More 2020 Food Trends Are Announced

Make way for oat milk and mocktails ... and more.


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Image: Kristan Lawson

The Specialty Food Association's Trendspotter Panel has just announced its predictions for 2020's hottest next-big-things.

Based on their examination of some 80,000 products exhibited at last month's 45th annual Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, the leading trends include Asian regional cuisines; oat milk; whole fruits and vegetables revisited; prebiotic-rich functional beverages; charcuterie and deli meats; mocktail culture; sparkling and international teas; and sustainability-driven product and packaging development.

The panel comprised an international team of culinary and industry experts — including such noted East Bayites as Oakland-bred chef and Restaurant BanhMi-Ni owner Tu David Phu; Afro-Vegan author/eco-chef/Oakland resident Bryant Terry; and Market Hall Foods buyer Wendy Robinson.

The panelists recommended standout brands and products exemplifying each trend.

For Asian regional cuisines, they spotlighted — among others — Kyoto-style chili oil; Cambodian kroeung prawlak marinade, and, speaking of Oakland, Burma Superstar Fermented Tea Leaf Dressing.

For prebiotic-rich functional beverages, they recommended Teranga-brand baobab juices and Xoca-brand cocoa-fruit soda.

For sparkling and global teas, they recommended HopLark-brand Hoptea, a sparkling tea made with hops, and Shaka Teas, sustainably grown hot drinks brewed with the Hawaiian-grown superleaf mamaki. 

"In a reflection of consumer awareness and tastes, products connected to sustainability and plants, health, and global flavors continue to grow in prominence," Specialty Food Association director of content Denise Purcell said in a press release

"As we can see with trends around oat milk, teas, functional drinks, and charcuterie, innovations in alternative dairy, specialty beverages, and protein continue to dominate," Purcell said.