Gourmet Girl: The 2020 Santa Fe Food Forecast
Move over avocado toast and oat milk lattes. It's time to make way for the new food trends of 2020. Each new year brings a pile of predictions from leading food experts about what we'll be eating for the next twelve months. If you're tired of kale and unicorn food (think Instagrammable rainbow-colored cupcakes awash in sparkling sprinkles) then you're in luck. This year's trends focus on plant-based food, earth-friendly ingredients and practices and the classic color blue. Here's how a few food-centric heavyweights weighed in for 2020 with their crystal balls.
One of the biggest trends in 2020, according to numerous watchers of what we eat, is a focus on earth-friendly food and practices that help the planet. Think of it as “conscious consumption.” Instead of oversize portions of steak and French fries, people will choose vegan fare and plant-based alternatives. “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,” writes New York Times' reporter Kim Severson in the article “What Will We Eat in 2020: Something Toasted, Something Blue.”
We've already seen the rise of plant-based food as the Impossible Burger hit grocery stores a few years ago. Last year, Burger King introduced its Impossible Whopper. You'll see more versions of plant-based food as other companies jump into the game with product they're working hard to perfect. The big chains are banking on plant-based breakfasts, too. Dunkin Donuts released a plant-based sausage sandwich at the end of last year, and Burger King plans a Breakfast Croissant made with an Impossible Foods sausage patty.
Look also for restaurants to incorporate ingredients grown using earth-friendly practices like regenerative farming, which stresses soil health. Chefs will use buckwheat, peas and other cover crops grown by regenerative farmers in between harvests to enrich soil, minimize weeds and slow the release of carbon dioxide, or sequester carbon, in an effort to combat climate change.
The zero-waste trend will only strengthen, as home chefs and restaurants become more dedicated to eliminating waste. This means composting and avoiding wasteful packaging in favor of biodegradable and edible packaging instead. "Zero-waste cooking is a sign of the times, as younger generations of consumers value that in restaurants and want to support establishments that are more eco-friendly," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research at the National Restaurant Association, to Insider. It's also good for business and helps restaurants reduce costs, as well as benefiting the environment."
Fasting for Health
Diet fads are a dime a dozen, but it looks like the intermittent fasting trend is having its day. And hey, isn't it easier to limit the hours you eat throughout the day than to deny yourself any food when fasting for a full day or longer? According to research, intermittent fasting may help you live longer, combat stress and even reduce your risk for obesity and cancer.
This year brings a trend for tots. Kid's menus in restaurants may go the way of the dinosaur. Or, at least, they'll be overhauled. That's mainly because as parents, food-savvy millenials don't want their kids dining on chicken nuggets and other processed foods. Instead, they want to introduce their children to global foods from West Africa and other far-flung places. Restaurants are responding, with dishes like hemp pasta with ghee and salmon fish sticks, according to Severson.
Blue and CBD Foods
These 2020 food trend predictions may sound pretty somber, but there's room for fun at the table. Blue foods, for instance, seem to be in this year, thanks the Pantone Color Institute's proclamation that Classic Blue is the color of the year. Blueberries may jump to mind, but don't miss out on Butterfly pea powder tea, which Severson calls “the new matcha.” It's an ingredient in moon milk, a remedy for sleep. Speaking of sleep, or at least deep relaxation, the popularity of CBD-infused foods will only grow higher, according to all the experts. Just this last year, we saw CBD sold in tea, sparkling water, soda, gummy bears, chocolate bars, honey, popcorn and more. That trend is on track to take over the food industry, so expect to see CDB in everything!
In case you need a reminder that we're living in 2020, you could see a sea-change this year in how you order and receive your food. Artificial intelligence “will flood restaurants, especially fast-food and quick-service operations, adjusting pricing in real time to accommodate fluctuations in supply and demand,” Severson writes. On top of that, in-store menu boards and delivery apps will recommend foods for you, just like Netflix does with movies, so you could walk into a restaurant and let the place order for you. In some parts of the country, robots are already delivering pizza. Who knows? By next year, we may be predicting food trends on Mars.