2020 Foods Trends: What We're Eating In Quarantine & Beyond
Last updated: Jun 25, 2020
Culinary tastes, choice of ingredients and influential cuisines change every year. The food trends of 2020 might be staples for years to come or flash in the pan favourites that last as long as the season. What makes food trends so fascinating is how they evolve over time and how each year builds on the one before. By taking a look each year at what the top dishes of foodies, chefs and consumers are, we can better understand what the next fads, fusions and favourites will be.
- 2020 Foods Trends: What We’re Eating In Quarantine & Beyond
- UK Food trends 2019: What are we eating this year?
- Proper Food Trends to Watch Out for 2018
- 3 food trends taking London by storm in 2017
2020 Foods Trends: What We’re Eating In Quarantine & Beyond
2020 has been an unusual year, with the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down most of the world for several months, including many restaurants and street food markets. However, the quarantine has also meant that food delivery and home cooking got a big boost. If you didn’t bake a loaf of banana bread, were you really in lockdown mode?
With the unusual impact of a pandemic in mind, we look at what the 2020 food trends are, what has become increasingly popular in a world where everyone has time to cook and the ease of ordering delivery on any day of the week.
Meat Replacement: Plant-Based Foods
There are an increasing number of meat replacement foods on the market. You might have heard of big brands like Beyond Meat and Quorn, but they aren’t the only brands who have been making significant sales. Plant protein Oumph! achieved a 400% increase in sales in the first quarter of 2020, a huge boost from last year alone.
Plant-based foods have been on the rise in response to the climate crisis, making it one of the food trends that isn’t just about taste. Plant Based News reported that two thirds of European consumers were open to changing their eating habits for environmental reasons. Combine this with the increase in meat replacements and it’s clear that not only is this a food trend in 2020, it’s one that is here to stay.
Keto & Low-Carb Diets
Using Google Trends as an initial metric, it is very apparent that interest in keto diets has grown hugely in the last few years and seems to be having a big impact in 2020, despite the pandemic.
A keto diet ‘aims to mimic the effect of fasting’. As a high fat and low carb diet, it has become popular for weight loss, but it’s also popular as a way to reduce high blood pressure, improve mental performance and, according to Great Ormond Street Hospital, help with epilepsy.
With the growing demand for food that maximises nutritional intake for optimal health, keto and general low carb diets are likely to be big in 2020 and beyond.
Versatile Vegetables: Cauli As Carbs
Building on the demand for low carb foods, and the world’s continued love of pizza and other bread-based foods, cauliflower has found a new use: as dough. Cauliflower pizza is now a thing and as a 2020 food trend it might not be the most widespread but it is on the rise. This is in part due to the keto converted, but also those who are gluten free and in need of a new way to enjoy their favourite glutenous foods. Cauliflower is being used as a replacement for pizza dough but also for pasta with cauli gnocchi – reaching peak fad with a new Trader Joe’s pack going up for sale.
Enhanced Eating: Collagen Powders & Pea Protein
Making every meal count towards your optimal nutritional intake has led many fitness and food enthusiasts to look at ways of making their meals do more than just feed you. According to The Standard, you can’t make the perfect health smoothie without a special booster, like collagen powder or pea protein.
Collagen has a number of benefits for our skin, joints and heart. As a result, it has become a go-to ingredient in skincare products, supplements and now your food and drink. Similarly, pea protein has become a popular addition to shakes and snacks to increase the protein – which can be beneficial if you are working out regularly.
Mental Clarity: CBD Infusions
Cannabidiol or CBD comes from hemp and is legal and won’t get you high. Its medicinal purposes, quelling anxiety and mediating pain, has led to it becoming one of the most unusual ingredients to find its way into foods and drinks of all kinds. CBD is often consumed as an oil, making it easy to add to recipes, shakes or coffee.
Beyond The Food Trends Of 2020
When thinking about the future of food and drink, it’s worth paying attention not only to their enjoyment but to their impact on health. Healthy choices were already popular, then people got smarter about what nutrients were in foods and tapped into superfoods. Now, food trends suggest we’re moving away from traditional fruits and vegetables and looking to plant extracts and niche nutrients that have an even bigger impact on our health.
UK Food trends 2019: What are we eating this year?
