Here are 10 food trends to look out for in 2020:
1. Low alcohol beverages
As Americans are becoming more health-conscious, people are trying to cut down on alcohol consumption. As such, lower-alcohol drinks like coffee-based cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks (“mocktails”) are becoming popular in supermarkets, restaurants, and even bars.
This Filipino purple yam has been used for years in its native land, but now the rest of the world is catching on. Ube is high in vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and the antioxidant anthocyanin. Plus, it has an enchanting purple hue that makes it beautiful to look at. Just remember — Ube is healthy on its own, but when it’s used to make ice cream and cake, then not so much.
The cauliflower craze began a few years ago when non-carb eaters discovered that it was a great replacement for the flour used in pizza crust, gnocchi, and more. Its versatility has kept it popular and in 2020 we expect it to become even more widely used.
4. Oat milk
Since the popularity of dairy has been on a steady decline, all sorts of non-dairy alternatives have been coming up. Oat milk is one of the non-dairy, vegan alternatives for milk, and between 2017 and 2019, sales shot up from $4.4 million to $29 million. Oat milk is full of good stuff, with healthy doses of Vitamins A, B12 and D, Calcium, Riboflavin and many more nutrients.
5. Alcoholic kombucha
Alcoholic beverages on the whole may be on the decline, but alcoholic, or “hard,” kombucha is on the rise. Kombucha is rich in probiotics and is said to improve digestion and lower blood pressure, among other things. All kombucha is slightly alcoholic (less than .5%, don’t worry!), but hard kombucha has added sugar, yeast and goes through a longer fermentation process so that its alcohol by volume (ABV) can range between 4.5% and 8%, similar to light beers.
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a non-psychoactive extract from the cannabis plant, and it’s taking the food and beverage industry by storm. CBD-infused food and drink include ice cream, hummus and gin, but there are really no limits to where CBD can go. CBD-infused foods will not get you high, but proponents claim it does have a calming effect. The fact that CBD is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration has done nothing to slow down the growing popularity of CBD-infused foods.
7. Meat blends
2019 saw the plant-based protein industry explode, and in 2020, meat manufacturers will try to get in on the action. Expect to see blends of real meat and plant-based meat, a healthier and cheaper option for consumers and producers.
8. New breakfast options
Fast-food chains are going after the breakfast market, which is good news for all of us who like a good breakfast. This year, expect to see new and diverse offerings from Wendy’s, Burger King, McDonald’s and more. Of course, as these are fast-food restaurants, don’t expect great nutrition facts over there.
9. Asian cuisine
Asian cuisine has been gaining popularity in the Western world, and in 2020 you can expect to see even more Asian-inspired dishes. Asian dishes tend to be tasty, high in protein and contain rice noodles instead of wheat-based noodles. While these are all good reasons to view it as a healthier option, typical MSG-loaded Chinese takeout doesn’t fall into this category.
10. Less sugar
Finally, food manufacturers have heard what consumers have been saying — we want less sugar! While there will always be candy, ice cream, cakes and other tantalizing sweet treats, it is expected that many non-dessert food producers will start lowering the sugar content of their foods.
The Common Theme of 2020 Food Trends
In general, health is the major theme of this year’s food trends. Health has always been a concern of older people, and today even millennials and Gen-Zers are taking a proactive approach to being healthy, probably due to the prevalence of sugar and obesity-related diseases.
How lucky are we to live at a time when health is taking center stage and the year’s food trends reflect that!
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