What Will We Eat in 2020? Something Toasted, Something Blue

Kim Severson wrote . . . . . . . . .

If you’re the sort of person who uses the annual avalanche of food and drink predictions as an anthropological window into the state of the American psyche, prepare for a stripped-down, no-nonsense 2020.

Mold and sobriety will be popular. Porridges like jook and arroz caldo are the new comfort foods. Saving the planet will have a new urgency, so bring your own mug to the coffee shop and learn to embrace the term “plant-based.”

“There is a sense that the rose-colored glasses are off,” said Andrew Freeman, president of AF&Co., the San Francisco consulting firm that for 12 years has published a food and hospitality trend report. This year’s is titled “We’re Not in Kansas Anymore.”

“The world just feels different,” Mr. Freeman said. “The labor market is tight, the political landscape is a mess. All of us are trying to navigate it.”

That doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun, though. If the forecasters can be believed, joy will be found in towers of buttered toast piled with ice cream, sourdough doughnuts, CBD-infused everything and even more fried chicken sandwiches.

Here, then, is a sampling of what could be in store for 2020.

Country of the Year: Japan

That recent Instagram uptick in soufflé pancakes and the fish-shaped ice cream cones called taiyaki isn’t a coincidence. With the 2020 Summer Olympics set for Tokyo and a rise in travel to Japan, the country’s influence will extend into the American culinary landscape, said Amanda Topper, associate director of food service for Mintel, the global market research company. Trendspotters also predict more interest in food from India, with a special emphasis on spicy Keralan dishes built from rice, coconut and fish, as well as foods from West Africa, Vietnam and Laos.

Cause of the Year: The Planet

As farmers grapple with climate change and consumers grow increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of what they eat, restaurants and food producers are doubling down on earth-friendly ingredients and practices. Vegan dishes and meat alternatives will show up on more menus, both fine-dining and fast-food. Regenerative farmers, who focus on soil health, are the new organic farmers. Chefs are exploring how to cook cover crops like peas and buckwheat, which regenerative farmers plant between harvests as a way to improve soil, control weeds and sequester carbon. Look for more edible and biodegradable packaging, and reusable everything, from cups to cutlery. “The companies that will win in the next 10 years will be those that fuel the new era of conscious consumption,” said Jenny Zegler, the associate director of food and drink research for Mintel.

Color of the Year: Blue

The hue started catching the eye of tastemakers a few years ago, but this year blue and its moody sibling, indigo, are expected to color more food. Butterfly pea powder tea (the new matcha!) is showing up in moon milk, a sleep remedy that is the latest adaptation of ayurvedic tradition. Ube, a purple yam, is the new “It” root vegetable; orach, also called mountain spinach, could be the new kale. Pop culture seems to be driving this one: Pantone has declared classic blue its color of the year, and blue food plays an outsize role in the novels of Percy Jackson, whose musical “The Lightning Thief” is on Broadway.

Toasted

The latest star imported from Asian tea shops is brick toast, built from thick slices of pain de mie that are scored, buttered, toasted and covered in sweet custard, syrup or ice cream. Variations on the dish, sometimes called honey toast, abound in different parts of Asia. In Japan, where it is also called Shibuya toast after the Tokyo district where the style began, a substantial portion of a loaf is hollowed out and filled with squares of toasted bread, ice cream, syrup and fruit. The Taiwanese style is more subdued, topped with condensed milk, custard or cheese. A second cousin is kaya toast, popular in Singapore, made with a thick slab of salted butter and a jam of coconut and pandan leaves that is usually served with soft-boiled eggs.

Not Toasted

Low and no-alcohol drinks are in, but that doesn’t necessarily mean people want to face the next decade without a little help. Look for a rise in mood food and calming beverages awash in CBD or adaptogens, plants that may help relieve stress. “It’s not just a young person’s thing,” said Willa Zhen, a professor of liberal arts and food studies at the Culinary Institute of America. “I think we’re all anxious.”

Growing Up

This could be the year the children’s menu finally dies — or is at least radically re-engineered. Millennials, an unusually food-aware generation, are parents to more than half of the nation’s children. And as Americans opt for less processed food and more global flavors, chicken nuggets and mac and cheese may give ground to salmon fish sticks, agedashi pops and hemp pasta with ghee.

Generational Cooking

First-generation immigrants to America, and grandparents who live in other countries or have recently immigrated, will transform restaurant menus. This is part of a growing interest among chefs with mixed cultural backgrounds to create new dishes based on techniques and ingredients from both sides of the family.

