups

When it comes to combating the cold, soups reign supreme. Overall, soup orders increase by 13% from December to March compared to the rest of the year. Take a look at the top 10 soups that dominate winter menus:

  1. Tom yum
  2. Vegetable
  3. Minestrone
  4. Chicken noodle
  5. Chicken
  6. Lentil
  7. Chicken rice
  8. Tom kha
  9. Miso
  10. Wonton egg drop

Asian-inspired soups like tom yum, tom kha, miso, and wonton egg drop steal the spotlight during winter, leaving classic options like tomato soup, chowder, and broccoli cheddar noticeably absent.

Restaurants, take note! The cold weather is far from over. Understanding what your customers crave during this time can inspire new winter menu ideas and help with accurate inventory planning.

Are you ready to reach new customers and grow your business? Connect with Grubhub today and join forces to satisfy the winter cravings of food enthusiasts everywhere!

Hook’d Up Bar and Grill