What were the biggest Asian food delivery trends in 2020?

soup dumplings in bamboo steamer
Photo: Barcroft Media / Contributor (Getty Images)

Chowbus, a food-delivery service platform specializing in Asian food, recently released its list of 2020 trends. Rather than work with big chains, it works with mom and pop restaurants, and uniquely, it bundles orders from multiple restaurants into one delivery. I better remember this.

Because Chowbus’ specialty is in Asian food delivery, its list of food trends shows a different side of food preferences, beyond hot dogs and pizza. Some of this information is fascinating, if not just plain ol’ fun. In terms of popularity, the top cuisines among users in 2020 were Szechuan, Korean, and Hunan, respectively. In a battle of rice vs. noodles, who do you think have won? If you guessed rice, then, well, you’re right! Rice kicked ass, coming in with 52% more orders than noodles. That’s actually kind of a surprise to me. Other fun facts include the single largest order coming in at $2,803 (I hope that tip was good), and one customer spent $24,816.07 for the entire year over 624 orders (damn!).

Of course, we’ve got to go into popularity contests, and by far, the winner in terms of sales was milk tea. Chowbus delivered over an astounding 500,000 orders of the pokey giant straw beverage. In certain areas, kabobs (Chicago, Houston, Silicon Valley) and dim sum (New York, Toronto) were also popular.

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The service also delivers groceries, and the most popular items in the first half of the year was meat: fatty cuts of beef (likely for hot pot) and spare ribs. Then in the warmer months, tomatoes and green onions dominated as popular delivery items. Dumplings exploded on January 25, Chinese New Year. Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t realize hot pot was such a popular thing to make at home, maybe because I can’t picture it outside a restaurant setting with your friends, but now that it’s cold outside, that’s all I can think about.

Staff writer at The Takeout. Also: Saveur Humor Blog Award Winner, professional pizza maker, and insufferable troublemaker.

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DISCUSSION

one customer spent $24,816.07 for the entire year over 624 orders (damn!).

me as a rich person, ordering it 2x a day

I feel like at home hot pot is less dipping and more just throw everything in a bowl and eat it, but IDK.  At that point I’d rather just make a jjigae.  Which I highly recommend.  I made it a couple times around this time last year when I was sad and it really did make me feel better.