Foodies are no longer the only people who care about how to make the most from every meal. There is a clear, continued push for innovative food ideas across global drink corporations, established restaurants and new food startups. Gregg’s vegan sausage roll got people talking and buying and Veggie Pret went from a one month pop up to four locations in less than 3 years. The market is calling, will you answer?
Health benefits, produce quality and sustainability are all important not only for food and drinks brands but their consumers. Here, we break down what we’ll be eating, why we’ll be eating it and how you can use that to make your business a plate-leader for consumers.
Food that does good
We care more about the food that we eat more than ever before with 73% of consumers saying they would change what they would consume based on environmental impact. This means that food and drinks brands need to care as well.
So, with words like organic, fairtrade and considerations from environmental stewardship to animal welfare orbiting eating habits, what are we seeing as the most important, and therefore valuable, food trends for do-gooders?
Low carbon footprint foods
Diet, sourcing and packaging are all ways in which consumers are looking to lower their carbon footprint. However, all of these choices are only possible when there are food and drinks brands who are willing to provide, with some being easier to access than others.
Going vegan or vegetarian, if you haven’t already
Veganism has been skyrocketing in popularity in the last five years. Yes, this is partially down to the idea of fad diets, but with younger generations of consumers coming into the market and becoming a valuable buying set, food brands can’t afford to ignore vegans. Offering alternatives to your most popular foods can be enough to attract new businesses and retain those customers looking to make the change in the new year.
One of the ways in which veganism is becoming more widespread is with like-for-like replacements to some of the most popular meats with vegan alternatives. For example, the Jackfruit has gone from unwanted in India to best of the best in vegan havens like London. With a texture likened to pulled pork, a staple of open air hipster markets, it has appealed to former meat eaters looking to make an ethical change.
Not everyone is convinced of making the change to veganism. Although food companies can make significant gains with vegan alternatives, vegetarianism continues to be a common middle ground for many consumers. The market for vegetarian foods has already been steady for many years and since it has more leniencies, has led to greater competition, for example, with vegetarian sausages.
The best vegetarian sausage has yet to be created; at least according to Good Housekeeping’s reviews of vegetarian sausages, which means it could be you that finally cracks the recipe. While there are more vegans than ever before, we are also seeing a push towards flexitarianism, where meat is sometimes consumed, along with vegetarianism. Meat free alternatives are in demand but aren’t yet fully catered for in a satisfying way.
There is a particular call for the familiar with meat-free foods, consumers want the cruelty-free benefits of vegetarian foods in recognisable forms. Burgers, sausages and mince are all key to classic dishes, particularly in British foods. Arguably, Quorn dominates this market, with Linda McCartney often being cited as the best vegan sausages, all of which has caused supermarkets to come up with their own vegan ranges. It’s touch and go how long the vegan burger might last, however, with the EU hoping to ban certain terms to prevent confusion between meat and meat-free dishes.
Looking for inspirational vegan recipes? We’ve delved into the how and why to offer vegan dishes to your customers, and the odd inspirational recipe too.
Motherless meat is (almost) here
Lab grown meat, also known as motherless meat, has been a source of fascination for the food industry for a little while now but has yet to hit the big time. 2019 could be the year, with India leading the way.
Motherless meat is created from animal cells, harmlessly extracted, and is therefore cruelty free. It doesn’t come with the environmental and ethical baggage of farming and so is seen by many of the future of meat eating. Getting onto this trend, while still in its infancy would definitely be profitable for food businesses. But watch out as, since this is such a new phenomenon, there has been speculative reporting about just how eco-friendly motherless meat is and whether the production methods are worse for the earth than traditional farming.
Going Plastic Free
The Blue Planet II effect has woken up the entire world to its need to reduce its waste, particularly plastic. From a government pledge to ban plastic straws, cotton-buds and drinks stirrers, to Glastonbury festival announcing that it won’t be selling single use plastic drinks bottles on site this year; plastic and waste in the food industry is a hot topic. If you look to reduce your plastic use in any way, tell your consumers. If it’s a promise that you feel a step too far, try it for a week, or month, or one day a week! Nobody wants to contribute further to the destruction of the planet and encouraging people to eat with you because of your goals with your environmental impact is a real way to lure in customers at the same time as genuinely doing good. You can learn more here.
CBD oil is the new hemp tea
With the legalisation of marijuana in many US states, along with movement on the use of medical marijuana in the UK following some high-profile cases, interest in “hemp” and cannabidiol (CBD) has skyrocketed. As a result, numerous businesses are looking to develop the ways in which they tap into the potential health benefits of these ingredients.
