crystal ball'Tis the season to be jolly. Maybe, but 'tis also the season to try and make predictions about what's going to happen in the intervening months before the next being jolly season.

The great thing about making predictions is that everyone loves to hear people's opinions (particularly if they're believed to know more about the topic than us ordinary mortals), plus it's very rare you get called out if you got it wrong, unless you're in politics that is*.

We don't claim to have any inside knowledge of any of this, plus (so far) we haven't conducted any surveys or polls, so we're just going to do what we always do - jump on the internet and see what all the 'experts' reckon, then sprinkle a couple of our own thoughts in there and hope nobody notices.


What do we (and the experts) think 2020 will bring us in the world of food? Here we go…

Why not start with a couple of obvious ones – earlier in the year we covered a couple of trends we don't see grinding to a halt anytime soon – fake meat, fake fish and microgreens.

As everyone gets ever pickier about what they eat**, food-based businesses from supermarkets to cafes and restaurants have to cater for this new mass of fussy eaters, who are no longer happy just to sit down and have the standard fare.

Next time you go to the supermarket, watch how many people are poring over the ingredients list on the back of the packet to check whether they can eat whatever's in it. Savvy manufacturers have printed the ingredient list so small even people with perfect eyesight need a magnifying glass to read it. As a result a ten minute nip to the supermarket balloons out to 45 minutes checking everything.

Then imagine what it's like for vegans – 85% of the entirety of the store is off limits, and the rest needs to be meticulously checked for the presence of animal-based ingredients.

Both supermarkets and cafes/restaurants are now effectively forced into catering to fussy eaters – in supermarkets it's all now in the 'health' aisle (are they admitting that everything else is 'unhealthy'?) and restaurants and cafes have for some time marked items on the menu with 'GF' 'V' etc.

Our prediction (and yes it's ours, not anybody else's) is that we'll see more and more cafes going all in – so 100% on the menu is gluten free, vegan, or whatever it happens to be. This makes it easier for the fussy eaters, who don't have to examine every item to find out what they can and can't eat. At the same time big chains are putting vegan friendly items on the menu like Hungry Jacks with their brand new Vegan Cheeseburger(!) and Rebel Whopper.

Here are some other trends…

*Hemp seeds - which are apparently high in protein and good for your gut
*Non-wheat flours like coconut, rice and chickpea flours for people wanting to avoid gluten
*'Simple' packaged food – for example pasta sauce which has only tomato, garlic and basil in it (did it ever need more than that?)
*Provenance – it's not just for wine any more – when people are eating out they increasingly want to know a whole lot more about where the food they're eating has come from and how. Top restaurants have always done this and now everyone else is catching up. We are also predicting that supermarket chains will tap into this trend too and put a lot more information up about the products they are selling, both on the shelves and online
*Stats out of the US and UK are also showing that consumers are much more interested in sustainability and reduction of food waste than they were last year, with 85% of people surveyed expecting food producers to be following sustainability practices (up from 64% in 2018)

Finally, we're also predicting that kitchen knives are going to get smarter and more helpful, by for example having little devices on them to make sure you cut even slices of expensive food items (with amazing provenances) like cheeses and salamis …oh hang on, we've already got one of those! We must be ahead of the pack.

*feel free to check our predictions from previous years for accuracy here, here and here
**10% of the Australian population is gluten free apparently, and that's just one food choice
, plus see our previous article about food intolerances


More Reading
https://www.foodprocessing.com.au/content/business-solutions/news/top-food-and-beverage-trends-for-2020-968572419
https://www.nowtolove.com.au/health/diet-nutrition/health-food-trends-2020-60480
https://www.foodmag.com.au/top-food-trends-for-2020/