Written by John Koch
As a leader in the global food industry, Fresno-based Lyons Magnus uses proprietary resources and analysis to support its partners with targeted trend insights that will resonate with customers. Here are predictions for six emerging trends we believe will influence food and beverage menus in 2020 and beyond.
TOP SIX TRENDS
A PROLIFERATION OF PLANT LIFE — 12.5% of Americans self-identify as vegetarian or vegan, and 21% identify as flexitarian. There is a “cool” factor associated with a plant-based diet driven by multiple perceived benefits such as animal welfare, personal health, and environmental consciousness. Look for oat milk to be seemingly everywhere and a reduced reliance on soy protein as brands continue to focus on eliminating common allergens.
FLAVOR WITHOUT BORDERS — Consumers are craving a connection to other cultures and have an increasing interest in new flavors and dining experiences from far-reaching places. Global dishes, once country of origin specific, are now taking many different forms. From using local ingredients to make exotic fare to food that exists in every culture, such as dumplings, and fried chicken, there is a rise in borderless cuisine. Look for dishes without specific geographical roots but with flavors and techniques from multiple cuisines, geographies, and cultures all in one dish or on one menu.
SOCIAL IMAGING — Food and drink that are a surprise, shock or unexpected that also appears striking, unique or intriguing will inspire the most social media attention and buzz.
NOSTALGIA NEVER DIES — Nostalgia never goes away, but it can be persnickety or discriminatory. The vast majority of consumers want nostalgia at some time, but those nostalgic choices will vary (and what is a nostalgic product to someone from an older generation might be completely new to a younger consumer). Watch for fruit pies, cobblers, heritage cookie recipes like snickerdoodles and Girl Scout Cookie flavors to trend. Also, retro milkshakes, candy and Popsicle flavors also grow in popularity.
THE MEANING OF TRANSPARENCY — The definition of transparency continues to expand. Consumers will become even more interested in understanding not only ingredient origins, additives, growing and processing methods but associated food production issues like animal welfare, sustainability, fair trade, environmental impact, living wages and executive compensation. Look for more and more food manufacturers and restaurant chains striving to quickly address these concerns.
EATING FOR GOOD — Consumers are seeking ways to promote and maintain their well-being as well as prevent any future health issues through food. Look for even more plant-based diets, and minimally processed foods identified through transparent labeling. Highly fortified nutritionals, functional foods, antioxidants, protein boosts, gut health, and vitamin supplements to move more toward the mainstream.
John Koch is vice president, culinary sales, for Lyons Magnus. The Company’s innovative foodservice product portfolio includes a complete line of plant-based milk products, flagship items such as Lyons Designer Dessert Sauces®, Lyons® Frozen Fruit Toppings, Lyons Sweet Indulgence Sauces®, Lyons FlashPak™ dispensed Juices, Maui Fruit Blends® for blended beverages, Lyons® Premium Beverage Syrups, and Lyons ReadyCare® Thickened Beverages and Supplements for the healthcare channel.