10 food trends that operators need to be thinking about in 2020


Whether it’s a shortage of rice caused by wet weather at the end of the European growing season or a growing appetite for premium healthy flour options among artisan pizza operators, the availability and supply of ingredients is as important to a kitchen as the equipment. Eurostar Commodities has its finger on the pulse when it comes to this part of the market. Managing director, Philip Bull, outlines the company’s top 10 trends for 2020.

1. Bringing Sushi Home

In 2019 the Rugby World Cup brought 30% more tourists to Japan. The biggest thing that they took home with them was a renewed vigour for the food. This is combined with smaller yield higher quality crop of sushi rice in Europe (caused by wet conditions in Northern Italy where the UK’s supply of sushi rice is predominantly grown).

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We are going to see people eating higher quality sushi much more frequently. We predict that it is going to become a weekly favourite (rather than a treat) throughout the country with a large numbers of people learning to prepare sushi at home.

It has many inherent health benefits as well as being light and sustainable with delicious vegan and plant-based offerings. We also predict that people will be trying lesser known Japanese dishes such as yakitori, and having many more bento boxes for lunch.

2. High quality gluten free        

Gluten free is going to step up a gear in terms of quality. Until now, people have had to put up with lots of second rate products which don’t taste as good as their glutinous alternatives. We have done extensive research and development, including looking at products globally.

We have created versatile flours which can be used to make different products both gluten-free and high quality; for example breads, chapatis, wraps, tortilla, and all manner of high end patisserie and baking. We’re now starting to see high quality core product come through which will influence the flavour, consistency and texture of gluten free baked goods throughout the sector.

3. Plant-based flour (vegetable and legumes)  

We continue to watch the vegan trend move into the mainstream. As a result we are seeing lots of innovation into non-animal protein. One important way of incorporating additional plant-based protein into a vegan diet is through flours made from legumes and vegetables.

Plant based flour is made from 100% ground vegetables (or legumes) and is used as a primary ingredient in breads, pizza bases, pancakes, cakes and much much more. Using plant-based protein like this transforms breads into a fibre full, protein rich nutritious food which offers increased texture and flavour, but will also satisfy hunger and keep people feeling fuller for longer.

4. Manitoba

Manitoba flour is made by grinding the soft wheat cultivated in the fields between northern America and southern Canada. It is arguably the very highest quality flour in the world and with a price tag to match. It is used for special breads and in slow leavening pizza doughs.

With a very high protein content it creates delicious well-structured products and we expect to see a clearly labelling of products using Manitoba. We ourselves work to get hold of Manitoba and supply to only the most premium artisans.

5. Semolina bread

We think that following the popularity of sourdough artisanal bakers will experiment with Semolina as a key ingredient. Semolina adds structure and is rich in protein, fibre, and B vitamins. It may support weight loss, heart health, and digestion. Even the mere mention of semolina can strike fear of school dinners into the heart of any gastronome.

However, it’s a little known fact that without realising it you are probably eating semolina all the time. We’ve come a long way from the traditional sweetened British pud of our childhoods. Semolina is the coarse pale-yellow flour ground from hard durum wheat and it is used to make traditional pasta and cous cous. It can also be used to make pizza, bread and biscuit doughs as well as gnocchi. Get ready to see semolina bread served for brunch!

6. Signature pizza (personalized pizza)

As pizza chefs continue to push the boundaries of creativity innovating in the traditional Neapolitan we expect to see chefs putting their own personal take on signature pizza. Typical of this style is the addition of gastronomic elements such as sides, or sauces you that you pour on yourself after serving.

7. Jasmine rice   

Cambodian rice production is changing and focusing more on growing Jasmine and Organic rice. Cambodia produces large volumes of this high quality rice. Jasmine rice is well known for its fragrance, the sweet aroma of jasmine rice highly resembles the scent of pandan leaves.

When cooked, jasmine rice is stickier than other long-grain rice. It also has a distinct soft, moist texture and a slightly sweet flavour. It is also a much more price competitive option compared to the Hom Mali Jasmine rice grown in Thailand.

8. Chapati

2020 is going to be the year of the humble chapati. We are all eating wraps and tortilla instead of bread based sandwiches, and we’ve forgotten the versatility and tastiness of the traditional Chapati or Roti. This is especially true now you can get healthier versions made with high quality gluten free flour or whole-wheat flour. Outstanding chapati has the softness and flexibility to pair with lots of meals, snacking and eating occasions.

9. Protein Snacks

There has been a 32% increase in high protein snacks in 2019. We expect this to continue with new convenient products like Pure Bite Snacks ticking the high protein box as well as other specific health benefits (such as gluten free, vegan, low fat, low salt). Major retailers are now fully on board so the protein revolution will continue into 2020.

10. Noodles

We are going to go noodles for noodles in 2020. It will mark the resurgence of a return to Chinese food but with a healthy slant. Particular varieties are going to stand out for their combination of versatility, flavour and health benefits.

Soba is the Japanese name for buckwheat and soba noodles made from buckwheat flour, or a combination of buckwheat and wheat flours. They are served either chilled with a dipping sauce, or in hot broth as a noodle soup. Similarly the Konjac noodle is made from the Konjac root vegetable and is super low calorie. Used in stir fry Konjac noodles are an awesome addition to a low calories diet.

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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