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Most ordered items in the Middle East in 2019: Uber Eats

Love for all things garlic is likely to continue into 2020 and our acai bowls will probably be topped with delicious cacao, which rounds out the top 5 list

In the UAE, food lovers showed a preference for something cold In KSA, we saw the rise of vegetarianism with meat-free dishes ranking 8th Shawarma was included in the top 20 lists across EMEA, as well as in Saudi Arabia and the UAE

The most popular foods across the Middle East in 2019 may not surprise you with pizza and Shawarma claiming the top spot, with Acai, falafel, and Poke not too far behind. Breath mints all round as garlic was the favourite seasoning, ranking 8th on the list in the UAE and 4th in Saudi Arabia.

But what will you be ordering in 2020? We took a look at which foods are accelerating in popularity on Uber Eats and uncovered a few key trends rising to the top as we start the new decade.

Read: Truebell reveals top five food trends for 2020

2020 Foodcast predictions

Looking at the sharpest increases in customer search and order volumes on the Uber Eats app, we’ve identified flax seed as the emerging superfood to watch in 2020 across EMEA. Our love for all things garlic is likely to continue into 2020 and our acai bowls will probably be topped with delicious cacao, which rounds out the top 5 list.

The ‘hottest’ food trends for 2020 include:

  1. Flax 
  2. Kombucha
  3. Garlic
  4. Chanterelle mushrooms
  5. Cacao

Read: Uber gives up its Eats business in India for a bite of food delivery rival Zomato

The ‘coldest’ food trends we see on the decline as we head towards 2020 include:

  1. Sriracha
  2. Taro
  3. Matcha
  4. Tofu
  5. Kimchi

UAE’s most popular foods of 2019

In the UAE, food lovers showed a preference for something cold, either a trendy poke bowl for a savory kick or an Instagram-friendly acai for something sweeter. However pizza nabbed the top spot on the list as the most popular order throughout the year.

The most popular items include:

  1. Pizza
  2. Acai
  3. Poke
  4. Shawarma
  5. Tacos
  6. Falafel
  7. Garlic
  8. Halloumi
  9. Hummus
  10. Popcorn

KSA’s most popular foods of 2019

In KSA, we saw the rise of vegetarianism with meat-free dishes ranking 8th in most ordered food throughout 2019. When it comes to guilty pleasures, there’s nothing quite like a pizza to satisfy those cravings, ranking 2nd, just behind shawarma. 

The most popular items include:

  1. Shawarma
  2. Pizza
  3. Falafel
  4. Garlic
  5. Halloumi
  6. Hummus
  7. Vegetarian
  8. Honey
  9. Quinoa
  10. Protein

Matthew Denman, General Manager, Uber Eats Middle East and North Africa: “Our goal is to bring people the food they love, when they want and wherever life takes them. With a wide selection of options on the platform to suit all tastes, over the last year, we saw that although the usual take-out options are still popular, there was a jump in the popularity of health-conscious dining, with people looking to enjoy foods that contain added health benefits – like flax seeds.

Read: Approximately $59 billion to be invested into Saudi Arabia’s food industry by 2021

What is particularly interesting is the global trends we see across markets, with Uber Eats available in more than 35 countries around the world, there were similarities. For example, Shawarma was included in the top 20 lists across EMEA, as well as in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. 

With more than 3,000 restaurants and a wide selection of cuisines to choose from across both Saudi Arabia and the UAE, we’re pleased to see how our platform is helping transform food delivery from that guilty weekend treat to your go-to healthy, everyday meal, and we’re looking forward to this continuing into 2020.”