If you are considering tapping into this trend then you first need to understand the differences between cannabis, hemp and marijuana, which many use interchangeably and incorrectly. The main distinctions can be summarised as follows:
- Cannabis is the name for a family of plants which has two primary classifications:
- Indica and Sativa.
- Marijuana can be considered a member of either the Indica or Sativa families
- Hemp is only considered to be a member of the Sativa family
Like chamomile and other similar herbal teas, hemp tea is said to be good for reducing stress, anxiety, insomnia and helping with chronic pains. However, research has found more tangible benefits in hemp seeds, namely as a protein source, but also in helping to aid digestion. As with other popularised milk alternatives, Good Hemp milk is looking to become the new go-to for customers with an eye for non-cow milks.
CBD oil isn’t new, but its usage as an ingredient is becoming more commonplace. Unlike the more commonly smoked leaf form of marijuana, CBD oil is an extract that produces no psychoactive effects. This means that it can be added to food and drinks to pass on its benefits; pain relief, reduction of anxiety and alleviation of cancer treatment symptoms to name a few, more simply and in a flavourless way. There are all kinds of ways to incorporate CBD oil with a food or drinks brand, and now is the time to do it as global corporations like Coca-Cola are taking notice.
Get your probiotics fix from fermented foods
Probiotics are most commonly linked with yoghurt, thanks to robust and continuous marketing from yoghurt and probiotic drinks brands like Yakult. But with the changes in how dairy is being consumed, and the environmental effects of the farming industry, consumers are looking to fermented foods for their doses of probiotics.
Fermented foods can be made from leftover vegetables, giving it an eco-friendly appeal, while offering the health benefits of probiotics. Since world cuisine is also at the forefront of trends, in particular from Asian regions following the popularisation of foods like sushi and ramen in recent years, the iconic fermented food kimchi is ideally placed to be included in new foods.
For those who aren’t in the know, probiotics are produced during the fermentation process and have been used to improve digestive health. In particular helping those with bloating, indigestion and constipation. It has even been linked to health benefits for your skin. Popular fermented foods include Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Miso and Tempeh. Add these to your list of ingredients to drive traffic for your gut-conscious consumers.
Fads and new favourites
Fads have most often in the recent (Western) memory been about making a food or drink “unicorn”, whatever that seems to mean… Though these have always been flash in the pan fads. More long lasting trends in food and drink have focused on finding that elusive treat or undiscovered edible treasure with staying power.
(Not so) Guilty pleasures
People want to have the foods they love, and they want them to be less “bad” for them. Once upon a time this meant choosing froyo over ice cream, but no longer. There are a whole host of almost as good as the original versions of consumer favourites that food brands should look at offering in 2019.
Can hummus be frozen? Yes, and made into ice cream
Have you ever wondered “Can hummus be frozen?”. Well, someone has, or rather a few someones have. Classic hummus can be frozen for up to 4 months and used as a healthy snack with carrot sticks or pitta bread, but that is only the tip of the chickpea. Hummus ice cream is looking to take the vegan world by storm.
The healthier ice cream market has been quietly developing in the past few years, in part in answer to the rise of veganism, but also as a tie-in to the fitness focused. Halo Top is a high protein, low-carb ice cream, which was the most popular ice cream in America in 2017, while vegan ice cream has appeared in dedicated brands like Booja-Booja and vegan versions of favourites from Ben and Jerry’s. Whether you have your own ice cream twist or are looking to include an alternative in your dining, now is an ideal time to get involved.
Seasonal dieting for summer and sobriety
Trendy is always on trend, it’s about the new as much as it’s about what we should be eating, meaning these aren’t necessarily foods that will last in the long term. If you aren’t convinced that you want to convert your food business to target one of the above food trends then it’s likely your consumers aren’t either.
Instead you could consider adhering to the seasonal diets and offering options with your food and drinks to test the water of interest in your consumer base. Popular month long diet trends include Veganuary and Sober October, but you needn’t limit yourself to these two months as consumers are opportunists and could make a change at any time of the year.
Mocktails for kids? Non-alcoholic cocktails are for adults too.
