Ready or not, 2020 is almost here. With each new year comes the anticipation of new trends we'll see, and the trends on our minds are the ones we'll eat. On the food trend horizon for 2020, we expect to see a continued emphasis on healthier decisions for both our bodies and the environment like sophisticated non-alcoholic cocktails and storing our food in reusable bags to help the environment. Plus some new global flavor introductions as we embrace more authentic cuisines from around the world. Here's what we expect to see.
12. Sustainable Dining
We've already been drinking our nitro cold brew out of Starbucks' clear, recyclable lid, but 2020 is the year the coffee stop plans to eliminate the use of its green straws for good. This may reduce the use of a billion single-use plastic straws, but the effect of plastic waste on our oceans and land is something the world is noticing more than ever. In 2020, we're expecting to see consumers, big-name companies, and restaurants join forces to make stronger efforts to protect our planet from plastic waste. States like California and New York already have bans against plastic bags, so it's a good idea to begin investing in reusable produce and shopping bags.
11. Puffed Snacks
Say goodbye to greasy potato chips and hello to snacks in puffed and popped form. Pretty much anything seems to be able to be turned into puffs these days—we even like to pop quinoa—and now we're finding the chip aisles getting more populated with airy snacks made with healthier ingredients like chickpeas and no artificial flavoring. So if you're craving something salty, grab a bag of these for a more nutritional snack, since they are usually made with no oil.
10. Kids Menu Makeovers
We typically think children will be more excited about a cheeseburger and fries than a plate of quinoa or salmon. While still tasty and well-loved, what our kids eat is progressing beyond the traditional "kid" options on the menu. This is partly due to more millenials becoming parents and feeding their kids healthier, and often times more global options. Kids are now getting more adventurous with what they want to eat at home and the restaurant scene is noticing. Eateries such as Firebirds Wood Fired Grill adapted their menu as part of the Kids LiveWell program, adding freshly made healthy options like grilled chicken breast.
9. Alcohol-Free Beer & Mocktails
Dry January is starting to look like it will turn into dry 2020. With the increase of alcohol-free options in both grocery stores and restaurants, your New Year's resolution to drink less may be easier than you thought. The nation's first fully non-alcoholic brewery, Wellbeing Brewing Co., is already showing up in stores around the country. Their Heavenly Body Golden Wheat Craft Beer tastes just like the real thing, just without the booze. We're even starting to see fully sober bars popping-up in big cities like New York, where you'll find handcrafted cocktails and kombucha on tap. Whether you're cutting out alcohol entirely or just lowering the amount you consume, it's definitely going to be a tastier way to cut it out.
While 2019 may have been the year of adding more fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut to your diet to increase your probiotics intake, next year will give even more attention to prebiotics. Similar in name for a reason, both prebiotics and probiotics support the body in maintaining healthy gut bacteria, which is beneficial to digestion and overall health. The difference between the two is prebiotics are a non-digestible fiber that serve as food for probiotics, which are microorganisms known as the "good" bacteria in the human gut. Prebiotic-rich foods include garlic, bananas, asparagus, and leeks. We're also expecting it to take the form of a powder to add to drinks and smoothies similar to the increase in drinking collagen over the past year.
7. Butters and Spreads Made from Everything
We've come to know and love peanut butter alternatives made from sunflower seeds and cashews, but more unique spreads to smear on our toast will be popping up on shelves come 2020. Spreads made from macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, and watermelon seeds (no, you won't grow a watermelon in your belly if you eat it) are already showing up. They’re all vegan-friendly, and most fit the Keto and Paleo diets, too. Many new brands are also looking to either eliminate the use of palm oil or promote a Responsibly Sourced Palm Oil certification and use nuts that are grown in ways with less likelihood for environmental impact.
6. Macedonian Meals
North Macedonia. It's a small southeastern European country in the Balkan Peninsula that was once in the former Yugoslavia. As the second-most-populous Greek region, a lot of the food pays tribute to flavors you'd find at your local Greek restaurant. Think grilled meats accompanied by flavors like mint, garlic, and paprika. We weren't expecting such a rise in popularity, but according to Pinterest, the search for Macedonian meals has increased by more than 500% in 2019. That's enough for us to try out some of its popular dishes like kebapi (a type of sausage) and tavche gravche (a baked bean dish).
Courtesy of Infarm
5. Next-Level Local Grocery Shopping
Shopping local isn't a new thing, but our local farmers and grocers are taking it up a notch by introducing us to produce that's so local, you can get it right off the plant in the store. Not only will this help you get produce in its freshest state, but in-store farming will also be beneficial in eliminating a lot of waste that occurs from the time our fruits and veggies are harvested and don't make it to the grocery shelves. Kroger and Whole Foods are the only two chains bringing this practice to light so far, but it's just the beginning. We'll be excited to pick-up more sustainable lettuce, herbs, and mushrooms from the source everywhere we shop.
4. CBD Oil
It's hard to drive anywhere these days without seeing an ad or store selling CBD oil. For the basic science facts, cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-hallucinogenic, nonaddictive chemical found in the cannabis plant. Most recently, it's being touted as a great natural booster for wellness, with benefits like helping with sleep, anxiety, and muscle pain. It can be ingested orally or be infused into pain-relieving creams.
3. First-Generation Cooking
A record of 44.5 million immigrants live in the United States as of 2017, and the numbers continue to rise. Our country's wide range of cultures is not new, but the children of the immigrants (first-generation Americans) that grew up here are embracing the food of their heritage more than ever. Paola Velez, the executive pastry chef at Kith/Kin in Washington, D.C. said in a story by Food & Wine "we’re finally gaining control of the narrative and bringing our culture, dreams and heritage to our restaurants and plates. 2020 is the year of flavor.”
Courtesy of Francesco Angrisani / Pixabay
Whether you knew it or not, chances are you've probably been eating bits of chicory in your salad for a long time. Chicories are closely related to lettuces (with a little more bitterness to the bite) and come in the form of radicchio, endive, and escarole. The herbaceous plant's roots are have also been used for years, mostly in drinks, for its nutty flavor. It's been roasted into granules (like in the photo above) and served in coffee at New Orleans' famous French market since 1860. Away from the coffee scene, the upcoming year will likely bring chicory in as the better-for-you coffee alternative since it’s naturally caffeine- and acid-free. There's also great nutritional value in drinking chicory root. It's an anti-inflammatory, blood sugar-reducer, and can develop a healthier gut thanks to its fiber content.
1. Veggie-Meat Mashups
With the rise of plant-based eating, we’re going to be seeing more of our favorite comfort foods getting a healthier upgrade. Restaurant delivery services like Grubhub have seen huge spikes (like 650%!) in cauliflower pizza orders this year alone, being a popular low-carb alternative to flour-based pizza dough. Convenience stores are also expected to start offering “swaps” for the normally bad-for-you foods. Meat mashups (meaning meat + veggies together) from brands like Caulipower offer cauliflower tortillas for tacos or even cauliflower-crusted chicken tenders, while Applegate will give you a meaty burger made of a ground meat and mushroom blend.
It's always fun trying to figure out what will be trendy in the new year. We're looking forward to seeing which ones will stick around for the long haul and those that might not even last through the year.