6 Food Trends to Know in 2020

by Melissa Chichester

What’s for dinner? This question might send you into a panic if you don’t like to cook. If you’re tired of making the same old foods every week, don’t despair. There are new food trends on the rise this year, and some of them may surprise you. 

Breakfast for dinner 

While it may not sound revolutionary, a Yahoo! Finance recently reported that “69% of Americans enjoy eating ‘breakfast for dinner.’” Enjoying breakfast for dinner is a great way to mix up meals. Cook up a breakfast burrito with spicy salsa, a simple bowl of oatmeal, or classic eggs and bacon.

Plant-based meals 

In 2019, a consumer report revealed that retail sales of plant-based foods grew by 11%, a significant number proving that more and more Americans are eating “green.” This trend shows growth in consuming foods such as pea protein, quinoa, and plant-based frozen meals. At the top of this trend though, are plant-based milk alternatives, such as cashew milk, oat milk, almond milk, and coconut milk, surprisingly beating out meat alternatives. Avocado-based foods also continue to grow.

Chickpeas 

This could be filed under “plant-based,” but with chickpeas dominating the food industry, they are worth their own mention!

The Providence Journal reported that chickpeas are growing in popularity so quickly that growth will propel chickpeas from a “$742-million business in 2019 to an $877-million one by 2024.”

This is partially due to sales from Banza Pasta, the fastest-growing pasta brand in the U.S., which is made entirely out of chickpeas. In addition, hummus has now gone mainstream.

functional beverage being poured into a glass

Functional beverages

People are looking to get more out of their beverage consumption and looking for drinks with specific benefits. This includes fermented probiotic beverages, drinks infused with adaptogens, and the addition of soothing botanicals. 

Market research firm Mintel reports that 39% of adults ages 18-24 want their diets to improve mood and help them relax. Energy is another key benefit consumers are looking for in functional beverages. As a result, the use of botanicals (such as lavender) in beverages has surged.

Turmeric continues to be another healthful nutrient sought out in drinks for its antioxidant properties.** 

In this same vein, mocktails are trending as 66% of millennials cite that they are trying to cut down on alcohol consumption, according to a Nielsen study. 

Low-sugar dark chocolate

It isn’t a secret that dark chocolate is better for you than milk chocolate. Low-sugar dark chocolate continues to be in demand. More and more people are choosing low-sugar, high cacao options in chocolate, such as 70% and as high as 95% cacao. These dark chocolate-covered cherries are made with 58% dark chocolate!

West African cuisine 

Ancient grains from West Africa, such as millet, fonio, and teff, and superfoods like moringa, are popping up in grocery stores and restaurants all over the country.