As far back as 2016, sobriety was being reported as on the rise among young people. Mocktails for kids, as well as adults, is now a viable unique selling point for a brand. This trend isn’t about leaning into fancier juice combinations, or the ever growing number of alcohol free Pimms recipes out there, instead it’s about emulating the complex flavour profiles of cocktails, but as non-alcoholic mocktails. Well regarded restaurants like Duck & Waffle and global drinks brand Diageo are already on board with non-alcoholic spirits, suggesting that we can expect a surge in new varieties in 2019 and beyond. The market is wide open for a food and drinks company that can capitalise on cocktails without alcohol.
2018 was a huge year for supper clubs in the UK, especially in London. Dining on fine cuisine with a small group, dinner party style but with strangers, seems set to continue in 2019 and beyond. Supper clubs have also taken on charitable twists and there is room for more ways in which these dining experiences can tap into the trends of the year.
With supper clubs, food businesses can cater to specific diets, like vegan or gluten-free, and introduce new people to new ways of dining. Aligning a brand with an eco-conscious or ethical initiative is a great way to create a buzz around a food and drinks company. Similarly, using food as a gateway to culture with a humanitarian angle, like the Syrian Supper Club which aims to raise money for Syrian refugees with their evenings of culinary excellence.
The TL;DR for 2019 Food Trends
What 2019’s food trend and forecasts show us about the year ahead is that food and drinks companies need to be not only supplying options for those diners looking to make an eco-friendly, ethical choice in what they consume, but also to be advocates for it.
Veganism is on the rise and only going in one direction. Superfoods are getting harder to ethically source, due to increased demand causing environmental damage, as was shown by the increase in demand for avocados. Even once reliable industries such as beer and spirit brands are seeing disruptors succeeding with alcohol-free alternatives.
The best thing a food and drinks brand can do in 2019 is to stay informed, capitalise on trends in moderation, and to expect that this could all change by the end of the year.
Proper Food Trends to Watch Out for 2018
The food and drink industry has been through a period of rapid proliferation and evolution over the last ten years. The global recession created instability and uncertainty which meant large manufacturers managed their risk through M&A tactics or a consolidation of their own affairs. This, in turn, brought about opportunities for smaller, more agile producers to set up shop and capitalise on, and even induce, new food trends. This meant that the rate in which trends came and went was hugely exaggerated; the next trend was just around the corner and so was the person to mop up the opportunity.
Since Brexit landed (or didn’t land or who knows what may or may not happen) the mood has changed. We are again in a period of genuine uncertainty and the producers that were thriving under those conditions now have to take stock.
This is having an impact on consumer trends and we are now in a postmodern food world where the trend of yesterday has become a pastiche; we are savvier to marketing ploys than before.
‘Artisan’ is no longer a badge of quality but an undercover sales agent. This doesn’t mean that the market has stopped evolving, far from it. New entrants are finding more profitable ways to enter the market using initiatives such as ours, where they can rent a commercial kitchen space rather than investing heavily in capital at the early stages of business.
Our kitchen facilities are now available in Shoreditch, Bermondsey, Bethnal Green and Vauxhall and have provided a number of innovative food businesses with the platform to launch in a tough economic climate.
So if the evolution hasn’t stopped, what has it done? Well, put simply, it’s evolved…
Celebrating Good Food
Just think for a second: have you ever seen anyone on a faddy diet smiling in any way other than smugly? No? I thought not. Want to know why? It’s because they’re unhappy! Faddy dieting has been punitive and focussed on denying yourself certain foods or food groups but this cannot continue. We need to celebrate the good in food.
As a trend, health is going to be a key focus for many years to come but the way it’s consumed will change. Superfoods have fallen in and out of fashion but they are a great example of celebrating food benefits rather than criminalising food baddies. Watch out for a rise in the use of spices and citrus additions to improve food flavours and supporting the body to break down fats.
This food trend for 2018 is born out of the same postmodern frustrations as the new health direction. Our obsession with self-denial in the pursuit for a better body has left some food stuffs feeling unloved. Carbs have been the enemy for a long time but I was delighted to see some #bringbackbread tweets recently.
Although I do endorse the moderation messaging, carbohydrates, whether simple or complex, must form part of our repertoire. We have enough crap weather to deal with in the UK that we at least need proper food, we need comfort food and we need to love our food. So expect to see a move back to proper food in 2018 to fill our plates and social media feeds with pies, pastries, pasta dishes and amazing breads!