Fresh Flours

Almond flour is so 2019. Look for alternative flours made from green bananas, sweet potatoes, cauliflower and watermelon seeds.

Tech Rescues

Artificial intelligence will flood restaurants, especially fast-food and quick-service operations, adjusting pricing in real time to accommodate fluctuations in supply and demand. Delivery apps and in-store menu boards will suggest foods in the same way Netflix recommends movies. Menu boards will use voice bots and face recognition software to customize and speed ordering. Unmanned rovers will bring you pizza; companies like Domino’s are testing them in Houston and some European cities, and robots are already bringing Dunkin’ doughnuts and Starbucks coffee to college students. Breakthroughs in food safety will result from better use of blockchain, a digital ledger that can track food as it works its way from the farm to the consumer.

And the Rest

  • Churros.
  • Flavored ghee.
  • Koji, the ancient mold responsible for miso and soy sauce.
  • Cantonese pineapple buns.
  • Makgeolli, the sparkling, fermented Korean rice liquor.
  • Puffed snacks made from vegetable peels.
  • Floral flavors.
  • Halloumi cheese.
  • Edible flowers and botanicals.
  • Cane sugar alternatives.
  • Food wrapped in bijao leaves.
  • Ice cream with hidden vegetables (think mint chocolate chip with puréed spinach).

Don’t be surprised if some of these fail to take hold. “The thing to remember is that it comes back to taste,” said Ms. Topper, of Mintel. “We can talk about various trends, but if it’s not something that first and foremost people want to consume, it won’t last.”

Source: The New York Times

Top Trends for 2020 Reflect Fragmented Consumer Demands

From cauliflower pizza to beetroot bread, convenient plant-based products are on a strong long-term growth trajectory, according to New Nutrition Business.

At the same time, while people opt for plants due to their natural functionality, they are still consuming meat too. Despite vocal attacks about health and sustainability credentials, which made it look as if the meat category was set for long-term decline, consumption has increased in both the U.S. and in Europe in recent years.

“Consumers’ perception of meat as a tasty and high-quality protein is driving the reinvention of meat and will secure its permanent place on the plate, and as a snack,” said Julian Mellentin, a consultant to the food and beverage industry and author of the report 10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition and Health 2020. This annual trend analysis identified, for the first time, meat as a growth opportunity alongside plant-based.

“People want plants, but we’re not all turning into vegans,” said Mellentin. “In a world where consumers hold fragmented beliefs, there’s room for both plants and meat.”

“With plant-based getting all the attention, and meat under attack, creative meat producers are taking steps to reinvent their category, for example with sustainability, provenance and convenience,” he added. For example, U.S. sales of meat snacks grew 6.7% in 2019 to $4.5 billion (IRI).

And Nielsen data shows that meat brands that communicate about provenance, sustainability and animal welfare are growing fast and earning premium prices. U.S. sales of meat with health or environmental claims are growing rapidly, led by “organic” up 13.1% and “grass-fed” up 12.2%.

It’s a transformation that will be welcomed by consumers, who love to hear that something they enjoy is also good for them—as happened with red wine and chocolate. And they’re particularly receptive right now to positive messages about meat, said Mellentin, thanks to the influence of other key consumer trends identified in the report, including Protein, Lower-carb and the Rebirth of Fat.

Consuming fewer carbs—which by definition means eating more fat and/or protein, often in the form of meat—is growing in popularity, fueled by diet patterns such as keto. And low-carb eating is now legitimized by science. The American Diabetes Association recommends low-carb eating to fight diabetes and for weight management, and low-carbing is being adopted by doctors in the U.K.

Fear of the ultimate “bad carb”—sugar—is now mainstream. A massive 80% of U.S. consumers say they are limiting or avoiding sugar in their diets, and there are similar levels of concern in Europe and South America.

It’s a reflection of the fragmentation of consumer beliefs that, alongside a growing demand for low-carb products, honest indulgence is also a big growth driver: “In the midst of the focus on health and nutrition, let’s not forget that most people buy bakery products for pure pleasure,” said Mellentin. “Natural ingredients, Provenance and great taste all matter more than nutrition.”

Many cereals and granolas are discovering that they can gain sales by using inulin in order to offer consumers low-sugar products that also benefit digestive wellness. The Troo Granola brand in the U.K., for example, uses inulin syrup in its products because it serves both as a prebiotic and a sweetener, giving a more appealing taste to consumers while keeping sugar content down.

