Year 2020: As we barrel into the much awaited 20s epoch, it’s fascinating to see the top trends that will rule the year, and a pool of predictions by industry veterans, and F&B media on food and drinks likely to be in your shopping cart.

Conscious consumerism will be at the heart of the trends with new ingredients and recipes reshaping the way consumers interact with restaurants, chefs, food tech firms, and beverage companies.

Food enthusiasts continue to be more informed, mindful and connected to the world than ever before. Their dining habits and dietary preferences is more inclined towards healthier food, plant based and clean label products, and functional beverages, along with the need to identify the ingredients and the source that helps them meet their dietary needs.

Here’s a look at the top food and beverage trends for the new year – 2020

Fresh & puffed snacks

New snacking patterns with meat, cheese and crackers are showing up along with puffed snacks that provide the crunch consumers long for, satisfying their cravings. Beet, kale, whey protein and quinoa snacks to become favourites – some “indulgent snacking” while cutting down calories. 

Zero-Proof Drinks

In the modern and anxious age of shoppers, the so called sober movement has led to the popularity for zero-proof drinks. Caffeinated and non-caffeinated drinks, and sparkling water with exotic flavours like bergamot orange, yuzu, and makrut lime, will be preferred.

Fad diets: DASH, Whole30, Mediterranean, MIND and Paleo diets promise healthfulness coupled with balance and palatability. Some emphasise on plant based cooking, the others on eliminating gluten, cutting down food high on saturated fat, and some including just veggies, fruits and nuts.

Kombucha: Kombucha is a versatile and healthy beverage that will do rounds in parties this year. Used as a base for mocktails as well as cocktails it could be quite refreshing in the hot summer months. It’s a solid choice to mainstream fusions.

Functional Beverages: Consumers are requesting for healthier options to been seen at the cold drinks section of any hypermarket. Zero carb, zero caffeine and zero sugar drinks are not so distant, as they expect way more than just taste. Ingredients commonly consumed in supplement form can be replaced by functional drinks like black alkaline water that keeps you super hydrated, boosts metabolism, and detoxifies your body. Water that benefits your digestion has ripple effects on you, thus adding to your overall health and wellness program.

Plant based food and less meat: Watch that plate this year, as vegetarian and vegan menu items will replace more of meat. We will see more plant-base takes with the growing need and acceptance of plant-based protein. Chefs to incorporate more vegetables, culinary experts and food companies to create some innovative and delectable dishes to savour!

Small portions & tiny tastes: High quality products that are locally sourced, home grown but in mini/ small portions will interest consumers. Healthier food items will be more appealing and mini-signature hand-crafted drinks will offer a unique experience; an occasion for interaction, taste and dining with friends and family.

Tracing ingredients, sustainability standards: Consumers are more cognizant and considerate of their choices. They have become more responsible towards the environment and are curious to know the source of ingredients – “labels to be scrutinised” even more. There are increasingly opting for upcycled ingredients, and improved, environment-friendly packaging.

Many of these trends focus on health and well-being, but no matter the trend, a consistent subject and theme is enhanced nutrition. How food can add nutritional benefits and help live a healthier and longer life is what matters!