Though no one could have predicted 2019's chicken sandwich showdown, every year we like to gather 'round the proverbial office water cooler and guess what food trends the coming year holds. Here's what was see in our crystal ball at the start of this new decade...
As the worlds of meal-worthy smoothies and plant-based lifestyles collide, you're going to see pea protein offered up in place of powders like whey and collagen, both of which are derived from animal sources. But the concept of peas as protein source doesn't stop there. More and more brands will take a cue from trendsetters like Beyond Meat and add the protein powerhouse to faux meat alternatives and vegan cheeses.
Some say the "youth" is drinking less because they're smoking more (the phenomenon's been dubbed Cali sober). Others chalk up the decline in boozy nights to a rise in Goop-y lifestyles. Regardless, beverage brands are leaning in. New companies offer alcohol-free tipples that look pretty enough to pour in a glass and still feel fancy.
No one asked for the jerky industry to get a shake-up, but here we are. Biltong, which hails from South Africa, is a form of dried, cured meat. But unlike jerky that's cooked and dried out on racks in the oven, biltong is hung to be naturally air-dried. Perhaps the real reason people are flocking to it? It's got a healthier rep, often containing no sugar and aligning with paleo and keto lifestyles. Chef's Cut and Kalahari offer trendy flavours for you to try.
If 2019 was the year fast food joints boosted their plant-based offerings, 2020 will be the year they diversify their breakfast options. Pretty much every single major chain is putting out new breakfast options.
Italians might scoff at the sight of this on a trends list considering it's a century-old Roman cooking method that produces lighter, fluffier, and marginally healthier pizza (it's easier to digest due to the rice, soy, and wheat flours used). But it's starting to gain more traction stateside, too.
It's not exactly new, but it's here to stay. Unlike other trendy diets that remain controversial (cough, keto, cough), not many scientists are squabbling over the idea of limiting your eating hours throughout the day. Research is proving a host of benefits that include an increase in longevity and stress resistance and a decrease in the probability of cancer and obesity.
Charcuterie is, quite literally, "cold cooked meats collectively" (sorry), but creative folk have been playing fast and loose with the term and creating painstakingly arranged candy "charcuterie" boards and other dessert-inspired displays. They've been especially trendy when pegged to a holiday, but consider this your permission to start employing the trend year round—with whatever food you want.
First it was bags, then straws, and most recently, single-use plastic water bottles have been banned in places. Instead of just bans, though, expect to see companies refusing to use single-use plastic in their packaging in the first place.
They're not as scary as they sound. In short, a ghost kitchen is one where restaurants strip the setting of any in-house dining options, creating a large commercial space that can churn out more food. This results in delivery- or pick-up-only restaurants.
Veganism is polarizing. Even vegetarianism can be. That's why you're going to notice an uptick in people who call themselves flexitarians, aka those who follow a largely plant-based diet but also eat meat and animal by-products on occasion. Nielsen reports 37% of the people purchasing meat alternatives are people who identify as such. As this number rises, so too will trends that are already popular with the veg-head set, like Meatless Monday and meat-free fast food alternatives.