The 2010s brought us unicorn food, bubble waffles, green tea everything, a nationwide fear of cow’s milk and a simultaneous slew of melted cheese-inspired pop-ups (oh, the irony). As well as Instagram fodder in the shape of everything from bone broth to bullet coffee. It’s safe to say we’re a nation of bandwagon jumpers when it comes to what we eat.
But it is sustainability, 2019’s buzzword, that is set to make a huge impact on upcoming trends this year and as we move into a new decade the ‘Greta effect’ is sure to continue. From more responsible ways of eating and really knowing where our food comes from to the superfoods we’ll be blending, sprinkling and steeping, plus the rise of sober curiosity; here are the top 12 food trends that are going to be all over your Instagram feed in 2o20.
1. Omakase Menus
Fussy eaters and control freaks, look away. London is soon to be hit with a new Japanese food trend called Omakase. It means “I’ll leave it up to you” and puts your dinner fate in the hands of the chef. Typically a multi-course, theatrical affair seen through from appetisers to desserts, it gives diners the chance to sample some of the tastiest, weirdest and most wonderful dishes Japan has to offer. We’ve already spotted Omakase menus popping up at London restaurants such as Sake No Hana, Jidori and Rubens at the Palace Hotel, and we expect many more coming through throughout the year.
2. Spice Grinders
The Spice Girls may have been telling us to “spice up our lives” since 1997 but 2020 is the year to well and truly spice up your kitchen. Put down the Schwartz pre-made seasoning and invest in a kitchen spice grinder – there’s a wealth of hand grinders and fancy electronic mixers on offer, perfect for creating your very own signature blends to pimp rubs, curries and everything in-between.
Now is the time to not only know what’s in your food but exactly where it’s coming from. Micro-traceability is set to be huge this year with many brands adding tracking codes to products so consumers can discover precisely where their food originates from.
4. Low & Non-Alocholic Spirits
When an ex-Made In Chelsea star turns their hand to something you know it’s gone mainstream. Spencer Matthews has just announced he’s launching The Clean Liquor Co. – a low alcohol brand of distilled ‘spirits’ with just 1.2% ABV. It follows in the footsteps of Three Spirit, Amplify, Celtic Soul and, the most popular of them all, Seedlip. It’s sure to excite those of the ‘sober curious’ mindset and offer some genuinely tasty alternatives to a G&T.
To give you some figures, one in five millennials choose not to drink alcohol in 2019, one in five adults are said to be teetotal and last year over 4.5 million people took on Dry January. It looks like Spencer might be onto something.
5. Fermented Wine
Sticking with tipples and 2020’s next big trend is said to be fermented wine. Some of London’s top drinking dens are getting experimental behind the bar, such as Quaglino’s that is spearheading the trend with their in-house selection of fermented wines. Developing an array of elixirs through the fermentation of fruit and vegetables, whilst using the same techniques of the wine-making process, expect to see flavours such as barrel-aged pineapple mead and banana-saffron wine popping up.
Move over almonds, pistachios are set to be the next big nut trend this year. While we don’t suggest milking the sweet, green nut (although we can see a Instagram trend of pistachio-hued shakes starting) we do suggest adding the ingredient to your store cupboard. Online cooking store Sous Chef has revealed that pistachio was the second biggest search term across the site in 2019, and more specifically, Pistachio Paste was a top 10 search term throughout the year. The smooth, rich paste can be used in everything from ice creams to savoury dishes, salad dressings to Middle Eastern-inspired stews.
7. Sparkling Japanese Sake
English sparkling wines such as Nyetimber have seen a huge rise in sales over the last decade, but if you’re looking for a new fizz alternative to Champagne reach for a bottle of Japanese sparkling sake this year. After appearing on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, Sous Chef’s Shochikubai Mio Sparkling Sake has been hugely popular and London restaurants such as TOKii have been pioneering the fruity, sweet drink. With a lower ABV content, it ensures you’ll be nailing two of 2020’s hottest food trends in one.
8. Lab-Grown Dairy
We filled our fridges and topped up our flat whites with everything from oat milk to almond milk in 2019 but vegan cheese? It’s just not good. 2020 could be the year that changes all that. Much like lab-grown meats such as Impossible Burgers, scientists have found a way of artificially growing dairy products in a lab. They take microbes, such as yeast, and give them genetic instructions to produce dairy proteins. Nutrients are added and eventually the organisms start to create proteins themselves. It’s all a little mind-blowing and in the early stages but it’s another step to eating more responsibly without a cashew cheese in sight.
9. Star Fruit
Could star fruit be the new jackfruit? Well, thanks to its aesthetically pleasing shape it’s ideal Instagram fodder. And what does Instagram fodder create? Food trends. Expect to see these little guys popping up all over your feed in 2020, from topping smoothie bowls to pimping fruit salads. They’re also high in fibre and vitamin c and low in calories – win win.
10. Reishi Mushrooms
Whether steeped in water to make tea or cooked the traditional way reishi mushrooms are the latest Eastern food trend to hit the West. They’ve long been used in Eastern medicine to strengthen the immune system and in 2019, Uber Eats saw them popping up on many a menu. Can’t find them in your local Sainsbury’s? The fresh variety might not have hit the big time but you can reap the health benefits of reishis from a wealth of superfood powders and capsules available at most health food stores.
11. Brussel Sprouts
The marmite of the veg world, Brussel sprouts have been dividing families at Christmas since forever. Well, it’s time the naysayers got back in their boxes as the humble sprout is set to be the breakout star of 2020. Sprout sales have been strengthening year on year since 2016 – most probably thanks to us knowing more about their nutritional benefits (high in fibre, rich in antioxidants, vitamin K and omega 3 fatty acids) and the fact that everyone’s getting a little more adventurous in the kitchen. Don’t settle for soggy sprouts: up your game by grating them with cream and parmesan, roasting them with chestnuts and bacon or adding to salads for a fresh take on everyone’s favourite love to hate veg.
OK, it’s not exactly new, in fact, we’re pretty sure harissa was the go-to flavour circa 2010 thanks to Ottolenghi, but it’s making a comeback a decade on. Move over sriracha, Uber Eats has revealed that the hot, spicy sauce has been gaining popularity in dishes throughout 2019. Use it to add depth to stews, update salads and marinate everything from chicken to fish.