These twin benefits have caused demand for inulin to surge—the number of products launched that feature inulin doubled between 2012 and 2019.

Source: Nutraceuticals World

Nutrition Experts Forecast 2020 will Usher in the Ultimate Food Revolution

Move over highly processed foods and empty calorie carbs and make room for plant-based protein and nutrition-packed grains. These are just some of the food items that registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) predict consumers will be seeking out as we enter the next decade of the 21st century. We’ll likely be seeing more of a healthy revolution in 2020 and beyond, according to the annual Pollock Communications and Today’s Dietitian “What’s Trending in Nutrition” survey. With 1,259 RDNs responding, the “What’s Trending in Nutrition” survey reveals the hottest food and nutrition trends to look for in 2020 – including the increasingly-popular “keto” diet, fermented foods, non-dairy milks, and plant proteins – to name a few. This year green tea pushes out coconut products from the top 10 superfoods list, while a “healthy” label holds strong as a leading consumer purchase driver, surpassing cost and taste, yet again. All the data share a similar theme: a clean-label and healthy are in – highly-processed and complex ingredients are out.

Top 10 Superfoods for 2020

Powerhouse foods that provide desirable benefits from boosting gut health to blunting inflammation bookend this year’s top 10 list, with fermented foods – like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi and miso – at the #1 spot and flavonoid-rich green tea at #10. It’s no surprise, as consumers make gut health and reducing inflammation a priority in their quest for health and wellness. Non-dairy milks move up on the list to the #8 spot, underscoring the growing popularity of plant-based swaps.

Here’s the full list of superfood predictions for 2020:

  1. Fermented foods, like yogurt & kefir
  2. Avocado
  3. Seeds
  4. Exotic fruit, like acai, golden berries
  5. Ancient grains
  6. Blueberries
  7. Nuts
  8. Non-dairy milks
  9. Beets
  10. Green Tea

Top 10 Consumer Purchase Drivers

The survey results reveal consistency in the millennial-driven search for foods that fit their health and wellness lifestyles. When asked what motivates consumer food purchase decision, the findings show what food manufacturers should focus on to win these customers. Convenience, cost and taste have always been key, but for two years in a row now, “healthy” is second only to convenience, and tops cost and taste.

Here’s a look at the list of top 10 purchase drivers for 2020:

  1. Convenience
  2. Healthy
  3. Cost
  4. Taste
  5. Natural
  6. Clean-Label
  7. Organic
  8. Gluten Free
  9. Non-GMO
  10. Dairy free

“The 2020 survey results send a clear and consistent message. Consumers want to live healthier lives,” says Louise Pollock, President of Pollock Communications. “They have access to an incredible amount of health information, and they view food as a way to meet their health and wellness goals. Consumers are taking control of their health in ways they never did before, forcing the food industry to evolve and food companies to innovate in response to consumer demand.”

Keto is King – Deprivation Over Decadence

With the ketogenic (keto) diet reigning at the #1 spot again in 2020, this diet trend looks like it’s here to stay, followed by intermittent fasting and clean eating. While these diet trends may not be endorsed by all RDNs, it’s clear that consumers have no issue with elimination diets – scrapping foods they believe won’t help them meet their health, wellness and weight loss goals. Moderation is making way for deprivation and consumers have never felt better about it. They realize that what they eat affects how they feel. RDNs agree that consumers will be significantly reducing carbohydrates, grains and sugar in favor of vegetables, fat and meat in the coming year.

Top 5 Nutrition Recommendations from RDNs

According to the survey, celebrities, friends/family, blogs and social media are still the top sources of nutrition misinformation for consumers. Instead, consumers should follow the experts’ advice! RDNs give these five health and wellness eating tips for 2020:

  1. Eat more servings of vegetables per day
  2. Increase fiber intake
  3. Limit highly processed foods or fast foods
  4. Limit foods with “added sugars”
  5. Choose non-caloric drinks, like unsweetened tea and coffee

Source: Pollock Communications

The New Ways We’ll Be Eating in 2020

Kevi Alexander wrote . . . . . . . . .

Like most of my stories, this one begins in a Chipotle.

It was earlier this year, and I had just settled down for a midsummer’s day snack at the Chipotle in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood. While eating my barbacoa taco with guacamole, I watched a young gentleman enter the restaurant on his phone. Because I assume the best intentions, I figured he was just reading a riveting John Grisham thriller on the Books app while he waited for a friend.

