SOURCE: Yummly.com

Yummly.com

July 31, 2014 08:00 ET

Yummly Names Most and Least Healthy U.S. Cities in 2014

Smart Food Technology Company Ranks the Top US Cities Based on a Statistical Analysis and Healthy Eating Score; Launches New Healthy Filter

REDWOOD CITY, CA--(Marketwired - Jul 31, 2014) - Californian cities care the most about healthy eating habits, according to Yummly (http://www.yummly.com), the leading digital kitchen and food technology platform. The food technology company released its 2014 ranking of the healthiest cities and least healthy cities based on each city's 'healthy eating score.' The release of this index also coincides with the announcement of new tools for finding healthy recipes on Yummly.

Healthiest Cities

1. San Francisco, CA
2. San Diego, CA
3. Los Angeles, CA
4. New York, NY
5. Portland, OR

Least Healthiest Cities

1. St. Louis, MO
2. Pittsburgh, PA
3. Cleveland, OH
4. Charlotte, NC
5. Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX

Behind the Numbers
To determine this ranking, Yummly created a healthy eating score based on its new algorithm for identifying healthy recipes. The algorithm incorporates several factors including recipe nutrition estimates (saturated fat, sodium, sugar, vitamin A, etc.), ingredients (number of vegetables, use of red meat, whole grains, etc.), and preparation (fried, baked, etc.). The company combined this algorithm with search activity from over 100 million users over the last year, yielding billions of data points for estimating demand for healthy recipes in different regions. For this ranking, Yummly computed healthy eating scores for the top 25 most populous metropolitan areas in the United States.

"Yummly's algorithms transform food into data, including understanding ingredients, calculating detailed nutrition information, and deriving metadata such as taste, course, cuisine, diets, allergies, occasions, difficulty and, most recently, healthiness. Combining these factors with behavioral data gives us interesting insights into cities' cooking and eating habits," said Gregory Druck, head of research at Yummly. "In addition to providing an accurate view of the overall healthiness of diets in different cities, this approach helped us understand the precise ways in which cities' eating habits differ, allowing us to better serve the needs of customers on a local level. For example, Denver ranks high in searches for trendy diets, including Gluten Free, Low Carb, and Vegan, which could help us to improve personalization."

Insights Into What Cities Crave

  • Proteins from coast to coast: For healthy eaters, chicken is still a favorite staple, with cities like Boston, Washington D.C. and New York searching for recipes with chicken three and a half times more often than recipes with beef. The oceanside cities of Miami, San Diego and San Francisco search for fish more often than beef.
  • Experimenting with new ingredients: Californians are more likely to opt for 'trendy' healthy foods like kale and tofu, searching for these ingredients more than twice as often as cities like St. Louis and Charlotte.
  • Healthy dose of fruits and veggies: Users in San Francisco search for recipes that contain vegetables 30 percent more often than users from Cleveland. Salad (the leafy kind) enthusiasts hail from Minneapolis, followed closely by Seattle and San Francisco.
  • Wholly grains!: Whole grains have taken hold in the Pacific northwest with cities of Portland and Seattle searching for ingredients like brown rice and quinoa most often. Atlanta and Miami are least likely to reach for the fiber-rich foods.
  • Preparation preferences: Charlotte elects to make casseroles, ranking third highest behind Minneapolis-St Paul and Dallas; and more quick and easy dinners than Miami (50 percent more), which can often contain more salt and sugar. Atlanta and Houston are fans of fried food, while the cooking method of steaming is most popular in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
  • Location, location, location: The majority of the cities with the lowest healthy eating scores are inland, and have higher rates of searches that include bacon, cheese, cake, and pie.

New Ways to Be Healthy
Yummly is using this new algorithm to build tools to help users discover healthy recipes. Users will soon be able to find nutritious dishes using searches like 'healthy pescatarian appetizer with tomatoes' and 'low fat low sugar dessert with fruit' and nutrition preferences that include sugar-free, no carb and high fiber, among many others. On the backend, Yummly will compute nutrition estimates, analyze ingredients and preparation steps to deliver the most accurate and healthy results to users.

For a full ranking of the top cities, more details on this report and interactive graphs visit: http://www.yummly.com/insights/healthiest-cities

About Yummly
Yummly's mission is to personalize the kitchen. This is made possible through proprietary technology to understand food & taste built upon mapping the food genome. Headquartered in the heart of Silicon Valley, Yummly is backed by Physic Ventures, Unilever Corporate Ventures, First Round Capital, Harrison Metal Capital, and Intel Capital. Its founding angel investors and advisory board include: Jeff Jordan (partner at Andreessen Horowitz), Bill Cobb (CEO, H&R Block), Justin LaFrance (StumbleUpon), Marcia Hooper and Brad O'Neill (CEO, TechValidate). For more information, visit www.yummly.com.

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