1) The Buzz is Manuka
Harvested from the Manuka bush in New Zealand, this honey is a potent anti-inflammatory. A luxury price tag and influencer fan base make it an enticing addition to drinks, a sweet maple syrup stand-in, and a nutritious food-based supplement or juice bar add-on.
2) Allergen-FREE? Way to Be!
Moms (who make over 70% of the food-purchasing decisions) are all about protecting their flock, and children suffer from food allergies more often than adults. Any product or menu item without 'trigger' ingredients (usually milk, soy, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish) can easily be labeled 'allergen-free' for a new audience.
3) Air-Fried Everything
Restaurants and consumers are embracing more healthy options without the grease. Along with air-fried chicken tenders and donuts, look for creative fruit and veggie-based side options, like sweet potato, taro, green beans, parsnips, chickpeas, and apple slices. Air fryers will be everywhere!
4) Give Peas a Chance
Full of phytonutrients, protein, and Omega 3's, this non-starchy veggie is an ideal plant-based protein for allergen-aware consumers seeking cleaner, safer, non-GMO, and non-soy options. Try pea protein in smoothies, plant-burgers, gravy, and waffles. In whole form, enjoy as a crispy snack, or add them to your favorite staple dishes.
5) Puffed Up
Sophisticated, low-calorie snacks, cereals, and finger foods featuring whole grains and plenty of protein, fiber, magnesium, iron, and potassium are popping up everywhere. Puffed foods made with gluten-free grains like millet, sorghum, rice, and quinoa star in cereals, snacks, and bread substitutes. Veggie-based puffed snacks (think kale, broccoli, and spinach) loaded with nutrient-dense add-ons like flax, chia, and hemp will be the rage.
One of the most exciting new food and beverage categories in decades, prepare for a full-blown CBD takeover in restaurants, spas, cafes, and grocery/ convenience stores. While there's still some confusion over dosing, state laws, and labeling, soon you can expect to find CBD-infused products up and down the aisles, in everything from wellness shots to coffee drinks and chocolate bars.
7) The 'It' Antioxidant: Black Seed
Found buried among the treasures of King Tut, Nigella Sativa (often referred to as Black Seed, Black Cumin, or Black Caraway) is the life-extending secret of the pharaohs. Full of cancer-fighting antioxidant Thymoquinone, watch the whole seed show up in spice blends, snacks, baked goods, while the oil finds its way into dressings, sauces, and soups.
8) The 'It' Veggie: Purple Yams and Sweet Potatoes
Full of anthocyanins with potent anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-cancer, and anti-obesity effects (according to the National Institute of Health), purple sweet potatoes and yams (often interchangeable) are coloring up the plate. Available in dehydrated powder and whole veggie form, they'll appear in everything from smoothies to soft-serve, baked goods to mashed potatoes, chips to granola. Purple sweet potato toast and brekkie bowls make millennials insta-happy!
BONUS TREND: Rooting for You
Building on the runaway success of celery in 2019, its cousin - the celery root - is making fast headway in 2020 with a 20% increase in 2019 sales. Add it to stocks and salads for fresh flavor.
Mareya Ibrahim is an award-winning entrepreneur, chef, author, speaker, patented inventor and 25+ year food industry veteran. Her book Eat Like You Give A Fork. The Real Dish on Eating to Thrive released in June 2019. This is her 8th annual Healthy Food & Beverage Trend Report.