Looking Forward: Food Trends of 2020
Environmental sustainability, plant-based alternatives, and clean label claims are among the top trends of 2020
We’ve seen a lot of transformative trends in the food industry in the last decade. Now, as we look forward into 2020, food companies are bracing themselves for what’s next.
As research organizations are compiling data and publishing trend projections, a few recurring themes are emerging that food manufacturers will want to keep a close eye on.
- Environmental preservation is a must-have: Consumers are no longer simply seeking out packaging, brands, and ingredients that are responsible and sustainable, they are expecting it.1 Transparent stories around ethical supply chains, animal welfare, or sustainable sourcing is driving consumer interest upward. According to Innova Market Insights, only 65% of global consumers said they expected companies to invest in sustainability in 2018, while in 2019 that percentage increased to 87%.2
- Plant-based meat and dairy is now mainstream: Industry experts agree that the plant-based trend is thriving incomparably faster than any other food trend in our time.2 Consumer demand has increased rapidly, with a compound annual growth rate of 68% for food and beverages launched making a plant-based claim between 2014-18 revealed Innova Market Insights.2 This trend is poised to gain even more ground in 2020 due to the continuous expansion of “plant-based loyalists,” or consumers who choose these products for reasons concerning health, sustainability, or ethical production.3 Further innovation for meat and dairy alternatives, as well as the growth of plant-based options into mainstream fast food restaurants also signal that this trend may just be getting started.
- “Clean eating” is relying on label claims: Health-conscious consumerism is one trend that we’ve seen among Americans for decades.4 As consumers continue to navigate this desire for healthier foods, the struggle to determine whether to focus on ingredients, macronutrients, holistic eating, or perhaps “gut health” or “brain health” has resulted in information overload for confused shoppers.5 To ease the burden, on-package claims have made a huge splash in the food industry.2 According to a report from the Kerry Group called Future of Food: Unlocking Consumer Expectations for Food and Beverages Beyond Clean Label,” the top label claims in 2019 included, “All natural/100% natural,” “Made with real ingredients,” “No added sugar,” “Organic,” and “No additives or preservatives.”1
At Cargill, we have the resources, ingredients, and expertise to help our customers achieve their 2020 trend goals. For example, from sea salt to additive-free salt and potassium chloride, our expansive salt and sodium reduction portfolios are here to equip you for a successful new year.