26 September

A Peek into 2020 Restaurant and Food Trends

Synergy Restaurant Consultants | restaurant trends
Food trend: collagen

Just as fashion fads come and go, so too do food trends (avocado toast, anyone?). Sometimes, these trends seem to move in cycles, where it once was outdated, only to be revived and re-embraced (think fondue and the popular restaurant, The Melting Pot). As a restaurant owner, it’s important to not only keep on top of dining trends but to be prepared and flexible enough to adapt as these trends evolve. After all, when consumers’ tastes change direction, their wallets will follow.

What’s on the Agenda for 2020

CBD: It’s everywhere now. Ever since The Farm Bill was signed into law, cannabidiol, the active compound found in the Cannabis plant touted for its health benefits, is popping up in places and forms you’d never expect. No longer confined to capsules and oils, you can now find CBD in items like cocktails, popcorn, sparkling water, gummies, chocolate, and more. Keep in mind infusing CBD into foods is not federally legal nor is it legal in every state.

Collagen: What you thought you’d only find in skin creams and pills is now showing up on menus, from bone broths to smoothies. On the consumer packaged goods front, you’ll find collagen in products like drink mixes, creamer, and bars. Why ingestible collagen? Many consumers are gobbling up so-called “beauty foods” like these to improve their skin, hair, and nails. Others consider using as an aid in their keto diets. While the efficacy of eating collagen is still up for debate, its popularity cannot be ignored. The use of collagen is a trend we see continuing into the coming year.

Plant-Based: You may be living under a rock if you haven’t heard about meatless burgers, particularly the ones made by Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat. Big chains like Burger King and Carl’s Jr. have already introduced meatless options to customers. Meanwhile, KFC is testing out meatless chicken at a restaurant in Atlanta, and other food companies are following suit. Consumers’ perception that meatless is healthier is driving the surge in demand. NPD reports that “case shipments of plant-based protein from broad-line foodservice distributors to foodservice operators increased by 20 percent in the year ending November 2018 compared to year ago with all Census regions showing double-digit growth.”

ECOWARE Straws made from whole-grain brown rice

Sustainability: With climate and ecological health concerns ever-growing, people are seeking more ways to promote global sustainability. Numerous cities and states have already enacted strict regulations on plastic straws at food establishments (only giving straws on request, for example), to outright bans. Along with straws, other single-use plastics are being scrutinized and swapped out for more eco-friendly options. You won’t be hard-pressed to find Styrofoam packaging and cups replaced with those made with recycled paper and renewable materials.

Even More Convenience: In 2020, you’ll likely see more of your favorite restaurants listed on third-party delivery apps like Doordash, Grubhub, Postmates, and Uber Eats. Just last month McDonald’s announced a partnership with DoorDash that will secure meal delivery services in 10,000 stores across all 50 states. Bringing convenience to the consumer will extend to in-store traffic too, with an increase in self-ordering kiosks and self-pickup cabinets for mobile orders.

The new year is sure to bring in surprises and challenges for those in the restaurant industry. You’re already one-step-ahead of the competition if you recognize the need to adapt to changing consumer preferences. It’s not too early to begin strategizing to accomplish your goals for the upcoming year. For professional help in menu development, restaurant branding, restaurant design, off-premise sales or bringing a new concept to life, please contact Synergy.

restaurant trends