The food trends of 2020

by Janine

What’s the buzz in 2020 with food? Let’s take a look at our top seven food trends in 2020 and what’s blowing up. Plant foods, non-alcoholic bars, flour alternatives and more. Let’s take a look at what to watch out for in the coming year.

Food trends in 2020 …

Plant food continues

There is no doubting the power of plant foods. High in minerals and vitamins, as well as health promoting factors, these natural beauties will continue to expand in popularity in days to come. With the popularity of plant-based foods and recipes we are now seeing a trend for products that are meat free and to replace the carnivore versions, such as sausages, burgers, nuggets and so on. We caution you to check the ingredients though before embarking on filling your fridges with these alternatives. To get the texture right to mimic meats manufacturers often add many ingredients that, whilst technically are plant based, do not resemble their natural state as mother earth supplied. For example, gluten and gums, whilst coming from natural grains and trees, are in and of themselves not healthy ingredients, but they are often used to recreate that rubbery texture that meat naturally has.

Other ingredients?

What other ingredients can you find that won’t do your health any favour? Here’s some I’ve found on various products and often in combination:
Titanium dioxide, Colours, Inactive yeast, Sugar, Lactic acid, Acacia gum, Carrageenan, Dextrose, Soy protein isolate, Sodium caseinate, artificial flavours, Methylcellulose, Sodium tripolyphosphate, Disodium inosinate, Disodium guanylate, Tetrasodium phosphate, Sodium hexametaphosphate, Succinic acid, Monosodium phosphate, Calcium chloride, and Calcium acetate.

So, whilst plant-based diets are on the rise and often times a great alternative to the fast and processed junk commonly available, take the extra time to really look at the ingredients, and make the switch a healthy one with foods in their natural state.

A rise in non-alcoholic bars and clubs

Non-alcoholic bars are starting to pop up all over the globe with the first one appearing in Switzerland at a resort bar called Verbena. We’re seeing an array of mock-tails with wonderful combinations of alcohol-free ingredients. What a great start in favour of a healthier option whilst catching up with friends. We’d like to see an even more focussed effort on healthier drinks rather than just fruity or sugary alternatives. Yes, sugary is better than alcoholic, but why not take the extra step to reduce sugar too and make that next drink super healthy with ingredients such as herbs, veggies and spices, along with spritzy mineral waters or flavoured herb teas.

Flour alternatives on the rise

The choice to go gluten-free is growing more and more, with coeliac disease and gluten intolerance being commonly diagnosed. It’s a great start to listening to the body and feeding it only what is good for it. For many this has meant that nut flours have taken prominence in the pantry, and commonly we’re seeing almond flour, hazelnut flour, and coconut flour replacing the traditional wheat variety. What’s exciting now is the growth into products that will assist those that are nut intolerant, products like green banana flour, quinoa flour, sweet potato flour, broccoli flour, squash flour, apple flour and much more! Keep an eye out for these exciting alternatives (if you’re not shy of carbs that is ).

Unpackages foods

Now I don’t know if this will be on the list of food trends in 2020, but one can only hope. With so much disposable product waste coming from our food packaging, there is a great opportunity for sustainable packaging to emerge. When you consider that an average plastic container takes anywhere from 200-1000 years to degrade, we need to see some serious food packaging innovation stat! Better yet, let’s hope we see a rise in self-serve bulk foods where you can bring your own containers in and have them filled without the need for more and more plastic.

Come on retailers, here’s your opportunity to focus on sustainability and zero waste! In the meantime, you can help this cause by taking your own bags and baskets shopping and asking your local stores to stop using foam and plastic packaging wherever possible, such as on fruits and vegetables. If you don’t buy it, they won’t use it.

Alternative convenience food

So, I’m calling this one because with all the differing food sensitivities in diets, along with a growing need for healthier pre-packaged quick meals, manufacturers will need to be a lot more savvy with ingredients if they want to stay relevant in this food sector. Not only will the ingredients be important, but it needs to taste good, so cheap and quick fixes using salt and sugar just aren’t going to cut it anymore. We are hoping to see high quality, good-tasting, clean foods with low sensitivity ingredients such as gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb, vegan and high protein alternatives just for starters.

Sugar free everything

Sugar free has been given a big nudge with the ketogenic diet movement. These options are great sugar free alternatives to the snack menus. Sometimes they include the use of sugar free sweeteners such as stevia, erythritol, monk fruit or xylitol. Sometimes they are sugar free all together. Either way these products can be a godsend in the transition from high sugar diets to no sugar diet. They allow us to adjust our taste buds to eliminate sweet treats altogether.

However, we do understand that sugar cravings don’t always come about from poor food choices. Wanting a sweet something can be a symptom of a number of causes, such as stress, fatigue, emotional ups and downs or metabolic syndrome. But sometimes it’s just an addiction because our bodies have grown accustomed to it, much like caffeine. Either way, the sugar free snack can help stabilise the body and reduces the cravings because even though our tongues can sense a sweet taste, our bodies do not get the sugar high with the subsequent energy crash. So, while this is not a long-term fix, it is certainly a great start in helping us change our habits towards healthier choices.

Taking charge of our choices

Okey, so this one is not a trend per se, but let me pose it to you anyway. Food is crucial for any human. We need it to sustain our bodies and give us energy so that we can work, rest and play. How we use food is a personal choice that we each make every day and every meal. We can make it a chore and resort to foods that are quick and easy without much consideration. Or we can let our taste buds take over, choosing foods for taste and not for health. Or, better yet, we can use it to nourish our bodies giving us the best possible vehicle to move through life with.

Your body, your choice

Either way, it is our choice and our choice alone. With each choice there are consequences to our state of health and longevity. Not to mention far reaching results on our energy, metabolism, hormones, brain function, our moods and our emotions.

So, before taking your next bite, ask yourself this question. “Is this momentary taste sensation worth the effect it will have on my body now and later?” “How is this food REALLY affecting me?” “Is this food the underlying cause of my physical or emotional ailment?” And here’s the amazing bit… it doesn’t take much to turn your health around. Small steps lead to big changes if you just change your choices.

So that’s our tips for food trends in 2020.

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