The past year may have been all about meat alternatives and low-carb cooking, but 2020 is going to be a lot more colorful. Ube. Souffle pancakes. Boozy kombucha. These are the buzzy foods that trend forecasters are predicting will be on our plates and in our IG feeds in 2020. While food forecasting is not exactly a science or an art, it is fun to look at the crystal ball of food and guess what Americans will be eating in the coming year.
To learn more about what’s next in the food world in 2020, we consulted Yelp’s Trend Expert, Tara Lewis. The business directory service and crowd-sourced review forum recently released its list of 2020 food trends to watch.
Lewis worked with Yelp’s data science team to create the list by analyzing the keywords and phrases Yelp users were increasingly mentioning on the platform between 2018 and 2019. After narrowing down the list, they looked at trends based on the foods and flavors generating the most buzz in the foodie and restaurant community.
“In 2020, we can expect a big splash of color in foodie photos with vibrant dishes and dazzling desserts. The camera definitely eats first with 2020’s irresistibly photo-worthy foods, and Yelpers are already adding tons of color to reviews with pictures of ube donuts, taiyaki, soufflé pancakes and more!” Lewis told SheKnows.
Here are some of the trends we can expect to see in 2020:
Souffle Pancakes & Other Desserty Breakfast Treats
Move over avocado toast, it’s time to make room for sweet, decadent breakfasts like Japanese souffle pancakes, cinnamon swirl pancakes, and honey brick toast. With toppings such as matcha custard sauce, chewy boba pearls, fresh berries or cascades of maple syrup and melted butter, these wobbly pancakes are a fast-growing food trend on Instagram, where nearly 70,000 photos are tagged #soufflepancake.
“Japanese-style soufflé pancakes (reviews increased by 156%) and honey brick toast took two breakfast staples to the next level and blur the lines between breakfast and dessert.” Lewis said.
Ube, a purple yam originating in the Philippines, has become a popular ice cream flavor and in 2020, forecasters anticipate more desserts using the brightly hued (and highly Instagrammable) vegetable.
“As a staple ingredient in Filipino desserts, ube has been making waves in America’s dessert scene. You can find the purple yam as a key ingredient in ice cream, donuts, cake and in most of our favorite desserts!” Lewis said.
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San Francisco! Meet Plum Nectarine, a flavor we made just for you with our friends at @imperfectproduce. You can only get it tonight during our launch party at Palm House 🍑 Cruise by around 8pm for a taste! It’s pretty insane that more than 20% of the food we grow in the US goes to waste just because it looks a little different—that would’ve been the case for these nectarines and plums had we and @imperfectproduce not rescued them. We’re stoked to support such an awesome company fighting food waste in such a delicious way 🍏 Need this flavor in your life but can’t make it to Palm House? We’ll have it on tap in our San Diego tasting rooms starting this weekend. Can’t promise it’ll last long though 😎
On the beverage and cocktail front, expect to see more boozy kombucha on bar menus and even on tap in sports stadiums. Reviews mentioning hard kombucha were up 377% in the past 12 months among Yelp reviewers.
Floral-Infused Drinks and Dishes
Cocktails and dishes are getting a floral infusion as chefs and mixologists use plant extracts like elderflower, lavender, and chrysanthemum. If you want to try some, we recommend these recipes.
Nashville Hot Chicken
While 2019 was all about the battle of the best fast-food fried chicken sandwich, in 2020, expect to see Nashville Hot Chicken cropping up from the south to the north.
Like Yelp, Uber Eats is also looking at data to track some of 2020’s biggest food trends. They recently shared some of their findings with us and they agree that 2020 is going to be bold, bright and colorful. Here are their top predictions.
This tropical fruit can be added to drinks, smoothie bowls, oatmeal or simply eaten on its own.
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Roasted Cauliflower • Button Mushrooms • Hazelnuts • Fried Capers • Parmesan • Arugula • Squid Ink Aioli • This was full of flavour ! And each bit of this dish complimented one another 👏🏼 | #squidinkaioli #squidink #roastedcauliflower #arugulasalad #montrealfood #lesenfantsterribles #foodlove
Don’t worry, no one is going around drinking squid ink or anything crazy. Squid ink isn’t eaten by itself but it is used to add lots of deep, dark color to foods like pasta, rice and doughs. If you check out the pasta aisle of your grocery store, you’ll probably be able to find some. It has a rich briny flavor that pairs well with most savory dishes.
Cheers to 2020 and all of the exciting foods it will bring!