Market insight: 2020 vision

Market insight: 2020 vision

Bidfood recently revealed its dining trends for the year ahead…

Bidfood recently revealed the food, drink and dining trends that it thinks are set to shape the industry in a new report. It says that an explosion of flavour is set to hit the UK food scene in 2020, driven by advances in experiential dining, a range of global flavours, developments in sustainability and technology, as well as unusual and authentic cooking methods coming to the forefront.

A range of sub-trends and ingredients have been distilled into five mega trends that operators should keep front of mind for the coming year:

Feed the senses
Following a food revolution in the noughties, and the rise of casual dining and pop-up food experiences in the 2010s, the 2020s will be all about interactive eating and feeding the senses. A full spectrum of experiential dining will grow, from immersive experiences using theatre and music, through to subtle use of light, smell and sound to heighten diners’ enjoyment.

Communal dining will continue to grow in popularity as shared meals that encourage interaction pique interest. Tabletop cooking with colourful dishes and sharing plates will bring interactive meals out of market halls and street food spaces, and onto restaurant tables.

Simply global
Thanks to technology creating a more globally connected world, our eyes have been opened to niche cuisines and ingredients that many have not experienced before. Flavours from countries and regions such as Lebanon, the Pacific Islands and Australasia all look set to make an appearance on menus in 2020.

The Simply Global trend is making cosmopolitan dishes more accessible using authentic ingredients to create fusion foods that incorporate more than one cuisine, developing eating without borders. Chilli will feature heavily in many dishes – from the fiery fragrance used in many Asian dishes, through to smoky heat from South America.

Creatively sustainable
With eco-anxiety taking hold of society there will continue to be a heavy focus on the health of the planet. As vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian diets become the norm rather than the exception, we’ll start to see vegetables hogging the spotlight. Creative root-to-stem recipes that utilise the whole plant will drive focus. Meanwhile, dirty vegan food will continue to gain popularity as non-meat eaters look for indulgent and delicious plant-based alternatives.

Skilful flavour
The skills of chefs, mixologists and baristas will be tested in 2020, as unusual cooking and preparation techniques make their way from haute cuisine into mainstream food culture. Expect to see a rise in pickled and cured gut-friendly dish elements, as well as blackened and burnt food from high-temperature cooking over a fire.

Beyond the basics
While new and unusual flavours and experiences will be popular in 2020, with uncertain environmental and political times, many diners will be looking for ways to anchor themselves to the familiar. Food and drink that evokes feelings of nostalgia will be popular, with basic, well-known dishes such as toast, eggs, salads and sandwiches being given gourmet makeovers using the very best in quality ingredients.

Lucy Pedrick, head of insights and customer experience for Bidfood, said: “The last 10 years have brought about huge change in the way we eat and what we eat, and we can only expect this to accelerate in the next decade. We’re particularly excited about the Feed the senses trend that we’ve identified, as dining increasingly becomes about the whole experience. We’re looking forward to assisting our partners with menu ideas, recipes and information about new ingredients to help make 2020 the best year for the UK food scene yet.”