Food publications love to tell you about new trends, whether it’s Sriracha recipes or cocktails based on seasonal fruits such as watermelon. If you’ve ever wondered whether these trends are popular with kids or just industry-invented, Yelp has released Yelp Trends, an application that provides a wealth of consumer data to debunk the myths. The new tool produces a line graph that counts each time a certain word pops up throughout every review, sorted by major cities, in Yelp history.
With all this new information at your hands, there are countless practical ways improve your small business through Yelp Trends. Use it to determine the popularity of a drink, whether a certain item is seasonal, or whether two items are complementary, such as burgers and fries. To give you some ideas, Rockbot has taken Yelp Trends for a spin and picked up on 9 new things that your business can learn from today
1. America is currently obsessed with healthy foods
Skip the buffalo wings and the greasy fried foods - try catering to a more health-minded audience with more nutritious options. Kale chips are an easy recipe to get started, and check out Food & Wine’s guide to the Best Kale Recipes for some more ideas.
2. It’s a good time to get into the boba business
Boba milk tea, a popular Asian-American tea drink, is no longer just a fan favorite in Los Angeles. The drink has seen a spike in popularity in several major cities, most notably San Francisco. While boba is traditionally served with milk tea, these tapioca balls can be added to just about any drink, and they’re the perfect, chewy confections for your sweet tooth customers.
3. It may be time to ditch the jukebox and go digital
The glory days of the jukebox are long gone, but there’s still hope for music at the bar. By replacing your traditional jukebox with innovative music apps such as Rockbot, you can cater to the Millennials’ growing interest in new smartphone technology and boost customer experience. With over 12.5 million songs to choose from, the only songs that your customers will hear are the ones they love.
4. The macaron trend is still going strong
The macaron, a bite-sized French pastry, has been a Millennial trend for quite some time now, especially due to its beautiful, Instagram-ready pastels. If you’re a restaurant or coffee shop that has been looking for a new best-selling dessert snack, now’s the best time to jump on the macaron. According to Yelp Trends, it’s here to stay.
5. People aren’t drinking mojitos anymore
If your bar has been having trouble selling mojitos lately, you’re probably not the only one. For whatever the reason, the turn of the decade has caused bargoers to turn away from the rum-based cocktail. While the mojito’s waning performance isn’t reason enough to completely take it off the menu, consider introducing new cocktails to buffer the drop in sales.
6. LA (mysteriously) is craving Korean cuisine less
With a bustling K-Town, Los Angeles has traditionally been a hub of Korean-American culture and cuisine. However, both Korean bbq and its companion spirit soju have experienced a downward trend over the past 8 years. A bit mysterious, but if there’s anything to learn, right now is certainly not the time to open up a new Korean restaurant.
7. Whiskey and tequila have an inverse relationship
Two essential hard liquors, one’s loss in popularity has historically been the other one’s gain. Tequila was America’s drink during the naughties, only for the pair to experience a flip around 2009, with whiskey ending up on top. Whiskey-based cocktails might be a smart move.
8. But vodka will always be the favorite
Everybody wants “a cup of Goose,” as the Iggy Azalea song “Fancy” goes. Vodka will always be the classic, but that’s a no-brainer that you probably could’ve guessed.
9. Americans are beginning to favor craft beers over PBR
This chart is one of the several default charts that Yelp provides as an example of what the application can do for you, and it’s quite informative. Maybe it’s a result of America’s recovering from a recession, but the yuppy crowds are in favor of more expensive craft beers, rather than the notoriously “hipster” brew PBR. Consider doing your research and stocking selections from local microbreweries.