Use the 2019 Food Trends to Anticipate the Future
We had a lot of fun monitoring the 2019 food trends. Everything from AI technology to Aji Amarillo hit the scene this last year, and boy was it a fun ride.
But now that we’re heading into 2020, it’s a good idea to look back on some of the past trends to see how they may influence this year. So, let’s do a quick review and discuss what we can expect in the new year.
2019 Food Trends
Smoke & BBQ
Smoke flavors and BBQ dominated lots of national restaurant menus in 2019. From smoky brisket sandwiches to wood smoked and grilled chicken wings, the influence was widespread.
I expect to see the concept of chile-based and uniquely flavored BBQ sauces (like chocolate and mustard) continue to grow, along with Asian inspired BBQ sauces using chili-pastes and fermented flavors.
But also keep a look out for new types of smoke or smoked items other than meat. For example, maple smoked carrots, or mulberry smoked fish with rich BBQ glaze. Proteins aren’t the only items made better with smoke, and there’s no doubt diners are going to notice.
We have just scratched the surface on what we can do with flavorful chiles. Fried, grilled, smoked, dried, we’re trying all of the methods to produce new flavors and extraordinary tasting experiences.
But while we’ve seen a big trend in extremely hot foods (i.e. Nashville Hot Chicken, and Carolina Reapers), the trend of chiles for flavor, more than heat, has been creeping up.
Expect to see more sauces and builds made using unique chiles, not necessarily for heat, but for flavor. Chiltepin chiles offer bold smoky notes, and their heat can be moderated by removing stems and seeds. The Costeno Rojo chile is quite nutty while Urfa Biber chiles provide and tobacco-like flavor that is sure to be new to most palates.
Meat alternatives were huge in 2019. Brands like Impossible and Beyond Meat made an indelible mark in restaurants, food service, and retail, with dozens of competitors biting at their heels.
With this trend came a wave of thoughtfulness when it comes to food, not just in the ethics of its development, but the actual impact it has on our environment.
Come 2020 expect to see a big push for “eco-friendly’ foods, and even eco-themed diners, serving sustainable menus. Beyond meat alternatives, this concept will focus on developing entire menus out of low-impact foods and hyper-local (i.e. grown in-store) produce. It’s a unique idea that has the potential of being one of the biggest trends of 2020.
Alright 2020, We’re Ready for You!
And we can’t wait to see what unpredictable trends are in store for us. Be sure to stay tuned to find out what’s next in food and flavors.