Bidfood outlines the big five 2020 food trends to its customers

Experiential dining, global flavours, eco-anxiety and unusual cooking methods are just a few of the dining trends Bidfood has outlined for the next 12 months to the foodservice operators it serves.

Following months of market research and in-depth analysis across the UK, the foodservice wholesaler has narrowed its findings down to five key trends it believes will be driving the growth in the foodservice market.

Lucy Pedrick, head of insights and customer experience at Bidfood, said: “The last 10 years have brought about huge change in the way we eat and what we eat, and we can only expect this to accelerate in the next decade. We’re particularly excited about the ‘Feed the Senses’ trend that we’ve identified, as dining increasingly becomes about the whole experience. We’re looking forward to assisting our partners with menu ideas, recipes and information about new ingredients to help make 2020 the best year for the UK food scene yet.”

Read more: Bidfood and Bestway pick up triple honours at FWD awards

The five trends are as follows:

1. Feed the Senses

Following a food revolution in the noughties and the rise of casual dining and pop-up food experiences in the 2010s, the 2020s will be all about interactive dining experiences and feeding the senses. A full spectrum of experiential dining will grow, from immersive experiences using theatre and music, through to subtle use of light, smell and sound to heighten diners’ enjoyment.

Communal dining will continue to grow in popularity as shared meals that encourage interaction pique interest. Tabletop cooking with colourful dishes and sharing plates will bring interactive meals out of market halls and street food spaces, and onto restaurant tables.

Sub trends:
Sticks, skewers and dipping – We’ll see skewers piled high with added textures, flavours and colours
Sharing is caring – Sharing is a great way to try lots of different dishes, tastes and flavours
Eat the rainbow – Colour (or the lack of) is still a key trend. Foods can be black as night or as bright as the milky way

Products to look out for: Coconut Skewered Prawns, Rainbow Layer Cakes and Caramelised Onion Bloomer

Ingredients to try out: Beetroot and hibiscus

2.Simply Global

Thanks to technology creating a more globally connected world, our eyes have been opened to niche cuisines and ingredients that many have not experienced before. Flavours from countries and regions such as Lebanon, the Pacific Islands and Australasia all look set to make an appearance on menus in 2020.

The Simply Global trend is making global cuisine more accessible using authentic ingredients to create fusion dishes that incorporate more than one cuisine, developing food without borders. Chilli will feature heavily in many dishes – from the fiery fragrance used in many Asian dishes, through to smoky heat from South America.

Sub trends:
Flavours of the Pacific – Taking inspiration from the diverse range of cuisines from the islands of the Pacific Ocean
Middle Eastern – The Middle Eastern trend continues with more regional staples gaining popularity, such as Israeli, Yemeni and Jewish
Authentic Indian – We’re seeing a move to lighter, fresher and more authentic dishes
Extreme Americana – This is all about creating new American-fusion dishes using the best ingredients
World Heat and Global Fusion: Featuring dishes filled with fragrance and heat, toregional Asian influences including casual Japanese dishes, or regional Thai and Vietnamese

Products to look out for: Gochujang Paste and Bang Bang Chicken

Ingredients to try out: Tahini, miso, chai, yuzu and chimichurri

Read more: Bidfood acquires Elite Fine Foods

3.Creatively Sustainable

With ‘eco-anxiety’ taking hold of society there will continue to be a heavy focus on the health of the planet. As vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian diets become the norm rather than the exception, we’ll start to see vegetables hogging the spotlight. Creative root-to-stem recipes that utilise the whole plant will drive focus. Meanwhile, ‘dirty vegan’food will continue to gain popularity as non-meat eaters look for indulgent and delicious plant-based alternatives.

When it comes to consuming meat and fish, ensuring the whole animal is used will be of utmost importance to help minimise food wastage. Expect to see unusual cuts of meat make an appearance on menus along with an increased interest in offal.

Sub trends:
Dirty vegan – With meat alternatives improving all the time, indulgent vegan dishes are easy to create
Waste not – As we all try to say farewell to plastic and food waste, chefs are getting creative with leftovers and making the most of root-to-leaf cooking
Centre plate veg – Vegetables themselves are now being focused on as the centre of plate
Go nuts – Alternative ‘mylks’ are rapidly transforming the dairy scene, in both drinks and dishes
Gut health – This year we see a clear shift in mind-sets towards food and drink offering functional health benefits
On the bone – If we want to eat meat and fish, we need to respect the animal and use everything that it offers from nose-to-tail

Products to look out for: BBQ Pulled Jackfruit, Kombucha and Smoked Tofu

Ingredients to try out: Banana blossom, nut butters and kimchi

4.Skilful Flavour

The skills of chefs, mixologists and baristas will be tested in 2020, as unusual cooking and preparation techniques make their way from haute cuisine, into mainstream food culture. Expect to see a rise in pickled and cured gut-friendly dish elements, as well as blackened and burnt food from high-temperature cooking over a fire. With this, comes complex flavours and textures which will delight our ever-evolving palate.

Sub trends:
Raw – This trend is light and fresh, but will need a great level of skill to prepare these delicacies
Pickled and cured – Beginning with the growing interest in gut health, pickling and curing are now trending as fantastic ways to add colours and flavour explosions to any plate
Blackened and burnt – Blackened and burnt creates great new levels of flavour profiles
Fried – It’s all about maximum texture with this trend
Sweet vs. savoury – As health concerns focus in on sugar, our palates are gradually becoming used to flavours that aren’t so sweet

Products to look out for: Blackened Peppered Beef, Biotiful KefirandStreet Food Pastes

Ingredients to try out: Harissa and sauerkraut

5.Beyond the Basics

Whilst new and unusual flavours and experiences will be popular in 2020, with uncertain environmental and political times, many diners will be looking for ways to anchor themselves to the familiar. Food and drink that evokes feelings of nostalgia will be popular, with basic well-known dishes such as toast, eggs, salads and sandwiches being given gourmet makeovers using the very best in quality ingredients.

Sub trends:
Humble toast – There is nothing simpler than a slice of toast, but using the very best ingredients can elevate it to something rather special
Crazy croissants – Sweet or savoury, these new style croissants are over-filled and brightly coloured
Egg-cellent – Boiled or fried? Shakshuka or tea-stained? Duck or pheasant? 2020 is the year that all types of eggs and egg dishes will take centre stage
Back to British – Nostalgia is bigger than ever and foods from by-gone eras are being brought back to the present
Sando fever – Take the very best bread and then fill it with the best ingredients you can find
Breakfast grown up – Breakfast and brunch dishes don’t just have to be eaten in the morning, they are now appearing across all eating occasions
Super salads – Wave goodbye to basic Greek salads or a classic Waldorf, in 2020 salads will be bigger and better, and eaten all year round

Products to look out for: Orange Spiced French ToastandNordic Bread

Ingredients to try out: Spirulina powder and coloured croissant doughs

Read more: 2020 Vision- The leading names in wholesale predict what next year will bring

Avatar photo
Paul Hill is the Editor of Better Wholesaling. He can be found on Twitter at @BW_PaulHill, or contacted via and 07960935659.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.