From catering companies and chains to independents and supermarket fresh food departments, the entire food industry is hard at work formulating dishes and sourcing new ingredients to prepare for the ever-expanding and evolving consumer palate from next year.
We’ve seen plenty of food trend predictions of late (‘tis the season for them), from safe bets such as a continued focus on sustainability and all things ethical as well as the inevitability of a new stage of plant-based, to the more ‘out there’ forecasts – we’re talking blood-based diet solutions and unusual breakfast combos such as liquorice and salty syrups and savoury oatmeal made with bone broth.
And this week, just in time for Christmas, Bidfresh released their ‘2020 Vision’ report, which covers fresh food trend predictions in hospitality and foodservice for next year.
In the packed release, the fresh food supplier focuses on four main areas: meat, fish/seafood, fruit and veg and cheese.
There are seven meaty (or not so meaty) trend predictions from Bidfresh, including the much-discussed ‘less but luxury’ beef movement and a continuing focus on animal welfare.
Burger blends could come to the fore in 2020 through patties mixing beef and mushrooms, while skewered foods, such as kebabs, are also potentially on the rise.
Considering current skill and space shortages in kitchens, there is an increasing move towards pre-prepared products for chefs, explain Bidfresh, with filled turkey products a Christmas example.
Nose-to-tail eating as a by-product of the sustainability trend could mean offal becomes more prominent on mainstream menus, though a more likely bet is that the soaring price of pork will see more creative usage of pig carcasses (including belly and shoulder) in 2020.
Perhaps weirdest of all, Bidfresh suggests meat could become a replacement for dough pizza bases, with ‘meatzzas’ something to keep an eye on.
Halloumi will remain a hero product, according to Bidfresh. Meanwhile, vegan cheese is expected to broaden out in style and quality. To that end, vegan cheeseboards will appear in top-end outlets alongside reinvigorated artisan cheese (dairy or otherwise).
Blue cheese is on its way back, with different styles such as blue goat’s cheese and brie a specific prediction. Cheeses made from different animal milks (such as sheep and goat), more melted cheese and snacking cheese (with snacking a particularly buoyant area in the UK) are also part of the 2020 forecast.
In the report, Bidfresh have the most to say about 2020 and seafood, with a rise of ‘seaganism’ leading the charge.
With flexitarian diets all the rage, sustainable fish and plant-based options could become regular bedfellows next year, with consumer demand for small plate, good value, sustainable seafood dishes set to rise.
With burgers still one of the UK’s most popular foods, there is an opportunity for burger-style seafood menus in the hospitality sector. Similarly, the usually meat-forward skewered foods category could see a marine reinvention of the kebab; in turn, this will allow chefs to experiment with a wider range of species.
Bidfresh highlights four potentials: ChalkStream trout (with the smoked product said to be ideal for tapping into the trend for seacuterie), yellowtail kingfish (specifically using Japanese flavours), Glitne halibut (a versatile fish that’s sustainably sourced from Norway) and Canadian lobster.
Frozen seafood with sustainable credentials is predicted to be popular with caterers, who will look for more affordable menu options but with retained confidence.
Gill-to-fin, much like the aforementioned nose-to-tail philosophy, will continue to rise among chefs in 2020, with focus on sustainability and food waste heralding the rise of fish collar (the meat between the gills of fish), fish offal (including livers and hearts) and fish bone broths.
Fish scraps could be used as fillings for ‘still on-trend’ tacos.
Fruit and veg
The future of veganism is, of course, detailed by Bidfresh. Meat alternatives are predicted to include meat-esque veg such as tinned jackfruit, mushroom varieties (puff balls and Chanterelle) and aubergine.
With Japanese food to be in the spotlight during the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, it is predicted that there will be an increase of interest in ingredients such as tatsoi (a kind of green vegetable), Asian pear and lotus root.
‘Sunshine’ salads, namely brightly coloured fruit and veg such as radishes, purple cauliflower and dragon fruit, are to be kept an eye on, while ancient grains and ferments are also included in the forecast.
Health benefits will be an important area in 2020, with immunity-boosting oranges, brain-powering blueberries or gut-friendly greens all on top. Provenance and food waste will continue to be championed.
Melons, say Bidfresh, will make a bit of a comeback. Newer varieties such as the red-fleshed Charentais and the orange-fleshed Amarillo will evoke Instagram interest, while colourful kales, sprout-broccoli hybrid kalette and sea greens such as sea purslane, sea fennel and sea aster are all expected to be particularly relevant in foodservice next year.