FreshDirect, the Northeast’s leading online fresh food grocer, today announced its top food trends for 2020. The trends list was curated by FreshDirect's in-house team of food and wine specialists.
“By working directly with farmers, fishermen, artisans and producers daily to source high-quality, great tasting food for our customers, FreshDirect has a unique vantage point into the latest food trends,” said Scott Crawford, Chief Merchandising Officer, FreshDirect. “It’s an exciting time in the food and beverage industry, and our trends offer just a ‘taste’ of some of the innovations taking place right now in the marketplace.”
FreshDirect’s top trends for 2020 include:
- Plant-based foods – Plant based foods continue to evolve and expand into more categories. In 2020, cauliflower will remain a top gluten substitute and oat will continue to gain traction as a creamy alternative milk to mix into your morning coffee. 2020 will bring new developments in and further solidification of organic, plant based, meat and cheese. Examples include Kite Hill Almond Milk Yogurt, Ark Foods Cauli Mac & Cheese and Hälsa Organic Oat-gurt.
- Regenerative agriculture – Regenerative agriculture is a relatively new concept aimed at combating the strain that traditional farming practices put on the earth. Increasing the soil quality and fertility of the land not only helps the environment, but also allows the animals raised there to be healthier and happier. When you buy meat from farmers that practice regenerative agriculture, you are using your wallet to vote for better animal husbandry practices and more economically and environmentally sustainable farming practices.
- On-the-go food and snacks – When you are increasingly busy, you don’t always have time to cook. Consumption of on-the-go snacks continues to increase, while traditional meal preparation seems to lose more ground due to busy schedules. While snacks of the past can be unhealthy, the snacking of tomorrow consists of bite sized superfoods, healthy snack kits and subscription boxes. Examples include Eaton Hemp and Organic Valley’s Charcuterie Packet.
- Low-carb adult beverages – Since many diets call for a low carb intake, it’s no wonder the market for low-carb and low-sugar “better for you” adult beverages is growing. The growth of spiked seltzers, led by White Claw, is at the forefront of the trend and 2020 will see a continued diversification of flavors, brands and products for hard seltzers, as they appeal to anyone looking to enjoy a light and sessionable alcoholic beverage. Craft beer brands have responded by adding fuller flavored styles, such as IPAs, at reduced alcohol and carb content, shaking up a segment that was traditionally cornered by micro-breweries and brands such as Bud Light and Michelob.
- Organic, natural and biodynamic wine – As consumers become more and more interested in where their food (and alcohol) comes from, brands are trying to keep up with this demand by offering new options. This has led to organic, natural and biodynamic wines and spirits. 2020 will bring an increased assortment, education and awareness of these new offerings, like Momo Organic Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and Cooper Hill Organic Pinot Noir.
- Functional beverage and gut health – Functional beverages and gut health continue to drive food choices in today’s consumer market. The trend is expanding into snacks as well. As consumers explore special diets and move toward smaller eating occasions (away from traditional meals), they’re often looking for snacks and drinks that pack more of a nutritional punch. 2020 will see an increase in both new functional beverages and snacks, such as That’s It Prebiotic + Probiotic Fruit Bars and Forager Organic Probiotic Shakes.
- Transparency and traceability – Consumers have become increasingly educated on the food supply chain, ingredients and the environmental impact of what they eat. Because of this, many brands are introducing source traceability into their packaging so that consumers can learn exactly where certain ingredients are sourced and how they’re harvested. We expect to see further traceability and transparency for brands as this trend grows in 2020. Examples of how transparency and traceability positively impact consumers, animals and farmers include our Just FreshDirect Wild-Caught Canned Tuna and Meet The Producer: Stolt Sea Farms.
- Artisan cheeses – Since the past few decades have been dominated by processed cheeses, Americans are hungry for real cheese – and artisan cheeses are growing in popularity. Artisan cheeses that are more approachable will expand and grow in 2020. Examples include Essex St. Feta and Gouda, a small business with which FreshDirect has partnered as part of its continued effort to provide high-quality artisan cheeses.
This year’s predictions were curated by FreshDirect and FoodKick’s in-house teams of food and wine specialists, who source products for the fresh, meat, seafood, dairy, cheese, deli, grocery, household, prepared meals, bakery, beer, and wine and spirits categories.