But six minutes later, when his friend showed up, he did not get up to wait in the very short line with him. Instead, about a minute later, he got up, walked to the shelf designated for delivery app to-go orders, and picked out a bag of food. By the time his friend returned, he’d opened the bag and started eating at a table. His friend, acting as my avatar, asked the obvious question when he returned with his own food, “Dude, why didn’t you just get your food at the counter?”

“Nah,” came the reply in between bites of burrito. “This was way easier.”

Welcome, friends, to the modern dining out scene in the year 2019. As Thrillist’s National Writer-at-Large, it has been my duty to keep an eye on the American dining scene for the last few years, and I can tell you firsthand, we are currently living in strange dining times. With no recession in the last eleven years, restaurant growth has been explosive, and there are over 100,000 more restaurants in America now than there were ten years ago. Cool, right? Well, sort of. But no recession also means landlords have been able to jack up rents for 11 straight years, and with an increase of restaurants looking for workers, it’s also meant the labor force has been stretched nearly to the breaking point.

Thirsty for a solution, or at least a way to cut costs, more and more restaurants have turned to the fast casual model, which meant less front-of-the-house staff, and often simplified casual menus and apps. Oh, the apps. Like websites ten years ago, fast casual restaurants everywhere are clamoring to have apps for ease of ordering and payment, and this is not just the national chains. Even my local bakery, with three locations all in Marin County, has an app.

This phone-heavy, nearly human interaction-free style of dining has pushed us into some weird places as consumers, as our dining habits start to model our increasingly fractured, niche focused second life online. Even the idea of the “communal table,” once thought of as a novel idea to both add more seats to a restaurant and encourage interaction amongst solo customers, now seems to have more in common with a subway car or a farm barn trough, as people stare ahead at their phones with their AirPods in and mindlessly chew whatever is in front of them.

But before I spend too much time leaning back in my rocking chair and telling all the young folks how better it was back in the day, I’d rather talk through some of the other emerging trends I’ve noticed over the last six months writing my bi-monthly review column, Too Fast Too Casual. So here are three:

Keep(ing) it Simple (is not) Stupid

As tastes continue to fracture into niches and mini-niches, I’ve seen things go both ways. Some restaurants try and fit more and more varied fare and styles of food under their umbrella, and others stick to the program that got them there. Places like Five Guys, Jersey Mike’s, and Wingstop (some of my favorite of the fast-casual joints I’ve reviewed) have almost a contrarian focus in what they do, and with that focus, they’re able to double down on the quality of the product at hand.

Restaurants that’ve gone the other way, Panera, for example, which seems to have an ever-expanding menu, or Noodles & Company, which, as a concept, offers global variations on anything with “noodles”, can fall into the trap where they’re so eager to please everyone that they end up pleasing no one. It reminds me of a book I once read about college admissions counselors, who said they were much more interested in a “spike” (ie someone who was excellent in one thing, be it the tuba or a sport or science) than an “all-around student.” In this highly sped-up, social media-swirled world, the spike restaurants stand out, while the all-around joints remain stuck on everyone’s waitlist.

The Changing Perception of Wifi “Camping”

In the early aughts, as Starbucks blossomed on every corner and became the de-facto office for the growing number of freelancers, it became somewhat of a joke to lament the “campers” who just set up shop and ordered one hot tea over the course of six hours.

Nowadays, we consumers have a greater sense of awareness that, if we spend six hours in a joint, we need to order food, or at least multiple drinks, to pay for the space we’re taking up (which the restaurant could be using to serve other customers).

On the restaurant side, that means more and more places seek to encroach on what was once exclusively coffee shop territory, by offering free Wifi and comfortable seating, and hoping that, over the course of those six hours, they can entice you to get a couple of meals, and a few Agua Frescas. In fact, nearly every chain I visited, with the exception of Wingstop, offered free Wifi. Panera, with its twin focus on baked goods and lunch items, is most logically set up to take advantage of this, because they’ve got a roster of grazing snacks and meals, but nearly everyone seems to feel they need to be involved. After all, if your office can be anywhere, more and more fast casual joints are wondering, why shouldn’t it be here?

The proliferation of airplane-style pricing

In the past few years, airplanes have famously put everything up for sale. Want an six extra inches of legroom? That’s $44. How about boarding in the first three groups? Add $28. Want Wifi? That’s $20 for the flight. And this is even before we get to the food and drinks.

