A trend can be described as a movement or, in simpler terms, a current style or preference. We witness trends everywhere. From fashion to food to health and lifestyle, it is not uncommon to become enraptured by the latest and greatest; thus, we want to be a part of something significant. As a culture, we want to experience and learn from both individuals and communities. So, we thought it would be time to write a blog post on the upcoming food trends of 2020. Like any other list, it could go on forever, but here are just a few of our favourites. We hope that you can identify with some of these trends. Share your favourite food trend with us - [email protected].
More Sustainable Seafood
Sustainable cooking and sourcing have become very important as restaurants seek hyper-local ingredients that are easy to obtain. Cooking with more seafood means more awareness of ocean issues and the overall environmental impact seafood has on the planet - seafood has a smaller carbon footprint than other animal proteins, on average, because fishing doesn't require farmland or livestock care.
Less Added Sugar
Companies are finally listening as consumers have been examining their nutrition labels with more scrutiny. By 2021, you will be able to quickly see if your food includes 'added sugars', as recent studies show more than 75% of Americans are trying to limit or avoid sugar in their diet.
A favourite comfort food that originated in Italy during the Middle Ages and has traditionally been ascribed to Naples is coming back to greet us. In the early 1900s, meat was cheap and easy to buy, so everyone was making it, now fancy restaurants are spinning the classic dish. It seems as though its popularity will never die!
We seem to think that the best, new restaurants are comprised of 'bad boy' chefs wanting to feed us rich, gluttonous creations, but today there is more hype around the healthy restaurant. Chefs are centred on their clientele's health, mindful eating and how sustainable foods contribute to lifestyle and fitness. In essence, food must fuel the mind, body and spirit. Amidst a global pandemic, this approach has become a primary focus for many businesses.
As an extension to the approach many people are taking during the pandemic – isolation, distancing – ghost kitchens or restaurants that only offer delivery or take-out, no dine-in are becoming the norm. In fact, it allows restaurants to operate at a fraction of the cost. This may be the new age of the cloud or virtual kitchen, we shall see.
Not exactly new, but perhaps re-visioned and here to stay. Intermittent fasting is the idea of limiting your eating hours by fasting during a specific window, then eating during another window. There may be some health benefits such as stress resistance and a decrease in cancer and obesity chances. It's something you may want to try if you're going to live a lifestyle like some celebrities, but don't get angry if skipping breakfast ruins your day!
The beloved food of everyone, what would the planet be without bread? It is making a comeback after years of disregard due to fad diets like Atkin's. Bread is now touted as better than ever before, high-quality versions available close to you and bread being made by someone you likely know. Today, think of the words 'good' and 'real' when you think of bread – local, organic, GMO-free grains, heritage wheat, sourdough…this list itself tastes good.
Meal Prep Sunday
Gone are the days of being disorganized. If you want to enjoy a lovely meal, even if that means from your desk staring at a computer screen, you might need to consider meal prepping as a new hobby. Your Sunday won't be reserved for brunch. Put on your favourite playlist and become a part of the busy, budget-conscious generation looking out for smart, compact ways to pack reusable containers with repetitive meals. It will save you time, money, and your waistline will be grateful.
Less Use of Plastic
In a utopian world, plastic would be banned. But for now, we can do something about single-use plastics. What does that mean? Getting rid of plastic water bottles, for example, and companies completely revisiting their packaging in the first place. If it means something to the environment, the trend is worth your time.
In the past, vegetables would often take the passenger side. Still, today, people realize they've been rather focused on protein sources, and now they want to give vegetables and plant-based alternatives the main seat. It all is related to the over-arching trend of maintaining better health and supporting farmers who take pride in producing sustainable, healthy products.
Consumers these days have high expectations of their veggies. From turning cauliflower into rice to making noodles out of zucchini and carrots, mushrooms have always been seen as 'old school', but today they are versatile, packed with nutrients, and a carb slash meat alternative. Turn a wellington into a veggie lover's fantasy or take advantage of mushroom extracts in your coffee, chocolate or snacks. But because they're over 50,000 varieties, be sure what you're eating isn't poisonous or hallucinogenic.
With all the opinions out there, someone says you're too extreme if you're vegan and perhaps sarcastically claims you're making the 'right' choices as a vegetarian. Still, many people today are wanting a little bit more flexibility with their dieting approach. They have become flexitarian – following a mainly plant-based diet but also eating some meat and animal by-products. 'On occasion' is key with a focus on exemplary designated days like Meatless Monday or choosing the Beyond Burger at Burger King.
So, as you can see, these trends run a full range of industry examples. Some trends will stick around, while others will gradually fade away. One thing's for sure and a common denominator across the board – the industry is moving toward more awareness and willingness to support the environment. If that takes changing diets or switching restaurants, consumers are becoming more mindful of how their food decisions impact the planet. This is a good thing, and also a good thing? Trends like these keeping traditions, cultures and communities intact.