What’s Trending for Food in 2020?
As we look toward 2020, what new food trends are on the rise? With experts predicting new trends such as healthy snacks, bright food, and mocktails, 2020 is shaping up to be an interesting year for the food and beverage industry.
Healthy and Portable Snacks
Snacking is reshaping how consumers eat. Instead of eating three square meals a day, consumers satisfy their hunger on-the-run. This means that consumers are seeking functional, healthy snacks that fill the gaps and give their bodies what they are lacking. Whole Foods Market predicts that snacks will eventually move out of the pantry and into the fridge. Refrigerated snacks like fresh fruits and vegetables, nutrition bars, and even hard-boiled eggs will soon be the normal snack. Food Business News says to “expect the aisles at your local convenience stores to get a makeover.”
‘Bright and Bold’ Food
We live in a visual world where appearance plays a major role. In 2020, the color of food will be more important than ever. Benchmark predicts that food will go bright and bold this upcoming year. “Color generates emotional appeal with food—it may be as important as taste,” Benchmark says. Consumers are now wanting food to not only taste good but be ‘Instagram-friendly’ as well. This means that consumers want food that is bright, bold, and attractive enough to post a picture of. Skilled food and beverage operators have an eye for what beverages succeed on social media,” says Benchmark. Therefore, they suggest color ingredient options such as blue algae, beets, matcha, and butterfly pea flower tea.
Happy hours are going to look a little different in 2020. Instead of alcohol, mocktails are the new staple. A mocktail is a non-alcoholic mixed drink. Whole Foods Market predicts that we will see “even more zero-proof drinks as hops-infused sparkling waters and alternatives to liquors meant to be used with a mixer such as botanical-infused faux gin continues to pop up everywhere from bar menus to specialty stores.” According to Google Trends, over the past year, online searches for the word “mocktail” have gone up 42% and the phrase “non-alcoholic” 81% across global searches. (Forbes)
But what does this mean for the bar industry? According to Forbes, bars are finding that “offering dedicated non-alcoholic drinks brings an entirely new revenue stream.” Mocktails give bartenders the opportunity to serve up delicious drinks to customers who want the experience of going out minus the effects that come later.
Overall, Americans are becoming more increasingly conscious about what they put into their bodies. According to Mintel, “45% of millennials would give up alcoholic beverages in order to improve their health.” The growing importance of health and wellness to our society is the main thrust behind the mocktail movement.
Rethinking the Kids’ Menu
The kids’ menu is going to look a little differently in 2020. Say goodbye to chicken fingers, hot dogs, and mac and cheese as the only things on kids’ menus. Instead, restaurants and food brands are upgrading old school kids’ menus to include items such as non-breaded salmon fish sticks, organic chicken nuggets, and pasta made from alternative flours. Millennial parents are raising their kids to be adventurous eaters. Whole Foods Market employees report that “they frequently see kids reaching for California Rolls alongside their parents at the sushi bar.”
Other Trends to Watch
Expect to see plant-based menus in full bloom this upcoming year. Benchmark predicts that many people will make the conscious decision to make a dietary switch into the “plant-based ecosystem.” This means plant-based food alternatives to replace meat and dairy will become popular. Butchers and meat brands are joining this movement just in a different way. Chefs across the country are committed to making an iconic burger that is better for customers and for the planet. They plan to do this by blending plant and meat products together to strike a tasty balance.
Sour flavors are in! According to Flavor & Trend Forecast for 2020, THP is predicting that consumers will crave sour foods.Thanks to globalization, more consumer’s palates appreciate flavors from around the world such as vinegar, tamarind, or other ingredients that provide a distinctly tasteful tartness such as lemon.
Sustainability in all forms
Sustainability will take center stage in 2020. According to Benchmark, “as news about climate change, disappearing rainforests and plastic in the oceans dominates the news cycles and our social feeds, consumers are demanding sustainability in all forms of packaging.” Sustainable practices such as swapping out Styrofoam and plastic for paper or buying ingredients from sustainable sources will sweep the food and beverage industry in 2020.
In 2020, expect to see coconut everything! Consumers want coconut in everything. Such as oils, products, flavors, snacks, and more. Snacks like coconut yogurt are rolling out this upcoming year. Coconut yogurt is full of probiotics and dairy-free, making it a great-tasting sweet snack. And keep your eye out for coconut snacks that cluster. These snacks are coconut flakes, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, cashews, and almonds all packed together.