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July 24, 2014

Yelp Trends Answers the Age Old Question: Chicken or the Egg?

Since Yelp was founded in 2004, our passionate community has contributed over 57 million rich, local reviews. Now, as Yelp approaches the big 1-0, we’re giving you a peek into our decade’s worth of review content and the ability to unearth trends over time in cities around the world with Yelp Trends.

From food trends to popular slang to short-lived beauty fads (Brazilian blowout anyone?), Yelp Trends searches through words used in Yelp reviews to show you what’s hot and reveals the trend-setting cities that kicked it all off. Our massive wealth of data and the high quality reviews contributed by the Yelp community are what allow us to surface consumer trends and behavior based on ten years of experiences shared by locals around the world. For example, are San Franciscans still sipping PBR or craving craft beer? Is the CrossFit fad still going strong or losing steam? Are Londoners loving bob hairstyles or feeling more fringe (that’s bangs, for you Americans) these days? And every city has its favorite food trucks now, but where did this meals-on-wheels phenomenon first take off?

SF, craftbeer_microbrew_pbrSan Francisco is ditching PBR for craft beer these days

SEATTLE, crossfit_bikram_zumbaThe CrossFit craze is catching on in Seattle

LONDON, bob_hair extensions_fringeHair extensions peaked with Londoners in 2008, bobs were hottest in late 2009, and fringe saw a spike at the beginning of 2014

Compare searches by city to end the “who did it first” debate once and for all. Canada gets credit for creating the poutine craze, but which cities did it spread to first? It may not come as a shock that these gravy-soaked French fries peaked with New Yorkers in 2010, but Angelenos have just begun embracing the trendy menu item in the past couple years.

NY, poutine

LA, poutinePoutine was popular in NYC back in 2007 while LA is just starting to get hooked

With search capabilities in 98 cities throughout 20 countries around the world, there’s virtually no limit to the trends you can uncover. Students and academics can take their trend research a step further and get their hands dirty with Yelp data for their own projects and analysis using Yelp’s Phoenix Academic Dataset. Through the Yelp Dataset Challenge, students can even win $5,000 for creating projects that use our data in insightful, unique, and compelling ways.

From Adelaide to Zurich, use Yelp Trends to explore what Yelpers are loving right now, find out what trends are on the decline, and use Yelp data to discover the next big thing. Oh, and on that chicken and the egg question...I think this settles it once and for all.

SF, chicken and waffles_deviled eggsChicken and waffles took off in San Francisco about a year before deviled eggs started climbing the trend charts