The Specialty Food Association (SFA) Trendspotter Panel has predicted what will be popular in specialty food in 2020. The top trend predicted for next year is what the SFA describes as a “Meat Replacement Pushback”, with consumers beginning to think critically about meat alternatives and a return to plants being plants.
“As the specialty food industry hits a record year of growth with $148.7 billion in sales, we’re seeing that health benefits and sustainability concerns will continue to drive more food and beverage trends in 2020. But, there’s also room for fun, whether in the form of canned cocktails or global condiments,” said Denise Purcell, head of content for the SFA.
Predictions in F&B expected to be “still trending” from this year into 2020 include: CBD products; Dairy-free products, in particular oatbased and nutbased; Fermented beverages; and Regional cuisines of Asia, West Africa, and Latin America.
The six trends anticipated by professionals from the culinary world for 2020 are:
Plants as Plants: Meat Replacement Pushback Across retail and foodservice, plant-based meat alternatives are undeniably popular. Growth will continue, however some Trendspotters predict a consumer return to real fruits and vegetables and looking more closely at the ingredient lists, supply chains, water usage, and food safety, prompting renewed interest in plants as plants, according to the panel.
Sustainability-Driven Product Development According to SFA’s State of the Specialty Food Industry Report 2019-2020, consumers, especially Gen Z, are values-oriented shoppers who look at a company’s values and production methods when making purchasing decisions. Upcycled products, those using ingredients that are normally discarded, are becoming more prevalent. Biodynamic farming, a practice that helps sustain the biodiversity and health of the land, is coming more into focus for consumers, and Trendspotter Wendy Robinson, buyer at Market Hall Foods, expects we’ll see more products from this practice.
Fermented Condiments: Gochujang Comes to the Forefront Fermented foods have been trending for a while, and has boosted broad consumer interest in the Korean condiment kimchi. Trendspotters have predicted that the combined expanding interest in fermentation and Korean cuisine will converge to bring the fermented condiment gochujang to the forefront.
Prebiotic Foods Gain Awareness Prebiotics are types of dietary fiber that feed the friendly bacteria in the gut and are found in foods like bananas, asparagus, seaweed, and barley among others. More of these ingredients will hit the spotlight, with early examples including bars and crunchy snacks made with prebiotic-rich barley and buckwheat.
Protein Trend Takes Unexpected Turns: Anchovies and Noodles Consumer awareness of protein is prompting them to seek out interesting sources for their diets, whether under-the-radar varieties or new innovations. Protein-packed noodles also are on the rise but are moving beyond the lentil- and legume-based varieties that have been on the market. Trendspotters anticipate seeing more noodles made from seafood, or nutrient-packed noodles containing minerals and dietary fiber.
Convenient Cocktails and Mocktails The Trendspotter panel named Raising the Cocktail Game one of the top trends of the 2019 Summer Fancy Food Show thanks to a slew of new mixers, tonics, and garnishes to help consumers make bar-quality cocktails at home.