Leading up to 2020, the last thing we were considering was for a global crisis to uproot and alter the way we socialize, protect our health, and operate our businesses. Although the iconoclastic virus known as Covid-19 has become the ultimate disruptor to the work environment, leaders in the food industry have taken on the challenge by improving the way consumers interact, order, and deliver food. The beginning of the new decade may have been shakier than we expected but we’re glad to celebrate the methods that have helped keep restaurants afloat. From carry-out dining only to accessible plant-based proteins, we’ve gathered the Top 10 trends in the restaurant industry for 2020.
1. Eco-Friendly Packaging
With restaurants transitioning to “carry-out only” business, sustainable food packaging has become a conscious decision to improve upon plastic waste. From kraft paper bags to recycled palm leaf containers, consumers are positively responding to more zero-waste initiatives. Buyers want sustainable products; and over one-third are willing to pay 25% more for it. According to a 2019 survey, 68% of millennials feel that “food and beverages with healthier ingredient lists should use packaging materials that are healthier too.” Increase your return buyers, by providing your customers with guilt-free food parcel wrapping.
2. Scratch & Dent Equipment
When remodeling your commercial kitchen, scratch and dent equipment is a budget friendly option to updating old appliances. Scratch & Dent are products that have minor cosmetic faults such as scratches, bumps, or discoloring to its initial look but retain its original function. Buyers benefit from purchasing these items because, it not only saves them large sum of money but, a reason to retire older models.
3. Plant-Based Proteins
In the past few years, gluten-free and vegan meals had begun to populate the public conscious as an alternative option to heavy carbs and meat. In 2019, fast-food chain Burger King, surprised the market by introducing the Impossible Whopper, a reimagined version of its classic Whopper burger, with a veggie patty. The boom of plant-based proteins has become a symbol for changing tides as American culture shifts as consumer become more health conscious. Replacement proteins or “Beyond Meats” such as chick’n, seitan and jackfruit retail as more appealing than raw tofu due to its similar meaty texture. Introducing topical proteins can be a great way to enhance your menu diversity and to traffic in new types of customers.
4. Healthy Bowls
Just as plant-based proteins increased in popularity, healthy bowls have resurfaced as the go-to Instagrammable, colorful snack. From smoothie bowls to chia pudding, bowls operate as a functional canvas for cafés and health-conscious eateries. Package a bowl to-go in clear PET plastic bowls to preview your design and transport in a safe way.
5. Creative Catering
Due to social distancing requirements, several event spaces had to close their doors, leaving consumers to take on creating their own entertainment. Creative catering has been a great way to manifest Pinterest-worthy ideas into innovative special occasion events. Contact-less beverage dispensers, disposable tableware, and patio dining are just a few trends that have surfaced as alternatives to partying in-doors. Check out how some people have been celebrating milestones.
When you are not in the mood for cooking or eating out, grab-n-go meals can be a life saver. Typically found in grocery stores, coffees hops or cafes, displaying grab-n-go snacks and meals is a great way to expand your brand awareness.
7. Revamped Classic Cocktails
If they cannot come to the Happy Hour, bring the Happy Hour to them. Classic cocktails spark nostalgia for simpler times and when everything was fun and fancy free. Bars and restaurants are paying tribute to the past recreating classic favorites with a modern twist. Spicy Blood Mary’s, fragrant decoration and even carry-out wells drink kits are just a few of rising bar trends in 2020.
8. Stress Reliever Ingredients
Stress baking? You are not the only one. According to Eater, stress baking is a common habit formed to distract the mind during a time of crisis or extreme anxiety. As people were forced to remain in the home during the beginning phases of the Covid-19 outbreak, bakers turned to their favorite hobbies, nearly buying out almost all the baking supplies. Stress reliever ingredients like turmeric, ginger, and chamomile are great relaxing ingredients to be used in homestyle baking recipes. Chefs turning to these key flavors display that the most important ingredient is a peace of mind.
9. Healthy Kids Meals
With back-to-school shopping on the mind, parents are faced with finding new ways to provide their children with healthier meals throughout the day. It seems as though this is not left unnoticed by the food service industry. Developing safer, healthier choices for children, helps tackle childhood obesity and build them into strong adults.
10. Gluten Free Bites