A New Era of Food: Trends To Expect In 2020

With the passing of a decade, there comes an unavoidable flurry of nostalgia along with a peaked curiosity for what might be looming on the horizon. By looking back at the last ten years of food trends, history offers insights and preparations to consider as we enter into this new era. We invite you to grab your napkin, take a seat, and get ready – because the ’20s have officially arrived. 

Food Trends: online ordering

Food Ordering

What We’ve Seen:

Historically speaking, this decade has been a leader in food ordering software. While most online or app-based food ordering companies technically opened their doors in the mid-to-late 2000s, the practice was not popularized until early 2013. Many believe that the popularization came with the increase in career pressure, forcing those in school or working jobs to opt for delivery. 

What’s Next:

In the last few years, many hungry diners across the United States began to pay closer attention to big-name brands. With online ordering companies charging small businesses impossibly high commission rates, restaurants were forced to either pay out-of-pocket or lose business to their multi-million dollar competition.

This influx of awareness means that more consumers are becoming aware of these schemes, and opting to order through mission-based companies like ChowNow: where restaurants come first.

Woman cutting bread at a bakery

Food In The Media

What We’ve Seen:

Cooking shows hosted by top-notch chefs such as Giada or Gordon Ramsey led the pack in the early 2010’s. Very few channels slotted cooking shows throughout the day, and the majority of viewers were women in their mid-to-late 30’s.

As social media began to change the landscape of entertainment, younger audiences were exposed to shorter, more vibrant food content. This content was oftentimes displayed by non-professionals, aligning well with the #relatable movement that is still happening today. Competition shows took the lead, allowing for networks to schedule entire channels around competition baking. 

What’s Next:

With a climate of young, hungry, and curious consumers reaching their adulthood, cooking content is expected to shift into a more holistic lense. From simple, fresh, and locally grown meals to extravagant, interactive and trend-worthy creations, the media will have a place for every viewer and skill level. According to a Forbes article on 2020 Food Trends, Interactive foods will be taking a spot on the main stage – promising fiery cocktails, explosive desserts, and melting-pot-style table settings. 


Food Trends: Environment

Environmental Impact 

What We’ve Seen:

At the introduction of 2010, playful food packaging grew in popularity. Kid’s Meal toys and thick plastic containers made for a more interesting consumer experience, inspiring many food brands to follow suit.

However, as islands of garbage grew by the tonne, companies like Starbucks and Toms took the first step toward sustainable consumerism – banning straws and starting a line of footwear made solely from repurposed plastics. Lawmakers in states like California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, New York, and more introduced the plastic bag ban, which has since translated into a considerable decrease in single-use plastics. 

What’s Next:

While decreasing single-use plastics is still a leading factor in environmentally-conscious consumerism, the food itself has taken center stage: acting as a fuel for sustainable eating and an altered perception of the traditional food pyramid. With increasing methane emissions and a rapidly growing population density, this awareness has given a new meaning to eating clean. People who may not consider themselves to be vegan or vegetarian may opt for a veggie burger or cauliflower-crust pizza without the social concern traditionally associated with these eating practices. 


Chef preparing plates of food

Trending Ingredients

What We’ve Seen:

Bacon, bacon, bacon! The early 2010’s put a funny twist on food – literally. Food trends appeared in many different categories, even earning a spot in the world of professional chefs and bakers. Ingredients with a cult following became popularized, including but not limited to bacon, macarons, fried chicken & waffles, salted caramel on everything, coconut water, and deluxe coffee. 

With a focus on health and community growing strong near the end of the decade, restaurants began proudly sharing where their ingredients came from; taking the focus off of the ingredient itself and highlighting the impact instead. 

What’s Next:

Healthful and locally sourced ingredients will inspire consumers to spend a little more on items with a traceable process. This means that intrigue in categories like biodynamic wines, mung beans, probiotics, meat-plant blends, and other traditional alternatives is also expected to rise, helping consumers to learn more about their food and the impact it makes on their long term health.

According to a Nielsen data, the sale and purchase of plant-based meat substitutes is expected to increase by 203%. Similarly, if you like spicy brussels sprouts, this may be your decade. At a whopping 622% predicted increase, these compact vegetables will finally have their time to shine. 


Food Trends closing notes: table of friends

Regardless of how you choose to enjoy your food…

…do so with purpose. Take a cooking class, try a vegan burger (I bet you won’t know the difference!), eat locally, and share your experiences with loved ones. The memories made over plates of delicious food will not be quickly forgotten and come this time in 2030, we hope to be celebrating them with you yet again.


Hungry for something else? Discover other delicious eats in your area, ready to be ordered.

Order in without taking restaurants down. Learn how your order can make an impact. #OrderBetter

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Images by Ali Inay, Sebastian Coman & Roman Kraft