GCC food trends: Home-made fast-food, the next big thing?

1st March 2021

A wise person once said, “Good food, good mood”. A formula that has stayed true for the longest and that will be around for quite some time. We all love food, that is a fact. Yes, preferences may differ, cultures too; but a unifying factor remains the love for food. Food plays a tremendous role in social media, whether it be creating careers for influencers, gaining ROI for food brands or just knowledge gained from trends – TikTok fans would know better. Reflecting back on 2020, a year that saw lots of dramatic changes, our food habits saw changes too. We were not able to eat out as much, we had to limit our food gatherings and started to cook more. But, how have things changed since then and what are the upcoming trends?

Cooking more

Its hard to believe it has been a year since COVID changed every single habit of ours. Masks became a thing, sanitizers can be found everywhere and we cook, a lot. Most of this can be contributed directly to the amount of time we spend indoors. While many ordered food online, others improved their culinary skills and found in staying at home a good chance to practice.

Food influencers have been busier than ever since the beginning of 2020; whether it be on brands’ favourite ‘instagram’ or the newly adopted TikTok with its numerous challenges.

@afnanrecipes#viral #onerecipe #fetapasta فيتا باستا الكينوا مع الطماطم الكرزية#باستا #وصفات_صحية #learnontiktok #tiktokpartner #pastatiktok #healthyfood #4u♬ Pieces (Solo Piano Version) – Danilo Stankovic

Home-made fast-food

While trends changed heavily, a big category emerged amongst food influencers and that is home-made fast-food. Recipes like burgers, pizzas and pastas were amongst the most posted recipes during 2020 and carried on into the new year.

We analysed content created by food creators across KSA, Kuwait and the UAE and noticed that over 15% of all the food recipes posted by these influencers were home-made fast-food remakes.

Home-made fast-food posts over time

Home-made fast-food posts over time

When looking at the overall picture, 10,000 different food recipes had fast-food titles.

Home-made shawarmas have emerged as the biggest trends since the beginning of the year. There has been a noticeable increase of 32% since December 2020 in the amount of ‘Shawarma’ posts created.

Shawarma recipes also gained the highest number of interactions and video views since the beginning of the year.

This comes with an overall drop in big recipes like pizzas and burgers.

Engagements gained by home-made fast-food recipes

Engagements gained by home-made fast-food recipes

On top of trends

Influencers are trend-setters. The content they create influences dishes created at homes by their audiences. With Ramadan closing in, cooking can be quite frustrating and creators will be on top of inspiring their audiences’ iftar and suhoor recipes.

As a creative consultancy agency, D/A will be using Sila to influence their brand choices of both the influencers and the content that they produce. This will help to stay on top of trends and will pave the way to setting some of our own.