Facebook Users Had Their Cake and Talked About It, Too, in November

Berliner and taiyaki were among Topics to Watch for the month

Conversation about taiyaki soared 70.2 times year-over-year - Credit by 153photostudio/iStock
Headshot of David Cohen

Facebook IQ shared its Topics to Watch for November 2019, and they had some spice, courtesy of the Middle East.

Conversation about baharat and associated topics Arab cuisine, Arabic, cabbage, Egypt, Iraq, leaf, Lebanon, Levant, meat, Syria and Turkey was up 20.1 times compared with November 2018 and 3.1 times versus October, propelled by women 50 and older.

Facebook IQ wrote, “Baharat is a spice blend from the Middle East. It generally incorporates allspice, black peppercorns, cardamom, coriander and red chili pepper or paprika. The exact mix varies depending on the country—while Turkish versions use mint, Tunisian blends use rosebuds to add flavor. The spice blend has been gaining steam in the U.S., as brands bring it to life in new ways. Some companies are creating versions of sauces that incorporate the blend. And people are sharing recipes on using baharat for daily cooking, whether they’re preparing lamb, fish, chicken or even roasted vegetables.”

Facebook IQ

Facebook IQ

Women 50 and up also had a sweet tooth last month, driving conversation about Berliner up 3.9 times year-over-year and 0.4 times month-over-month.

Associated topics included baking, butter, donuts, flour, fruit preserves, Germany, milk, recipes, sugar and yeast.

Facebook IQ wrote, “A traditional German pastry, Berliners are unique because of their filling. Instead of a hole in the center, these doughnut varieties have a filling, such as jam and custard. Now, Berliners are becoming even more popular in the U.S., especially as a new wave of German bakeries is opening in major cities like San Francisco. Niche holidays, like National Doughnut Day, are also spurring interest. Additionally, people are sharing recipes for Berliners, allowing at-home bakers to put their own spin on this tasty treat.”

Facebook IQ

Facebook IQ

Men 18 through 49 rocked out to grunge and associated topics alternative rock, classic rock, concerts, David Grohl, Foo Fighters, Grammy Award, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Pixies and rock music.

Discussion was up 2.4 times year-over-year and 0.7 times month-over-month.

The social network’s research arm wrote, “The 1990s seem to be back in a big way, and grunge is re-entering popular culture. People are returning to music from the decade, and new musicians are even bringing back the distorted sounds and angsty lyrics that defined the genre. Additionally, grunge-inspired fashion is hitting the racks. People are donning flannels, destroyed denim jeans and skater shoes, finding inspiration from celebrities and influencers sporting these styles across fashion publications and social media posts. Sometimes a new trend is just a revival of an old one, and grunge seems bound to grow as younger audiences discover what made it big to begin with.”

Facebook IQ

Facebook IQ

Here comes the sun: Talk about solar cell was up 14.6 times versus last November and 1.9 times month-over-month, with men accounting for slightly more than women.

Associated topics included battery, electric car, hybrid vehicle, hydrogen, hydrogen vehicle, selenium, solar car, solar energy, solar power and Toyota.

Facebook IQ wrote, “Solar cells convert energy from the sun into electricity, and a group of cells forms a solar panel. These panels have become increasingly popular among people and businesses as an environmentally friendly energy solution. Researchers around the world are working on making solar cells even more efficient, and auto brands are exploring using solar energy to fuel the cars of the future. Conversations around sustainable energy sources seem set to grow as people look to live greener lives and reduce their carbon footprints.”

Facebook IQ

Facebook IQ

Fish cakes, fish cakes, roly poly fish cakes: Conversation about taiyaki—and associated topics batter, cheese, chocolate, cooking, custard, ice cream, pancakes, red bean paste, sweet potato and wagashi—soared 70.2 times year-over-year and 1.2 times compared with October, dominated by women 18 through 34.

The social network’s research arm wrote, “A fish-shaped cake that can be filled with anything from ice cream to red bean paste, taiyaki has been popular in Japan for generations, but it is now gaining fans across the U.S. Small purveyors are finding success across the country as people discover these treats on social media. Taiyaki, while tasty, is also trending for its aesthetic appeal: It often has detailed etchings in its exterior that make it look like a fish. People are on the hunt for these delectable treats, and they’re finding them at small shops across the country.”

Facebook IQ


david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.
Publish date: December 23, 2019 https://dev.adweek.com/digital/facebook-users-had-their-cake-and-talked-about-it-too-in-november/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT