We’ve looked into our crystal ball, consulted the oracle, and followed the food shows and trend reports to glean what the future may hold for diners in 2020. Last year’s trends will, no doubt, morph and spill into the new year, with additives like CBD going nowhere anytime soon and plant-based foods continuing to grow in popularity, creeping into the mainstream as trends eventually do.
Brush up on these ingredients so you don’t feel woefully uninformed when they pop up on menus and in stores in 2020.
Similar in appearance (Kermit green) and taste (grassy) to matcha, moringa is the new darling super green, loaded with vitamins and minerals and hailed as the newest wonder-anti-inflammatory. Moringa leaves are dried and powdered and can be added to teas, smoothies, juices, and energy bars.
This small, iron-rich ancient grain, milled to a flour, is the primary ingredient in the Ethiopian and Eritrean bread injera. In the coming year, you can expect a heightened interest in West African ingredients, including teff, which is said to be especially useful for endurance runners. In addition to bread, look for teff in porridges and stews.
Once primarily marketed to the over-60 demographic, collagen-enriched beverages and foods are now being sold, primarily, to women over 30 as part of the “functional food” trend. The claims: boost muscle tone, ensure a shiny coat, keep the joints flexible. Is there any credible science behind it? Meh. But, much like CBD oil, that hasn’t stopped collagen from surging in recent popularity.
Also known as fox nuts, lotus seeds have been consumed in Chinese and Indian medicine and food for centuries. Technically the seed of the Asian water lily, lotus seeds, when popped, are an addictingly crunchy, gluten-free, protein-rich snack and a blank canvas for sweet and savory flavors.
Oat Milk (or milked oats)
Both Whole Foods and Benchmark hail Oat Milk as the new non-dairy-milk superstar. And where milk goes, other non-dairy products, like yogurt and ice cream, will surely follow.
These are the ideas that you’ll want to wrap your head around in 2020 — you’ll start seeing them more frequently if you haven’t already.
Part of the increasing awareness of sustainability in all sectors, regenerative agriculture involves a process of crop rotation and selection designed with the soil itself in mind. After all, without healthy soil, crops are doomed.
Long the darling of plant-based food products, soy is also a major allergen, making it less than ideal for a big chunk of the population, and, frustratingly, it can seem ubiquitous and hard to avoid. This year, look for brands and menus that advertise being soy-free to attract a soy-averse audience.
Collaborations, Limited Releases, and Mystery Flavors
These are the marketing gimmicks that attracted the most buzz this year — think Baskin Robbins and ‘Stranger Things,’ Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich, and the mystery Oreos — and that means there’s more where that came from. You can bet you’ll find more merch from the brands you love, from the cult favorite Topo Chico to Taco Bell. Brands know that consumers are ready to shell out the dollars for fun.
After a surge in popularity, open kitchens began to recede from dining vogue, but the trend is making a comeback, with diners increasingly interested in transparency and being a spectator during their dining experiences.
From food compost to eco-friendly packaging, restaurants are continuing to embrace a zero-waste mindset, and more language to that effect will be showing up on menus in the next year as restaurant owners try to show guests exactly how much they care about the planet.