New research by food-tech firm Chicory has indicated which ingredients US consumers are turning to for health, amid the current climate of fear and uncertainty over coronavirus. 

Overall, the New York-based company observed an uptick of interest in so-called superfood ingredients that claim specific health benefits.

Chicory’s research compared recipe views, in relation to the superfood ingredients they featured, from January-March 2020 to those during the same period last year.

Among the ingredients attracting increased attention from consumers were oranges, avocados, ginger powder and honey.

As many US consumers comply with orders or advice to stay home and face uncertainty over what the coming months hold, Chicory suggests that they are taking to the internet to look up symptoms, remedies and alternative ways to boost overall health.

Lemon juice was the most popular ingredient, featuring in over 52 million recipe views, while some of the biggest upsurges in popularity were seen by cayenne, which increased from 9,018,596 to 16,499,539 views, and apple cider vinegar, increasing from 4,987,262 to 11,636,389.

Commenting on the findings, Chicory’s COO and co-founder Joey Petracca, said: “We typically see an increase in superfood ingredients during all cold, flu and allergy seasons as consumers turn to food to boost health and self-medicate in more holistic ways. 

“We predict that the difference between the coronavirus outbreak and seasonal illnesses is that there will be a sustained uptick in views for recipes with these particular ingredients because there’s no defined endpoint. 

“So consumers will continue to search for home remedies as long as this period continues and in fact, may search for them even more as measures get more stringent across the country.”

Another recent study conducted by Chicory, looking at the same period, observed 123% year-on-year growth in online grocery orders as consumers are increasingly choosing to order food online in response to the coronavirus pandemic – with long-life foods such as pasta (up by 698.99%) – experiencing the greatest spikes in popularity.