Food On The Hoof
This trend isn’t going anywhere. We love to eat and explore new foods. We love to socialise. We love to be busy. So we will always love to eat on the hoof. The sight of a stationary trailer on the high street used to signal sweaty burgers, greasy walls and even greasier hair nets but now it carries a mark of intrigue and interest. If you’ve ever seen the Jon Favreau classic food film Chef then you’ll fully appreciate why street food is exciting.
So what will be the cuisine trends of 2018? Well, major global sporting events are usually a good barometer of which country’s food will come into fashion so I anticipate Russian food to rise to the top at least for the summer months. As well as that I expect to see a rise in home comforts hitting street food vans: grilled cheese, quality pies, fish and chips and maybe even a roast dinner or two on the go!
So there you have it: my proper food trends to watch out for in 2018. Any comments or questions save them for January 1st 2019!
3 food trends taking London by storm in 2017
By Lea Tierney
It’s true, there are food experiences a-plenty in London this year; from the sublime to the bonkers but rather than discuss fads. In this article we’re going to look at the food trends that you need to keep an eye out for in 2017. Of course, you don’t always need to watch the trends, sometimes you can make them… But how will you do that without a kitchen to call your own? Well, just find a great value kitchen to rent in a densely populated city like London, and you’ve got the most important step out of the way to start marking your trend on the world.
Here are the 3 food trends set to stay for 2017.
Wellness Watering Holes
The Wellness scene in London is positively booming and with a growing crowd of city dwellers desiring a more holistic approach to health, we’re seeing this reflected in the dining opportunities on offer in 2017. Whilst “clean eating” has come under scrutiny and featured highly in the media of late, there’s no escaping that wellness focused foodies want the freedom to dine out on nutritious, great tasting food.
The recently opened Bel Air, with their highly Instagram-able menu is promising to offer just that; lunch offerings include the delicious sounding black bean falafel with five greens quinoa salad, tomatillo salsa & avocado lime “mayo”, and the coconut, pumpkin & green lentil daal, with turmeric & cardamom spiced soya yoghurt and shaved coconut. Plus, all of the food at Bel Air is handmade from scratch without the use of refined sugar.
There’s no shortage of chefs making veggies the star of the plate – demonstrating the power of trend number 2…
Plant Powered Plates
With the growing profile of the vegan movement, courtesy of campaigns such as Veganuary, it’s no surprise that plant based options are set to be on the rise in 2017. For those opting for a plant based lifestyle and signed up to Veganuary, it is a choice likely to stick. According to their 2016 survey, “many people (about 38%) may be continuing to consume a reduced level of animal products compared to before Veganuary” and, according to their website, over 542,000 people in Britain are following a vegan diet.
Aside from numerous chains offering vegan menus or adaptations for January, several new eateries are set to appear on the scene offering plant based fare. Amongst these is the highly anticipated The Clifton. Set to open in March 2017, the historic pub is getting a new lease of life from Ed and Ben Robson – with a menu to match, as they are committing to providing vegan and gluten free dishes as part of their offering. Naturally that leads us nicely into trend number 3…
Free From Feasting
Far from being a dietary fad, the number of people going gluten free is increasing. Coeliac Disease affects around 1 in 100 people but the number of people affected by gluten intolerance is unknown. With the growing awareness of the impact of diet on health and the rising popularity of ‘free from’ bloggers and media personalities, gluten free dining looks to be much more widely available in 2017.
Promising a range of comforting and nourishing gluten free dishes, the opening of the new Maple & Fitz store, to be named Maple & Kings, highlights the increasing trend towards providing gluten free options. These offerings are expected to include, amongst others, gluten free rhubarb-pomegranate-oat pancakes with coconut yoghurt and maple vegan butter and, looking at their existing range of gluten free treats, is likely to be accompanied by “the best gluten free brownie”. Maple & Kings are set to open in March 2017 so it may be a little early to get in the queue for that brownie just yet…
There’s a clear link between these 3 trends; wellness focused dining, plant based options and gluten free provisions are all essential to the more aware consumer that is emerging.
2017 is shaping up to be a feast for all!
About the Author of 3 food trends taking London by storm in 2017
I’m Lea, the face behind Can Eat Attitude; I’m a Coeliac Vegan, freelancer and have a passion for nutrition and food. On my blog, I highlight the amazing and nourishing things you CAN eat on a “restricted diet” through easy wholefood, plant based and generally “friendly” recipes, some cool places to eat out safely and positive experiences to try alongside your “can eat” attitude.