Restaurant trends to look out for in 2020: Less alcohol, more plant-based fare

PHOTO: AFP

Look out for more vegan options, low-alcohol booze and collagen-spiked beverages for skin care in 2020.

Those are among some of the food and restaurant trends predicted for next year by industry consulting firm Technomic.

"In 2020, many of last year's macro trends will evolve and mature, while quick-moving fads burn bright and fade," report authors say in a press release.

"We can also expect the unexpected ― a viral video that sparks the end of plastic straws and restaurant brands that mushroom from one to 1,000 locations seemingly overnight ― all seems possible in today's landscape."

Here are some of their predictions:

  • The nascent popularity of delivery kitchens ― home-delivery service with no physical sit-in restaurant spaces that are powered by apps ― will become more mainstream in 2020. "2020 will give us a better handle on this segment's defining characteristics and who the important players are...whether that's restaurant chains, third parties or potential interlopers such as grocers or e-commerce, the coming year will see some clear leadership emerge."
  • Chain and independent restaurants will offer more low-alcohol booze and spirit-free cocktails to respond to growing demand.
  • In 2020, the plant-based trend will expand beyond faux meats to eggs, gelatin, cheese, milk, sauces and condiments. Look out for restaurant brands to create proprietary plant-based meats to reduce costs and differentiate themselves from competitors.
  • Interest in veganism will continue to grow in 2020 and restaurants will respond with more vegan-friendly options for both vegans and part-time vegans.

Other potential trends analysts foresee include collagen-spiked drinks for skin enhancement; the rise of spicy Sichuan mala sauce; and brown sugar bubble teas. 

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