Fast casual joints, especially the newer iterations, are very aware of the advantages of this technique. So they’ve begun breaking apart meals into components they can charge extra for. The upscale assembly line joints (as really pioneered by Chipotle) are masters of this. Chipotle does it with guacamole and queso, but it works with any of the “make-your-own” style places.

At Sweetgreen, for example, the enticements come with what they call “Premiums” (roasted chicken, or shaved parmesan, or avocado, or feta, etc); at places like NY-based Dig Inn, it’s the genius and possibility of splitting everything into A La Carte Sides (including, somewhat confusingly, “Main Sides”) at around $4 per. So it seems completely reasonable to throw in those charred Brussels with honey chili oil and some extra herb roasted chicken on top of the three you got in your Farmer’s Favorite Marketbowl. At Lemonade, it’s the enticement of “Hot Sides,” like blonde onion soup and white truffle Mac & Cheese bubbling up in front of you while you order your marketplace salad or sandwich. It’s all sitting there, looking Instagram-worthy, waiting for you to fork over that extra $5 for the taste.

So those are the three large trends I’m seeing. But here’s a short list of micro trends I’ve noticed, food/drink items and terms that seem to pervade the newer fast casual menus:

  • Bowls of… everything.
  • Agua fresca
  • “Street Food” – usually meaning snacks and simple meals from non-European countries.
  • Macarons – not to be confused with macaroons.
  • Mason jars – usually filled with parfait-style snacks or desserts.
  • “Updated” – as in “Updated Caesar Salad.” A restaurant’s way of showing you a classic dish but saying, “oh no honey, it’s not the OLD version. We’re using pine nuts!”
  • Newer, fancier avocado toast – like, two iterations fancier than the original 2011 model.
  • Slightly fancy soft serve ice cream
  • Oversized chocolate chip cookies flecked with sea salt
  • Bite size cake… things – cake pops, cake balls, cake bites, just damn small pieces of cake.

I’ll end on a hopeful note, and that is this: the most exciting things happening in the fast casual space seem to be coming from outside of the traditional American comfort food zones. Northern California based Curry Up Now, serving “Indian Street Food,” has already expanded into Utah and has plans to keep going. Beit Rima, Samir Mogannam’s “Arabic comfort food” restaurant in San Francisco, pays homage to the foods of his Palestinian grandparents and has been wildly successful. It continues to grow, as does Taboonette, Israeli chef Efi Naon’s NYC’s “Middleterranean” spot. Junzi Kitchen, a fast casual Chinese chain, is doing something incredibly interesting: creating a fund to help buy and modernize older Chinese-American restaurants, with the idea of keeping their identities alive. Pierre Thiam’s Senegalese fast casual restaurant Teranga showcases West African dishes like Jollof Fonio with roasted salmon and black eyed pea salad, or spicy fried plantains.

But one of the best fast casual experiences I had this year came when I visited Chef JJ Johnson’s Harlem fast casual restaurant FIELD TRIP in Harlem. With the motto “Rice is Culture,” FIELD TRIP uses heirloom grains and freshly milled unbleached rice to try and showcase to its diners the interconnectivity of a dish like rice throughout different world regions. But, most exciting of all, was how damn good it was. Everything from the Crab Pockets with sweet and sticky sauce, to the Quinoa Bao Buns, to the Shrimp bowl with green curry felt nutrient-dense and interesting and purposeful.

Oh, and while I was there, I was so preoccupied with my food and a conversation with a nearby diner, I forgot to take photos or even look at my phone. And nowadays, maybe that’s the ultimate compliment.

Source: Thrillist

2020 Snack Food Trends

From Truly Good Foods . . . . . . . . .

Our annual trend report highlights some of the biggest food trends we predict for the coming year. 2020 is looking like a big year for flavor innovation, personalized nutrition and a wider acceptance of plant-based options.

Our 2020 Snack Food Trends include:

Unique Fruit Flavors

Fruity flavors are taking a turn to the exotic. Especially popular in beverages and candies, the flavor trends are moving beyond traditional fruits and highlighting more unusual flavors. Coming from an overseas influence, we’re seeing fruits like yuzu, lychee, blood orange, prickly pear, calamansi (a hybrid between a kumquat and mandarin orange – more on hybrids later in our trends!), Meyer lemon, and Japanese plum.

