Top 11 Canadian food trends of 2011

Every month I send out a food trends press release based on what readers like you are searching for – and not searching for – on With a sample base of nearly 2 million Canadian visitors to our website every month, these reports are a great reflection of what’s being served on Canadian tables!

It’s always fun to see the year in review, so I’ve compiled the Canadian Craving of the Month over the past 11 months, to give you the Top 11 Food Trends of 2011:

January 2011
Canadian Craving of the Month: Soup recipes
– 760% increase over 2010
Jan 2011 analysis: “Diet-friendly and budget-friendly soup is the choice du jour for Canadians on this belt-tightening new year”
Image above: Hearty Tomato, Sausage and Bean Soup

February 2011
Canadian Craving of the Month: Quinoa – increased by 153% over 2010
Feb 2011 analysis: “This jump in quinoa requests shows home cooks are comfortable with this good-for-you grain this year and experimenting with new recipes. Quinoa and Chickpea Salad was also Canadian Living’s March 2011 cover recipe, which may have fuelled the fire this month.”
Image above: Quinoa and Chickpea Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette

March 2011
Canadian Craving of the Month: Quinoa – increased by 311% over 2010
March 2011 analysis: “Another quantum leap for quinoa this month. The only grain that doubles as a complete protein, the quinoa bump might also be related to a sharp rise in veganism in 2011, thanks in part to mega celebrity Oprah Winfrey and her 1-week vegan challenge earlier this year.”
Image above: Tricolour Quinoa

April 2011
Canadian Craving of the Month
: Cheesecake -increased 123% over 2010
April 2011 analysis: “While cheesecake is a popular year-round dessert, it makes a sunny end to spring dinners and especially Easter-themed feasts.”
Image above: Wildflower Honey Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote

May 2011

Canadian Craving of the Month
: Hamburger – up 20% over 2010
May 2011 analysis: “Apart from the die-hards who barbecue year-round, the month of May signals it’s time to tune up the barbecues for another season. And the most popular thing on the grill? Hamburgers”
Image above: Blue Cheese-Stuffed Bacon Burgers

June 2011
Canadian Craving of the Month
: Cheesecake – up 56% over 2010
June 2011 analysis: “Also the Canadian Craving back in April, rich, satisfying cheesecake is enjoying a delicious surge in popularity this year. Can you guess who’s eating the most? The highest search volume comes out of Prince Edward Island!”
Image above: Cheesecake Pie with Rhubarb Sauce

July 2011
Canadian Craving of the Month
: Chicken breasts – up 135% over 2010
July 2011 anlaysis: “While the top 10 this July remained fairly level with last year – burgers, salmon, salsa, etc. – chicken breasts leaped 135% to the 12th position, illustrating a huge revival in this lean, barbecue-friendly and flavour-neutral cut of meat. This trend suggests we’ll see chicken breasts easily reach top 10 in August.”
Image above: Italian-Style Chicken Breasts


August 2011

Canadian Craving of the Month: Salsa –  up 76% over 2010
August 2011 analysis: “Aside from all things salsa being local and in-season right now – tomatoes, peppers, onions and herbs – salsa is one of the easiest and most versatile home canning projects to take on. Whether you’re a novice cook or professional chef, making salsa appeals to everyone.”
Image above: Tomatillo Salsa

September 2011
Canadian Craving of the Month: Chicken breasts – up 336% over 2010
Analysis Sept 2011: “Wow! There’s the power of a sale. Major grocery chains across Canada had deals on boneless chicken breasts in September, translating into thousands of home cooks searching for our Tested-Till-Perfect chicken breast recipes.”
Image above: Chicken, Peach and Spinach Salad

October 2011
Canadian Craving of the Month: Slow cooker – up 855% over 2010
October 2011 analysis: “Slow cookers are becoming as essential as toasters in Canadian kitchens, and has hundreds of Tested-Till-Perfect slow cooker recipes to choose from. We’re not surprised to see this as Canada’s craving of the month, and expect to see the numbers grow steadily as snowy weather creeps upon us.”
Image above: Slow Cooker Spinach Ravioli Soup

November 2011

Canadian Craving of the Month: Chicken breasts – up 186% over 2010
Nov 2011 analysis: “Further analysis reveals we’re craving stuffed chicken breasts: pounded and baked chicken wrapped around cheeses, veggies and meats like prosciutto and ham. Tasty, elegant, and so easy to do!”
Image above: Leek and Cheese Chicken Breasts

2011 was the year of quinoa, chicken and cheesecake. Sounds like a meal to me. What was your biggest craving of 2011?

Stay tuned for December 2011’s Food Trends press release on January 4, 2012!

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