Our taste buds are constantly changing and have done so massively over time with increased globalisation. A major factor of this has been Americanisation, particularly – fast food. The side effects have been wide ranging from the tiny Pacific island of Nauru having the highest rate of obesity, to changes in dining out in India.
In the Middle East, how has the battle between the more traditional and modern major foodstuffs played out over the last 18 months and what can we learn for the future?
Sila, Digital Ape’s proprietary tool, has analysed; 32.5mn posts, 16.1mn video views, 4.1mn comments from around 8k key creators (influencers), which led us to find out that we are generally leaning towards the more traditional healthier foods.
Focusing purely on the healthy v unhealthy food trend, we see an Increase in healthy content from the fourth week of February 2020, with the initial, global, mass spread of COVID-19. This did decrease somewhat during the easing of lockdowns and Ramadan 2020. Overall, video views of healthy content were 10 times higher that of unhealthy.
In early 2019 preferences preferences for steak v fish were almost the same. After the end of Ramadan 2019 in early June, views for traditional food, like fish, began to sky rocket. We also see a decrease in ‘newer’ cuisines like Pizza, Burgers and Mexican foods.
Moving to 2020, fish dropped at the end of Ramadan. If we were purely to analyse mid-May 2020, we could assume that the trend towards cooking fish had suddenly changed. However, this matches Ramadan 2019 trends above. Although, we do see spikes in comfort foods, like pizza, increasing around Ramadan and the Back to School period over the last 18 months.
Seasonal changes can be tracked and their effects should be analysed for future strategy. That said, if brand managers wish to jump on proceeding trends, they should observe the previous preferences in isolation.
About the data
DA has built a custom data warehouse service called Sila, powered by data science we turn that raw social data into actionable insights. We have mined 32,000,000 posts, 16,125,448,591 video views, 4,152,699,615 comments, thus far.
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