Fifty experts gather every year to predict the biggest food trends for the upcoming year. Store team members, global buyers, and culinary experts base these trends off of years of experience studying consumer preferences. Trends for 2019 included eco-conscious packaging and plant-based meats, so what does 2020 look like?
1. Regenerative Agriculture
The first trend Whole Foods is predicting is a more mindful approach to land management by farmers. As Jim Richards, CEO of milkadamia, wrote in this piece on regenerative farming, “Regenerative farming is a system of agriculture that creates healthier carbon-absorbing soils.” This way of farming is far better for the environment because it increases carbon capture, creating long-lasting benefits.
2. Alternative Flours
It’s surprising just how many foods can be turned into flour! According to Whole Foods, more and more customers are interested in alternative flours because they can bring more protein and fiber to a dish. Not to mention that flours other than all-purpose can be used to accommodate a wide array of allergies like gluten or nut intolerances. If you’re looking to try out new flours, check out these resources:
- 15 Oat-Standing Vegan Recipes Made With Oat Flour!
- 15 Superb Plant-Based Spelt Flour Recipes!
- 5 Uncommon, Gluten-Free Flours That Are High in Protein
- 15 Gluten-Free Chickpea Flour Recipes!
- 15 Vegan Recipes You Can Make Using Coconut Flour
3. West African Foods
Americans are looking to flavorful West African foods to inspire their own cooking. Ingredients popular in West African foods are tomatoes, onions, chili peppers, peanuts, ginger and lemongrass, and apparently we should be seeing an even bigger increase in the use of these flavors next year! For some inspiration, you can check out the West African recipes featured in these 15 Meatless African Recipes, or These Amazing African Peanut Stews!
4. Fresh, Refrigerated Snacks
Consumers these days are becoming more health conscious and weary of processed food intake. This mindfulness has translated into refrigerated snacks with fresher ingredients becoming more popular than your typical processed, shelf stable snack foods. Try rummaging through our Snack Archives to find more vegan snack recipes than you could ever imagine!
5. Soy-Free Plant Protein
We should see an increase in “soy free” labels next year, says Whole Foods. With plant-based eating on the rise, companies are looking to avoid top allergens to make their products accessible. Soy is being replaced with ingredients like mung bean, hempseed, pumpkin, avocado, watermelon seed and golden chlorella. Check out recipes avoiding soy in this Soy-Free Weekly Meal Plan, as well as these 15 Vegan, Soy-Free Protein Powders!
6. Vegan Butters and Spreads Galore
If it hasn’t been made into a spread or butter, it probably will be in 2020. Just when you thought they turned every last nut into nut butter, now companies are making chickpea butters! We’re looking forward to all the new and delicious vegan spreads. In the meantime, our Spreads Archives are chock full of creative and delicious ways to make spreads and butters out of different ingredients. You can also check these out:
- Creative Spreads to Spruce Up Your Morning
- Homemade Butter [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 15 Recipes That Prove Homemade Vegan Butter is Awesome!
- Simple Homemade Pumpkin Seed Butter [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- Homemade Almond Butter [Vegan]
- How To Make Homemade Peanut Butter
- How to Make Homemade Cashew Butter
- Homemade Cocoa-Coconut Butter [Vegan]
7. New and Improved Kid Foods
Experts know that kids are more interested in food than ever, especially with the rise in kids’ cooking shows. Kids care more about what they eat, and companies are creating foods that are more healthy and tasty rather than simple and processed. Feed your little one’s sophisticated palate with these Nutritious Plant-Based Meals Every Kid Will Love!
8. Alternative Sweeteners
People will soon be looking for more alternatives to the usual sweeteners like sugar, honey, and maple syrup. We should be seeing syrupy fruit reductions on the rise, and even syrups made from starch to mimic molasses. Check out our Low/No Sugar Recipe Archives to find some creative ways to sweeten your desserts, and read about The Best Natural Sugar Alternatives!
9. Meat and Plant Blends
Companies looking to capitalize on plant-based trends are creating products for people who aren’t quite ready to give up meat by mixing it with plants. While it is always better to choose a fully plant-based option, these products, that tend to go with 75% meat 25% plant blend, can help skeptics ease their way into eating less meat. And, the more companies blend their meat with plants, the less demand there is for the meat. If a lot of people eat less animals, it’s a step in the right direction. Here are some great resources to get started with your plant-based meat journey:
- 15 Homemade Vegan Meats
- 5 Healthy, Whole Food Plant-Based Meat Alternatives
- 3 Meat Alternatives That Can Be Easily Made at Home (With Recipes!)
- 5 Must-Try Vegan Alternatives for the Die-Hard Meat Eater
- The Ultimate Guide to Vegan Meats and Meat Substitutes
- Tempeh: a High-Protein, Fermented Meat Substitute
- 10 Vegetables That Can Substitute for Meat
- How to Make Jackfruit a Stand-Out Substitute For Meat in All Your Dishes
- 15 Ways to Make Perfect Veggie Meatballs!
- 15 Delicious Jackfruit Recipes That Prove You Don’t Need Meat!
10. Non-Alcoholic Drinks
People are less into alcoholic drinks and more into health tonics. Some places offer drinks that re-create classic cocktail flavors while others create a whole new exotic and herbal beverage entirely. You can check out this list of 15 Refreshing Cocktails and Mocktails (but just be sure to make them all mocktails!), or for fall, try these 15 Fantastic Dairy-Free Fall Drinks!
Which of these trends do you see happening? Which do you love?
Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home!
Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects. Learn about some Common Health Concerns That May Disappear Once You Ditch Dairy and 10 Calcium Supplements For Healthy Living on a Dairy-Free and 10 Carrageenan-Free Non-Dairy Products!
For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, plant-based, vegan and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Here are some great resources to get you started:
- Weekly Vegan Meal Plans
- Plant-Based Health Resources
- Plant-Based Food & Recipes
- Plant-Based Nutrition Resources
- The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
- Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Recipes
- High Protein Plant-Based Recipes
- Plant-Based Meal Prep
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