You’ve got your Uber Eats order down to a science: a large meat lover’s pie with a 2-liter of Coke, pad Thai, birria tacos—no cilantro, please. But have you ever wondered what everyone else is ordering? Uber Eats just released its fifth annual Cravings Report, a synopsis of the most popular, unconventional and surprising requests, cravings and trends to come through the app this year. As a food editor, my interest is *piqued.* Read on for a few of the most noteworthy takeaways.
Uber Eats Just Released Its Cravings Report for 2023—and These 6 Takeaways Are Freakin’ Fascinating
Hot sauce is in, rosé is out
1. Spicy Foods Still Dominate
According to the report, fiery condiments, like hot sauce, chili crisp and hot honey, have been steadily climbing in popularity since 2020. As Marco Vita, a senior data scientist at Uber Eats, explains, basically everyone is asking for a side of hot sauce with their food, even in the dog days of summer.
2. Boozeless Bevs Are Still on the Rise—and Rosé Is Out
Zero-proof spirits, low-alcohol wines and mocktails are everywhere nowadays, even at your favorite local bar—and Uber Eats's guess is they’re not leaving anytime soon. Dry January saw a serious boom in non-alcoholic drink purchases—75 percent more than in 2022, in fact, per the report. Those who are drinking are opting for light red and white wines over long-reigning rosé.
3. Some Cities Are More Polite Than Others
Hot take: If you add a modification to the notes of your order without saying “please” and/or “thank you,” you’re doing it wrong. Foodies in San Francisco, Richmond, Va., Detroit, Bakersfield, Calif. and Charleston, S.C. use the magic words more than any other cities. As for tipping, Olympia, Wash., Asheville, N.C. and Bismarck, N.D. do it most generously.
On that note, don't be like this app user, who wrote: “Put it in a box instead of a circle container. I refuse to eat any food if presented in a circle container. Please don’t ruin my meal for me.” On behalf of former and current food service workers everywhere—and Stephanie Tanner—how rude.
4. The Most Popular (and Questionable) Requests
People are asking restaurants to nix the onions. (I guess bad breath was less of an issue in the work-from-home era of the pandemic? You won’t catch me skipping alliums ever, but I get it.) They also asked for dressing on the side, ranch, extra soy sauce, spicy modifications, sauce on the side, no lettuce, no jalapeños, extra gravy and no slaw in 2023.
As for the most unexpected food combinations, Uber Eats notes steak and jelly (we blame this on those viral grape jelly meatballs from last September), cottage cheese and mustard (et tu, TikTok?), condensed milk and avocado (OK, this definitely slaps), seaweed and pasta sauce (pesto? tomato? Alfredo? I need answers, Uber Eats) and butter and pickled onions (two of my favorite things that I’ll need to try together sometime).
5. Sweet Cravings Vary by Location
Uber Eats hooks its users up with steep discount codes for Halloween candy during the holiday, so it’s no surprise that more than 25,000 bags were purchased last year from October 30 to 31 alone. Twix, Snickers, Peanut M&Ms and Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Cream wear the crown for most popular candies, based on this report, but the app also notes that tastes vary by region. For instance, Reese’s are the top pick in the South, while Arizona and Delaware have a hankering for Kit Kat bars and Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Vermont and Wyoming snackers prefer Nerds above all other candies (no offense…but huh?). P.S.: One of the most ordered sweets on Uber Eats in 2023 was none other than nostalgically delicious Gushers.
6. People Are Still Using Uber Eats for Essential Groceries
Maybe you used a food delivery app to order ingredients and household items during the pandemic. In 2023, the three most popular non-food items ordered on Uber Eats were straight out of 2020: Scott unscented toilet paper rolls ($31/32-pack), Plan B One-Step emergency contraceptive and Covid-19 home tests. Make of that what you will.