The 2020 Food & Beverage Trend Report Has Arrived!

Posted by: jillw in: Consumer -

The Finn consumer group issues 11th annual report on trends taking off in 2020, from all things sustainable to new flavors, preferences, regional influences

The consumer group of Finn Partners has released its 2020 Food & Beverage Beat, reporting on the trends expected to take the food and beverage industry by storm this year. The 11th annual report found here surveys eight experts from throughout the industry and the country to pinpoint the fads, flavors and frames of reference for how food and beverage will evolve in 2020 and beyond.

“We’ve heard a lot about sustainability in recent years, but this year’s report shows just how all-encompassing that goal has become,” said Malisa Meresman, partner at Finn Partners. “Brands are really going to be challenged to show how they are being sustainable in every sense of the word, from their impact on the planet to their relationships with individuals’ health and the health of their food communities. Almost everyone is talking about sustainability, but there are other interesting movements coming down the road; 2020 is definitely shaping up to be a fascinating year for food and beverage.”

Some key food and beverage trends to watch in 2020 include:

  • Greater scrutiny of meat and dairy alternatives, as consumers become better educated about the level of processing involved to create these substitutes as well as the benefits of responsible and regenerative agricultural practices.
  • A growing African influence in the culinary space, including elements such as plant-based menus, spices, and ancient grains like fonio. The African influence should dovetail nicely with the movement of putting plant-based foods at the center.
  • More innovation at the bar in terms of plant-based flavorings and the use and re-use of ingredients. Asian influences should be prominent this year, with inspiration coming from the dynamic cocktail scenes of Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore.
  • Middle Eastern and Eastern European wines will demand more attention as their quality gains appreciation, while Chile and Uruguay are starting to turn heads with the right blend of price and quality. Also, look for more natural wines.
  • Increasingly personalized approaches to diets and wellness, as the reliance on fad diets and one-size-fits-all mindsets fade away. Additionally, gut health will keep getting attention, as will products – such as fermented foods and hot sauce – that promote it.

Key insights for the 2020 Food & Beverage Beat were gleaned from an expert panel of eight, including:

  • Gena Hamshaw, MS, RD, a recipe developer and author of the blog The Full Helping. She’s also the author of three cookbooks, including “Power Plates: 100 Nutritionally Balanced, One-Dish Vegan Meals.”
  • Cara Harbstreet, MS, RD, LD, based in Kansas City and founder of Street Smart Nutrition. She is passionate about helping people rediscover joy in eating deeply nourishing meals without restriction or fear. A nationally recognized food and nutrition expert, author and consultant, Cara regularly contributes to media outlets.
  • Emilie Hebert, a food blogger, blogging coach and plant eater who shares her plant-powered recipes and sustainable living tips at EmilieEats.com, showing that eating vegan can be fun, delicious and simple. She is earning a master’s degree in nutrition and will become a registered dietitian in 2021.
  • Neal D. Hulkower, an applied mathematician, freelance consultant and writer, and member of the Oregon wine industry. He is a regular contributor to wine publications including the Oregon Wine Press and the Journal of Wine Economics.
  • Taylor Lanzet, the senior director of supply and sustainability at Dig, a vegetable-forward fast casual restaurant group. Dig cultivates a network of sustainable farmers and producers to bring tasty, healthful and mindfully sourced food to everyone.
  • Joanna Lin, a creative director and digital strategist in the world of hospitality. She has a strong passion for visual storytelling for brands, bartenders and chefs who are making a positive impact in the industry.
  • Chef Vitaly Paley, a driving force in Portland, Oregon’s restaurant scene since opening Paley’s Place with his wife Kimberly in 1995. Winner of the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef Pacific Northwest Award, his influence extends through four additional restaurants: Rosa Rosa, Imperial, Headwaters and The Crown.
  • Bret Thorn, senior food editor at Nation’s Restaurant News. He reports on culinary trends in foodservice, and his columns in NRN won the 2006 Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award for best staff-written editorial or opinion column.

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