Benchmark highlights 10 F&B trends for 2020

woman cutting vegetables
Benchmark expects the trend toward plant-based diets to grow rapidly in 2020. Photo credit: Anchiy/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Hotel development and management company Benchmark released its top dining trends for 2020. The company based its list on the observations of executive chefs and culinary experts at its 80 hotels, resorts and restaurants.

  1. CBD: Coffee shops, cafes and even restaurants have begun adding CBD-infused ingredients to both their food and drink menus. Though the legality of these substances is questionable (even where cannabis is legal, states are outlawing the sale of CBD-infused products in retail stores), they’re something to pay attention to.
  2. Move toward plant-based menus: Benchmark sees the trend toward plant-based diets growing rapidly in 2020. By next year, it predicted restaurants will have a dedicated menu for plant-based food items.
  3. Healthier snacks: As healthier snack options with ingredients like chickpeas, beets, quinoa and kale enter the market, Benchmark foresees these alternatives becoming more popular.
  4. Jackfruit: Benchmark sees jackfruit, already being used to mimic barbecue pulled pork, soon becoming a force in the food industry as a meat alternative.
  5. Unique fruit flavors: Beverage menus increasingly are moving beyond the traditional fruits to include flavors like prickly pear, dragon fruit, yuzu and more.
  6. Oat milk: Oat milk has recently joined almond and soy milk as another option for those seeking a dairy alternative.
  7. Sparkling water: Benchmark noted that the demand for sparkling water has exploded. The company suggested posting on social media to get the word out about drinks featuring this emerging beverage.
  8. Bright colors: As travelers increasingly post what they eat on social media, adding color to a dish can help make it a little more “Instagram-friendly.”
  9. Sustainability: With concern over climate change increasingly on the mind of consumers, they are increasingly demanding more sustainable packaging and ingredients.
  10. Ugly produce: With consumers always looking to save time and awareness about food waste rising, start-up food companies are sending boxes of misshapen, bruised and ugly foods directly to consumers’ homes.

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