The Ahalogists' Guide to Visiting Chicago

It’s been said that traveling with your taste buds is the best way to explore a new town. And those in the Windy City happen to agree! Maybe it's because Chicago boasts a wide variety of unique eateries and local cuisine (caramel & cheese popcorn mix we're looking at you), or because here at Ahalogy we love to discover how food trends make an impact, but we can't help feeling a kindred spirit to Chicago (and all of its delicacies).

This place is home to some of our brand clients and even to our Midwest Sales Rep and it's one of our favorite places when talking about exciting things in the marketing world. In fact we'll be at the Path to Purchase Expo this week in Booth #622, chatting about how we bring innovation to influencer marketing.

So, we'd like to pay a little tribute to this great city by welcoming its newcomers—whether you're new to town or just passing through. This guide brings together home-grown bites and Muse category trend data for one delicious and inspiring combination.

 

1. Deep dish pizza

According to Muse seasonal trend data, the topic "Deep Dish Pizza" experiences a peak in popularity in the beginning of October, when people begin gearing up for colder temperatures and comfort food recipes. Top related keywords include Chicago Style, Cauliflower, and Vegetable.  

The debate over who invented the deep dish pizza style is legendary in the Windy City so, head over to Pizzeria UNO to see where it all began in 1943! Or try out the infamous Giordano's, Pequod's Pizza, or Lou Malnati's Pizzeria for some more local spots you can enjoy everyone's favorite comfort food.

Plus, if you want to do share with shoppers how to bring a slice of Chicago to their dinner table, here are some of our favorite inspired stories found in Muse that feature the famous thick, flaky crust. 

2. popcorn

With help from Muse, we see that the topic "Popcorn" trends during the fall, starting in the beginning of September and tapering off before the holidays—with its highest peak around Halloween. Top related keywords include Caramel, Popcorn Balls, and White Chocolate.  

On your Chicago food tour, don't forget to save room for a sweet—and salty—snack! Every city has a local eatery they can brag about, and in Chi Town it's none other than Garrett Popcorn Shops & their legendary Garrett Mix. Consisting of a caramel and cheese popcorn blend, this treat is worth the line—trust us.

Inspired by the unique flavor combination, we love seeing new ways our partners bring a twist to a classic dish. And the influencer stories listed below are proof that sometimes it's not always best to stick to the ordinary. 

 

3. Hot dogs

According to Muse seasonal trend data, "Hot Dogs" is an evergreen topic that trends throughout the year, experiencing a peak in popularity during the summer months, when grill-out recipes are top-of-mind. Top related keywords include Cheese, Bacon-Wrapped, and BBQ.

It's well known that Chicago Hot Dogs are piled high with toppings—commonly yellow mustard, chopped white onions, bright green sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges, pickled sport peppers, and a dash of celery salt. So, let's take a look back to the days of state fairs and mouthwatering street food.

Your trip to Chicago wouldn't be complete without taking advantage of the rich history of hot dogs in the city. Thanks to Chicago's ballpark roots, you've got plenty of hot dog legacies to choose from.  Big Guys Sausage Stand, Byron's Hot Dogs, Superdawg, and Chicago's Dog House are among some of our favorite spots to enjoy the time-honored tradition.

To give you a look at the creative dog ideas Chicago has sparked with it's mile-high toppings—and give you a peek into our talented network of high-quality influencers—here are some of our favorite inspired stories found in Muse featuring Hot Dogs. They may even start some ideas for your next campaign—whether it sticks to the classic recipe or is inspired by the infinite possibilities!

 

AND FINALLY, TAKE A PIECE OF chicago HOME WITH YOU...

After departing from Chicago you may feel like you want a taste of the city—that's where this recipe for Easy Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog comes in handy. Made with The Kraft Heinz Company OSCAR MAYER Wieners, OSCAR MAYER Bacon, HEINZ Tomato Ketchup, HEINZ Yellow Mustard, and KRAFT Real Mayo Mayonnaise, this family-friendly dish was created by one of our talented influencers, Mommy's Home Cooking, and is just one tasty example of Ahalogy's unique influencer marketing solution called Brandables.

So how is our solution different from the rest? We begin every campaign with trend data and insights found in Muse (like the ones you see above) to drive the strategy and content ideas. Then we pair our clients with influencers who already know and love their brand (authenticity is important to us here) and they create high-quality photography, video, and/or written content that's not only fun to look at, but useful to the reader.

Our trend data—paired with 100% paid media for guaranteed reach and accurate targeting—ensures that your content will be seen by the right eyes.  Our talented and creative pool of influencers ensure that your branded content will be both useful and authentic—like using Kraft Heinz products to create a go-to grill-out creation. 

Learn more about Ahalogy's unique approach to influencer marketing here