‘Tis the season for New Year’s resolutions, year-in-reviews and trend forecasting! We’re fascinated by what experts are predicting 2020’s big food service trends will be after reading several insightful industry articles. What will be big?

The plant-based trend explosion is an obvious one, as we’ve seen it everywhere. But we were surprised by the spotlight on churros and porridge, two often-overlooked food items. And what’s this about mocktails?

We’ve collected five forecasted trends for 2020 and paired them with a few of our products that will support them best so you can get them into your establishment quick!

Are you ready for glimpse at the future?

1. Include Vegan and Plant-Based Options

veggie frieds in a wire basket

Meatless, vegan dishes and other veggie-centric trends were just getting warmed-up in 2019, and in 2020 it will go even more mainstream. Trend forecasters are seeing an increasing amount of consumers looking for plant-based options on menus and in the grocery store.

The trend has even hit the fast food restaurants who are offering plant-based options with the Impossible Burger, Beyond Meat and other meatless products.

Veganism has been around for decades, so trend forecasters think the popularity of meatless meals has more to do with environmental concerns, since cutting down meat consumption is better for the Earth.

As far as presentation, we’re excited to see all-veggie tacos and wraps. And the bright color of a vegetable-based dish pops in a shiny, stainless-steel servers. Don’t forget to color-code veggie prep in the kitchen to cut cross-contamination on strictly vegan meals.

TableCraft Products to Get You On the Trend:

2. Say Hola to Churros

churros in a white dish with chocolateChurros, yes, those delicious sugar-and-cinnamon-dipped fried dough treats that are a street-vendor staple, are being hailed the dessert of 2020.

According to trend reports, chefs are taking these traditionally rod-shaped Mexican goodies and topping them with different flavors and changing their shape from baton to waffle, thin cakes and other interesting incarnations. Get ready to see churros on menus across cuisines; from French to Asian-fusion.

We like the baton churros served in the classic cones or even fry cups, but we’re also a huge fan of branching out into other shapes and presenting them on a classic white or black dish … with plenty of sauces for dipping.

TableCraft Products to Get You On the Trend:

3. Lao Cuisine, a Growing Trend

loatian larb dish with small silver serverMove over Thai and Indian food, trend-spotters are starting to see this Southeast Asian country’s cuisine trending — probably thanks to its light, bright and spicy dishes. There’s an uptick of Laotian restaurants in larger US cities, according to reports, and more will be coming.

Included on the menu is minced meat salads (larb), a green papaya salad (Tam Mak Hoong) and lots of sticky rice (called Lao) which is traditionally eaten by hand.  (Look good? Get the larb recipe we used here.)

We have a variety of platters and paddles that mix well with our stainless steel servers for a natural-looking presentation. And several white melamine options that will allow this colorful cuisine to pop!

TableCraft Products to Get You On Trend:   

4. Pass the Porridge

prridge on a paddle with fruit with a spoon 2020 trends

Porridge, this humble breakfast made famous by Goldilocks and English bed and breakfasts, is getting it’s due in 2020. Restaurants are taking this hearty and inexpensive breakfast staple and using it as a backdrop for a variety of different flavors and cuisines from all over the world. Scandi, Japanese, even TexMex(!?) are all flavoring these breakfast bowls.

We’re all for a little extra flair in our porridge bowls, but the presentation is still important. Cast iron is an obvious choice for it’s insulations (no one likes a cold bowl of porridge, just ask Goldilocks). And stainless steel gives is a shiny and industrial presentation. But don’t overlook classic enamelware or the just-as-trendy glass jar for a perfect buffet take-and-eat.

TableCraft Products to Get You On Trend:

5. Add More Mocktails and Low-Alcohol Drinks

flight of small cocktails

Belly up to the bar with millennials and young adults and you’ll see they’re more apt to order delicious-sounding custom cocktails that are low or no-proof.

Spurred on by alcoholic seltzers White Claw and the like, mocktails and low-ABV libations are a growing trend. Caterers and restaurants are using house-made syrups, ginger beer, sherry, blood orange liqueur and ports as mixers to build custom, creative drinks.

We’d love to see them on a flight paddle to try them all. Or presented in a charming shaker bottle. And don’t forget the garnish!

TableCraft Products to Get You On Trend:

Jessica Freundel

Author Jessica Freundel

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