Earlier this month, Food Spark spoke to Sodexo culinary director, David Mulcahy, about the catering giant’s innovation process and their predicted 2020 food trends. Using new and exciting ingredients has been at the forefront of Sodexo thinking of late, with their Future 50 project at the end of last year throwing up plenty of avenues for recipe innovation with the world’s 50 most sustainable ingredients.
“We took the 50 and shared our recipe-making efforts with our Sodexo colleagues in France, Belgium, Holland and North America,” Mulcahy told Food Spark. “We created everything from pulled jackfruit tacos to smashed falafel shish kebabs. I think the hero product was amaranth seed, though, which is used a lot in Indian and its used to bulk out wet dishes.
“We decided to pop it and it’s got an interesting nutty/sweet flavour. There were plenty of lesser known ingredients like the amaranth seed and also black mung beans.”
Following on from our conversation with Mulcahy, Sodexo have released their international 2020 snacking trend predictions, with the report highlighting a number of lesser known, global snacking staples that could be bound for the mainstream.
While primarily a forecast for the American snacking scene, it’s often the case that trends across the pond arrive in the UK before long, with these international innovations ticking boxes across the board.
From Brazilian pão de queijo to Korean gim-gui
With western tastes becoming more diverse and experimental, Sodexo have highlighted gim-gui as a potential international snacking trend for 2020. Gim-gui are roasted seaweed sheets from Korea known to be good sources of protein, minerals, and fibre, with the latter recently cited as a particular area of interest for consumers in 2020 due to the rise in health trends (specifically gut health).
Gim-gui are often enjoyed with a beer in Korea, with beer snacking emerging as a growing trend in the UK at the tail end of 2019.
Japanese rice crackers with soy sauce, such as nure-senbei and age ichiban, are also flagged up by Sodexo for 2020 while goat milk whey cheese from Norway (gjetost), dried beef sticks from South Africa (droewors) and gluten-free baked cheese balls from Brazil also appear in the forecast.
The latter, known as pão de queijo, have been seen sparingly in the UK food scene over the last few years, most often in Latin American restaurants in London, with their healthier snack connotations boding well in the current consumer climate.
Also part of the 2020 forecast are Sodexo’s predicted plant-based snacking alternatives for the 2020 spotlight, with David Mulcahy telling Food Spark in our interview that “alternatives to alternatives” will be a big focus point for development teams as we go into the new decade.
Sodexo envision a move away from soy and nut proteins towards ingredients such as pea, mung bean, watermelon seeds and hempseed flours.
This Veganuary saw a number of UK fast food chains opt for watermelon as their debut plant-based protein. Watermelon seeds, meanwhile, have also cropped up recently as part of a potential nut butter trend, with Whole Foods Market mentioning the possibility in their own 2020 global food trend predictions release earlier in the month.