The Dinnertime Database

The Dinnertime Database

Introducing the Dinnertime Database - a deep dive into our home cooking habits. The food experts at HelloFresh have been using trends, insights and data to understand the way we cook and eat at home.

Introducing the Dinnertime Database - a deep dive into our home cooking habits. The food experts at HelloFresh have been using trends, insights and data to understand the way we cook and eat at home.

Most popular cuisines

Cooking time

Vegetarian or meat?

Choice of carbs

Most popular cuisines

Cooking time

Vegetarian or meat?

Choice of carbs

What are Canadians cooking?

In both 2019 and 2020, American dishes have been ordered the most by HelloFresh customers in Canada.

But while the cuisine remains the most popular, we have seen orders for American recipes decline year-on-year, dropping -5.85% in July, -10.24% in August and -11.00% in September.

Mediterranean cuisine growing in popularity

September 2020 saw an uptake in orders for Mediterranean dishes, accounting for almost a quarter of the meals delivered that month.

The end of BBQ season also saw many Canadians switch up their menu and try some European recipes. Every month there are 28,000 searches for ‘Mediterranean diet’ in Canada, suggesting the country is interested in the cuisine and its health benefits.

Cooking more, in less time

Canadians have maintained the cooking habits they established during lockdown, with their total cooking hours in 2020 over 2.5 times higher than in 2019. However, the average cooking time has dropped from 34 minutes in 2019 to 31 minutes in 2020, illustrating how Canadians are trying to spend less time in the kitchen.

Although it's only a slight decrease, Google search data confirms Canada’s appetite for quick and easy meals, with an average of 4,400 searches for ‘easy dinner recipes’ each month. In September, interest in ‘easy dinner recipes’ and ‘quick meals’ rose even more, as the new school year began and families were looking for simple recipes to fit their busy lifestyles.

Vegetarian or Meat?

Chicken is the most popular meat for HelloFresh customers in Canada, with demand for chicken recipes growing year-on-year. Orders for meals with chicken were up +7.03% in July, +5.51% in August and +7.02% in September.

Looking at Google search data, we can see that Canadians usually search for chicken recipes on Sundays, suggesting that this is the most popular day to enjoy a chicken dish.

In contrast, the demand for vegetarian and vegan dishes is decreasing. Down -4.60% in July and -3.07% in September, while there was only a slight increase of 0.35% in August 2020.

Yellow potatoes are a favourite

Yellow potatoes are Canada’s favourite carb, remaining popular in both 2019 and 2020. However, this status was threatened in 2020, as the potato’s popularity declined and other types of potatoes gained appeal.

While orders for yellow potato recipes dropped -3.29% in July 2020, orders with red potatoes grew slightly at 0.25%. White potatoes occupied 5.10% of the total recipes ordered in August and yellow potatoes declined by -1.31%. In September, Canadians started to favour sweet potatoes, with orders for the sweet variety climbing 1.33%, while yellow potatoes slipped by -1.60%.
Methodology The Dinnertime Database uses internal data based on the recipe choices made by HelloFresh Canada customers. It compares a three month period, Week 27 to Week 39 2020 (29th June - 27th September 2020) and Week 27 2019 to Week 39 2019 (1st July - 29th September 2019).
Supplementary data was included to provide a wider context to Canada’s food trends. Search volumes are based on the average number of searches per month for a query using data from Ahrefs. Search increases were found using data from Google Trends over the three month period between 29th June - 27th September 2020. All data is specific to Canada.
© HelloFresh 2021

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