Our quarterly Social Senses blog posts got a face lift! These posts moving forward will be created in partnership with Tastewise, who monitors social media activity in the food and beverage world. They’re a new source to us, so these posts will have a slightly different look and feel,while still providing the latest and greatest from consumers’ homes to retail shelves. This post includes listening dates: April 1, 2020 – June 30, 2020.

High-end and Comforting Sauce

When looking at what is happening in the savory space, there are a few areas to look. Sauces always has something going on. Right now, consumers were talking about high-end sauces. This trend started long-ago, but the growth revved up in Q2. Consumers are looking for something easy to enhance their at-home cooking. And sauce has been their saving grace. High-end sauces combined with the comfort of at-home chicken fingers were featured in two very popular posts. One featured homemade hot honey to go with mustard pretzel chicken fingers. The other recipe featured a chili lime garlic sauce for dipping coconut popcorn chicken. Both are great examples of taking comfort food and elevating it with upscale sauces.

Sticking with high-end and comforting – Duke’s announced a line of barbecue sauces. For those of you that don’t know Duke’s Mayonnaise, it has a nearly cult following down south. The new BBQ sauce line includes Alabama-Style White BBQ, Carolina Gold, Georgia Sweet Heat, Hickory Moonshine, Mississippi Comeback, and Tennessee Smoke & Whisky. My mouth is watering thinking about trying all of these.

Pandemic Fires Up Grilling

Q2 saw the impacts of COVID-19 across the globe. Consumers suddenly found themselves cooking at home a lot more than before. As Sydney pointed out in her social senses post, consumers were talking a lot about homemade. The same goes for the savory space. As the weather warms up, it’s no surprise that consumers were talking about grilling. This time around, it was a little bit different though. The combination of COVID-19, a meat shortage, and grilling season brought us a family pack from Beyond Meat.

Armand and I recently took the time to discover the grilling flavors of the world. Consumers finally had time on their hands to get creative with what they were making at home when maybe before they hadn’t had the time or desire. Posts touting recipes for chimichurri, parmesan tahini dressing, and a Thai barbecue all were popular in this quarter. These are definitely some grilling options I can get behind.

Support Local

Savannah took a tour of local meal kits, and it turns out she wasn’t the only one talking about supporting local food. Local restaurants and local produce were big discussion topics on social media in Q2. Consumers were concerned with how to support their local favorites while staying safe and they got creative. From posts about the best local spots offering delivery, to posts about a fry board featuring local, unique sauces, supporting local was a big deal.

What I can say is that consumers and restaurants got innovative with what they had on offer. The local meal kits were hits sparking some online discussion about the best meal kits in certain cities. Going through the data and the posts definitely made me hungry. One of my favorites was about three different types of gnocchi on offer at Gnoccheria by Luzzos in New York City. There was a pesto, a cream sauce, and a red sauce. And what more could you want than a little local comfort from gnocchi during quarantine?

Personally, I’m looking forward to not having to reflect on posts from quarantine in the future. It’s great to see how people used food for comfort, to support local businesses, and to bring restaurant experiences home. But, I will be quite happy when all the popular posts are about the crazy delicious dinners people are enjoying out at their favorite place. Hopefully, that’s coming up soon in our Q3 or Q4 social senses posts.


  1. I can’t even with that gnocchi. Holy moly that looks so good. I can’t believe I spent my life up to age 22 not knowing what gnocchi was. I can’t get enough of this comforting dish now!

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