Sweet Heat

The consumer’s sweet tooth is transitioning into more of a spicy tooth. As sugar continues to be looked upon as a negative, product development teams are looking into less sweet flavors that will keep consumers interested. The combination of sweet and heat is continuing to gain ground, especially moving into candy. As spicy, global cuisines continue to be a huge trend in the foodservice industry, that has filtered down to confections with spicy chocolates, baked goods and candy.

New Flours

As a grain-free lifestyle becomes more popular, alternative flours are hitting the mainstream and you can expect to see even more versions this coming year. Popular for a few years in pre-made cauliflower crust pizzas, cauliflower flour will be available in bulk and packaged for the consumer to experiment in the kitchen with. Some other interesting alternative flours going mainstream this year include banana flour, chickpea flour, Tigernut (a root vegetable) flour, coconut flour, nut flours (almond, cashew, macadamia, etc), and sorghum flour.

Expect to see more “boosted” flour options too that feature added protein, fiber and other nutritional benefits.

In the CPG arena, more snacks will feature these new flours as key ingredients to offer a gluten-free snack option.

Mood Boosted Food

We covered the functional food trend in last year’s report and this year we’re diving deeper into mood-boosting foods. Foods and beverages featuring mood-boosting ingredients are on the rise this year as consumers want those added benefits from their snacks. Mood-boosting ingredients are being featured on packaged snacks and restaurants are even testing special menus to shift your mood in a particular way.

More Nut Butters

Similar to gluten-free alternative flours, nut butters are getting more unique options to compete with the OG peanut butter. These plant-based butters avoid peanut allergies and many of them also eliminate the use of palm oil whose harvesting can be harmful to the rainforests. Look for new nut and seed butters that are made from watermelon seeds, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, and coconut.

Hybrids

Adventurous consumers are highly receptive to hybrid products. You probably remember the mass hysteria a few years ago over the cronut – a croissant/doughnut hybrid. We’ve seen hybrid trends come and go since then and we expect 2020 to be a big year for hybrid snacks. As food companies feel the pressure for creative flavor innovation to attract consumers’ attention and boost sales, they’ve taken to mixing and matching among flavors and categories. Think birthday cake-flavored popcorn or alcohol-flavored gummies. A lot of these hybrid flavors are being rolled out with limited-time releases which enhances the uniqueness of the experience. Food launches with a limited-batch claim have increased by 36% over the past several years, according to Innova. It’s a great way to test innovation and draw excitement for interesting hybrid snacks.

More Than A Flavor

Consumer demand for unique experiences will move beyond flavor to include texture more this year. 70% of consumers said texture gives food a more interesting experience and although texture is a key element of how we experience food, it doesn’t get as much attention as some of our other senses. Often when texture is commented upon in food, it’s in a negative way such as not liking the texture of a food item.

Playing up texture can make existing products more exciting and new products can highlight textures for a fun, new experience. Consumer demand for something new and different is predicted to increase, to be reflected in more product launches with textural claims. Because not many brands focus on their product’s texture, it can be a great point of differentiation in crowded categories, like snacks.

For color trends this year, the palette is moving from warm to cool with blues and greens spotlighted in dishes and packaged snacks. Colorful ingredient options include blue algae, beets, matcha, and butterfly pea flower tea, which changes color from blue to purple when acidity is added to it.

The Mighty Chickpea

Product developers continue to discover new possibilities and applications for chickpeas. Already popping up in savory and sweet spreads, pastas, and snacks, garbanzo beans are now breaking further into the bakery segment. A great source of plant-based protein and fiber, chickpea crust could be the next cauliflower crust and chickpea butter the next alternative nut butter.

Plant-Forward World

Food and beverage products featuring a plant-based claim posted an average annual growth rate of 68% over the past five years, according to Innova. The interesting part of the plant-based revolution is that it’s no longer just about finding meat-free alternatives for vegans and vegetarians. Now, plant-based products are being enjoyed by the general meat-eating population who are trying to cut down their meat consumption. That is a true testament to the product innovation of great tasting food and the storytelling that has gone hand-in-hand with plant-based products.

Interest in plant-based foods and beverages is aligned with sustainability, another top trend for 2020.

According to an Innova report, close to 90% of global consumers said they expect companies to invest in sustainability, up 22% from last year. When it comes to sustainability, studies have shown that older consumers care more about food waste and younger consumers care more about plastic waste. The heightened focus on single-use plastics is no longer just a trend relegated to certain states, but a reality that goes beyond the purge of plastic straws.

Source: Truly Good Foods