/ Healthy Menu Options

2019 was a big year for nutrition-focused dining, and we don’t see these trends slowing down in 2020. Here are our predictions for the biggest trends next year.

Grab-and-Go

  • Today’s consumers want it all. They’re looking for great tasting food, but want it on the fly. The ability to run to their local convenience store or coffee shop and grab a meal has major perks. The average eater is starting to turn to restaurants for this option as well. This opens up a new avenue to reach new customers. Grab-and-go food options not only saves time, but also decreases labor needs for checkout counters and food preparation. Packaging food can also lend a hand in providing safe options for guests with specialty dietary needs, such as eating gluten-free. The fear of cross-contact during service is eliminated.

Plant-Based Meats & Milks

  • It is hard to escape the term “plant-based” to describe the future of dining out. A veggie-heavy diet has shown to have a positive impact on the consumer’s health, and can also be better for the planet. All sorts of milk alternatives have made their way to the list of options for your morning latte. Almond, coconut, oat, rice and even chickpea milk are now in high demand. While a typical veggie burger was made from soy and wheat in the past, a wave of allergen-free and gluten-free alternatives have reached the market. It’s easier than ever to find substitutions to animal products, and consumers are seeking those out.

Sustainability Trends

  • The plant-based trend is not the only way customers look to the food industry for environmental sustainability. Recent studies show that the environment is a top concern for consumers when they consider where to spend their money. Because of this, restaurants and other foodservice companies are looking for ways to improve the sustainability of their ingredients. Buying local or using hyper-local sources such as on-site gardens for ingredients are becoming popular. Ways to reduce food waste, like utilizing produce scraps to make stocks, will also be trending in 2020.

Kids Meals

  • The millennial generation that is driving the demand for more healthful and sustainable food options also are now becoming parents. Today’s kids are following in their parent’s footsteps when it comes to menu choices. Diets created to help with ADD or other diagnoses may include gluten-free foods or items free from artificial colors and flavors. The days of chicken nuggets and french fries are coming to an end, and parents are expecting a culinary experience for both themselves and their children.