We’re scoping out the year ahead: what’s new, what’s hot, what’s right on trend — and what we’ll be eating in 2020…
1. Plant-based perfection
In 2020, plant-based foods will continue to flourish as part of a broader trend towards healthy living. The vegan offering in restaurants, cafés and shops will continue to become more creative, delicious and fulfilling. Expect ever more from faux meat products, and increasingly inventive uses of the fruits and veg you know and love.
Similarly, flexitarian diets are more popular than ever before, and people are moving towards eating better quality meat and fish less often, in keeping with a general awareness of animal welfare.
3. Baking alternatives
New baking ingredients are tipped to enter the market, from flours made from fruits and vegetables — think banana flour! — to creative new sweetener options made from things like pomegranate, coconut, sweet potato, sorghum and dates.
4. On the dry
If you’re not a big fan of alcohol, you’ll be delighted with the sharp increase in tasty non-alcoholic alternatives and booze-free bars. No longer relegated to soft drinks, tea and water, non-drinkers will increasingly be offered interesting, well-conceived beverages from gin alternatives, modern mocktails and infused waters to kefir and kombucha.
5. Plastic is passé
Modern consumers increasingly demand sustainable options. In the new year, more food companies will strive to follow a zero-waste approach, creating value from by-products and developing sustainable packaging alternatives.
6. Regenerative agriculture
A term you’ll see popping up more frequently, regenerative agriculture refers to farming practices that don’t simply avoid doing harm to the environment, but actively provide a positive contribution to a healthier eco-system, increasing biodiversity and enriching soils. Often this means sacrificing valuable farm space to forest and untamed meadow.
Think charcuterie, but with seafood instead of meat: foods like smoked salmon, cured tuna, smoked mussels or potted crab will find their way onto sharing platters.
8. Better fast food
Recent years have seen a wealth of new, quality fast food outlets opening across Ireland, from free range fried chicken to authentic Neapolitan-style pizza. This trend will continue to grow in 2020, and we’re excited to try all of it.
9. Flavours from afar
West African cuisine, Vietnamese food and indigenous South American ingredients are tipped to become the flavours du jour.
10. Snack attack
We’re moving away from three meals a day, and snacks are redefining the modern diet. Healthy, grab-and-go snacks will continue to grow in popularity, with a wider variety available than ever before.
11. We love a good story
More than ever before, we want to know the stories and faces behind the foods we buy. Irish, local, family-run and sustainable brands will continue to flourish.
12. New kids on the block
As a generation of millennials begins to raise children of its own, kids’ menus consisting of various beige things paired with chips are becoming a thing of the past. Modern parents are introducing their kids to healthier foods and expanding their palates from the get-go using dishes from various cuisines.
What are you most looking forward to eating in 2020? Kick the year off with the latest edition of Easy Food, packed with everything you need for January and beyond…