FreshDirect, New York, announced its top food trends for 2020.

“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,” says Scott Crawford, chief merchandising officer. “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:

  1. 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. 2020 will bring new developments in and further solidification of organic, plant-based, meat and cheese.
  2. Regenerative agriculture. Regenerative agriculture is a relatively new concept aimed at combating traditional farming practices. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Functional beverages 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.
  5. 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. Expect to see further traceability and transparency for brands as this trend grows in 2020.
  6. 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.