Yesterday's Pancake Day saw the traditional marking of the day reflected in online behaviour.
Looking at Google Trends, we can get a picture of how different countries see the day in different ways. Worldwide, there is a clear spike every February as those in several countries look for recipes and information;
In the UK, the peaks are far more pronounced, with searches for recipes a greater proportion of total searches; it is very clear that other than Pancake Day, there is very little British interest in the humble pancake;
Compare that to the US, where February sees a relatively minor blip in pancake-related searches;
And in Australia, a combination of the two; clear peaks each February, but with ongoing interest throughout the year;
On the social side of things, we used our ECHO toolkit to take a look at what people were tweeting around pancakes. With over 800,000 tweets mentioning pancakes, there was plenty of data to look at.
The pancake-related tweet that caused the greatest spike in volumes was from One Direction member Louis Tomlinson, who got over 55,000 retweets (at the time of writing) for tweeting that;
This was followed a little later by his long-term girlfriend's Eleanor Calder's tweet;
Which had over 11,000 retweets at the time of writing…
However, although the impact of those was notable — lots of retweets and replies in a short space of time, as a trend it was relatively short-lived.
A little earlier, this tweet from @Metal_Hammer magazine started the hashtag game "replacebandnameswithpancake";
The hashtag quickly took off and continued throughout the day and into the evening, with over 100,000 tweets including the hashtag by the end of the day— around one in eight of all pancake-mentioning tweets.
So, what could the pancake-related tweets tell us, other than about the popularity of pop stars and hashtag games? We took a look at the most popular pancake toppings that were mentioned to see what Twitter's favourite pancakes were (by number of mentions, along with the keyword 'pancake'.)
Fairly unsurprising that the classic lemon & sugar came out top (boosted by a mention by Gary Barlow). But perhaps the appearance of Nutella in second place was more surprising — the only appearance of a brand topping in our charts.
But a little upsettingly (especially for pancake lovers), the 800,000 pancake-mentioning tweets yesterday marked a significant decline from the 1.2 mentions on pancake day 2012. Presumably as a result, most topping mentions declined in volume compared to last year — with banana as the one exception of a pancake topping that has held onto its following. This might well be reflective of a broader trend; according to Lyle's, the British Pancake is in danger of dying out, with 25% fewer people marking Pancake Day than ten years ago, 17% of Brits feeling that it was 'overrated', and a quarter of brits saying that they did not know how to make a pancake from scratch.
So, just for that 25%, one final tweet from Jamie Oliver which might be helpful for pancake day 2013;