50 Shades of Vegan: four major restaurant trends for 2020. Report



Technomic reveals predictions for restaurants across the world gearing up for 2020. Looking ahead, expect to see many of last year’s macro trends evolve and mature, while quick-moving fads burn bright and fade.

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Expect the unexpected from the fast-moving restaurant industry.

According to the new Technomic report titled “2020 Global Restaurant Trends”, plant-based “meats,” third-party apps and social media-friendly dining spaces were new ideas in 2010 but moving forward, they will be essential to the industry. Restaurants are rolling out more items labeled vegan to meet growing demand for these dishes.

Beverage brands are breaking out, including young brands from across the globe taking on established players. Smaller-scale regional trends could become global, including collagen-spiked drinks, brown sugar bubble teas and Instagram-unfriendly #sadfood.

Here is Technomic’s take on four major trends poised to make a global impact in 2020, plus some up-and-comers likely to leave a mark.

The mocktail movement is becoming stronger. The new decade will be under the “Little to No Alcohol” flag

The mocktail movement for the new decade is ushering in a sobering array of products that lower or ditch the ABV without sacrificing on the flavor, aroma, mouthfeel and quality of their booze-retaining counterparts. 2020 will bring spirit-free cocktails to more chain and independent restaurants and bars across the globe, while craft beer makers will give new life to the session beer trend by pushing down ABVs to new lows.

Veganism is having a moment.

Expect restaurants to roll out more items labelled vegan to meet this new demand from diners who are strictly vegan in the traditional sense as well as the growing cohort who are part-time vegan in the contemporary sense.

“But are consumers actually turning vegan? Not completely. Most are trying out the diet to eat healthier, to do their part for the environment or simply because veganism is the latest fad,” explained the authors of the Technomic report.

The proliferation of plant-based

In 2020, the plant-based trend will extend beyond faux meats to include plant-based eggs, gelatin, cheeses, milks, sauces and condiments. Moreover, as branded meat analogues saturate the market, restaurant brands will create proprietary plant-based meat products to differentiate from competitors and reduce expenses.

Young beverage brands from across the globe are taking on established players.

Brands like Tostao from Colombia and Heytea in China are positioning to better meet evolving consumer demands, often with a mix of technology, localized products and lean operating models that address convenience and nix such niceties as seating and Wi-Fi. Expect to hear more about chains from Asia in particular, says Technomic.

Delivery Kitchens: Do these nonrestaurant restaurants have staying power?

2020 will give us a better handle on this segment’s defining characteristics and who the important players are. We’ll also drop some of the many names attached to theses venues and get a clearer understanding of who’s positioned to take ownership of this nascent operating space. 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.

Alain Ducasse Chocolat

Alain Ducasse Le Chocolat; @lechocolat-alainducasse.com/