To identify an emerging food trend, marketers and communicators usually find themselves pulling double duty. They need to keep a finger on the pulse of the consuming public, while also tracking what’s going on within their industries. With 2020 just around the corner, Butin has been busy digging into the trends that are likely to dominate the food industry in the new year.
Here are some of the emerging themes that have gotten our attention thus far.
Kids’ Menu Overhaul
In foodservice as well as in packaged goods, it seems like the kids’ menu has remained simple and somewhat repetitive. But it appears that the pattern is finally changing. Increasingly, brands are reconsidering food for kids and “thinking outside the lunchbox”. Especially as millennials have begun having families and raising a new generation of little foodies. With many parents introducing their children to more-adventurous foods and better-for-you ingredients, translating those preferences to kids’ menus and packaged meals clearly is the next logical step.
How can you take advantage of this trend? If you’re working for a restaurant or food brand, it’s time to upgrade the old-school kids’ menu by adding some approachable, elevated items. Think of fish sticks made from a lesser-known species; or organic chicken nuggets and chicken strips; or pasta made from alternative flours.
If you’re an agency communicator, it’s essential to keep the latest trends in kids’ menus in mind when it comes time to pitch the media. How is your product answering the call? And is it answering from outside the lunchbox?
Time and Convenience
Due to the fast pace of our lives, convenience is the key when it comes to food and beverage consumption. Although convenience is not really a new trend, we expect to see the importance of it even further in 2020. And now the stakes are higher. It’s true that consumers are demanding more products that enable easy, immediate consumption. But they also still want to be intrigued by fresh ingredients and new flavors, and they still want their foods to help them achieve their health goals.
So both time and convenience are going to be big buzzwords in 2020. Consumers will be looking for anything that makes their day easier, especially when it comes to mealtime. Butin will be on the lookout for exciting new grab ’n’ go snacks for kids, sporting events, quick breakfasts, and other occasions.
According to the USDA, 30 to 40 percent of the food produced in the United States ends up getting thrown out, with no chance of it being reused. As more people learn about the pressing issue of food waste, more of them also will discover the appeal of eco-friendly dishes. In 2020, companies that demonstrate a new level of consciousness when it comes to sustainability may expect to see a corresponding rise in brand loyalty among consumers.
Not coincidentally, it’s also time to commit the term “sustainable cooking” to memory. Sustainable cooking comes in many forms, from zero-waste recipes and dinner-to-lunch meals to regenerative agricultural practices. A great example of a zero-waste recipe is one that relies on leftovers. These styles of recipes are a great way to draw the attention of the eco-conscious foodie to your various products.
You’ll find more Butin food insights and commentary here in the Our Thoughts section of our blog.