5 Food Trends To Look Out For In 2020
Updated: Jan 16
As is usual for this time of year, 2020 food trend predictions have been landing in our inboxes over the last month or so. From zero-proof drinks to alternative nut butters, what we'll be eating in 2020 is beginning to take shape.
The thing about food trends is that they can disappear as quickly as they appear, which isn't much help to those hoping to leverage food trends to engage consumers. As people begin to think about how and what they eat though, we've noticed that certain trends have been hanging around the food trends lists for several years as they slowly make their way into the mainstream consciousness. This year is no different. Rather than focusing on the smaller fads that will undoubtedly come and go this year, here are five important (and ongoing) food trends to look out for in 2020.
Surprise surprise, plant-based will continue to trend into 2020. According to Innova, foods and drinks with a plant-based claim grew by an average of 68% year-on-year over the past 5 years. While consumers have led the shift towards a plant-based diet to date, mainstream brands are increasingly jumping on board with the trend. Expect to see more plant-based snacks and ready meals on supermarket shelves but also an increase in plant-based recipes as grocery retailers create meal plans that reflect a new flexitarian way of cooking and eating.
Local and sustainable
As climate change concerns continue to dominate the headlines, focus for many environmentally-conscious consumers will shift towards buying locally grown and produced food. This trend will be driven by Millennials, 63% of whom prefer to buy foods that are grown or produced locally according to Claritas. Sustainability will also be a top concern for consumers in 2020, particularly sustainable farming and growing practices. Whole Foods is predicting that "regenerative agriculture", a practice that restores damaged soil and protects biodiversity, will be trending in 2020.
Food waste has been a concern for several years now and we've seen an increase in the number of appliance manufacturers and recipe apps that are focused on providing home cooks with personalised recipe suggestions based on the ingredients they have in their fridges and cupboards. (Samsung's Family Hub smart fridge springs to mind here.) As guided cooking apps forge new partnerships with mainstream smart appliance manufacturers, in 2020 we expect to see these apps focusing on creating a more personalised experience with the intention of saving time but with the added benefit of minimising food waste for consumers.
Like the plant-based trend, gut health has been a feature on food trends lists for a couple of years now. From kombucha and kimchi, gut-friendly foods and drinks gained increased attention in 2019 and we expect that attention to go mainstream in 2020 as established brands compete with innovative fermented food startups for consumers' attention.
Middle Eastern cuisine has been capturing the attention of foodies for several years now, and Waitrose expects it to take off in 2020. Hummus and falafel are already popular with fans of Middle Eastern cuisine, but Waitrose is seeing an increase in sales of sumac, baharat and zaatar. Looks like home cooks are ready to expand their knowledge of Middle Eastern cuisine in 2020. The onus is now on grocery retailers to provide recipe content to help consumers get to grips with the colourful and enticing way of cooking.
These food trends can help when mapping out your content marketing and recipe strategy for 2020, but only if they correspond with what your target audience truly craves. By focusing on your customer data first, complementary food trends can then be used to enhance your marketing strategy and your customers' experience into 2020 and beyond.
If you're hoping to engage your customers with trend-driven recipe content in 2020 but don't know where to begin, we'd love to help. Send your brief to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us curate a selection of recipes that will engage and reengage new and existing customers.