Food Trends 2020+ – A Nutrition Perspective!

1 February, 2020

As I searched the internet for future food trends 2020+, I came across an interesting report and article.

1, Mintel’s report titled ‘Global Food and Drink Trends 2030’. The report can be downloaded at the following link

2. ‘The future of food: what we’ll eat in 2028’ written by Dr. Stuart Farrimond. You can find the article at the following link.

I reviewed these articles, and some other recent food trends, following are some top-line nutrition-linked food trends 2020+:

Food Trends 2020+ - 1: Increased Focus on Planet & Human Sustainability

Increased Focus on Planet & Human SustainabilityMany consumers will be inspired to limit intake of animal products and transition to plant-based diets for ethical and environmental reasons. Common reasons include: to save the planet, avoid killing animals; and for their personal health. From a nutrition perspective, this trend is likely to increase the demand for:

  1. Plant or insect-based protein food, drinks, snacks and supplements. As animal products are an important source of protein, eliminating animal products may result in protein deficiency. Protein is important for repair and maintenance of the body. It is also required for supporting growth in children and teenagers. Adults need protein for maintaining muscle mass, preventing sub-clinical protein deficiency and sarcopenia (muscle loss as we age).
  2. Fortified food and beverages. With the elimination of milk and meat products nutrient deficiencies are likely. Vitamin B12, vitamin D, long-chain omega-3s, iodine, iron, calcium and zinc deficiencies may occur. Adequate vitamin C is also important to support absorption of non-heme iron.

These deficiencies imply a demand for fortified food and beverages. It may be useful for researchers to explore the impact of a vegan diet on the overall nutrition and health status in different individuals, to identify an appropriate nutrient bundle.

Food Trends 2020+ - 2: Personalized Nutrition

Personalized NutritionAs technology evolves, consumers will be able to use apps and personal testing kits to assess their health and nutrition status. With this, they can construct diets that can benefit their physical and mental health. This is likely to increase demand for customized food and beverages.

The food industry will have to compile available genetic profile data; nutrient and dietary intake, and health status information; and group consumers into different categories, to develop a unique range of products for each consumer category. Some potential opportunities for personalized future food and beverages include:

  • Nutrition drinks or supplements with a range of different nutrient combinations, to address deficiencies and boost overall health status of each unique consumer category.
  • Range of Prebiotic and probiotic combinations to support physical and mental well-being. As microbiome research progresses,  combinations of pre and probiotics that best enhance gut function in different consumer categories, can be determined. This information can be used to develop products for each unique consumer category.
  • Food base, emerging ingredient and nutrient combinations to address different health conditions. As genetic tests reveal the diseases that consumers are likely to suffer from, it is very likely that consumers will be looking for food and beverages that can help prevent diseases. For example, if someone is likely to suffer from inflammation, a formulation with beans, turmeric and omega-3 fatty acids, may be beneficial.
  • Customized Ready-to-eat meals with specific type and quantity of grains, vegetables and meats or plant-based protein, based on an individual’s body weight, frame size, blood and genotype; health status and taste or cuisine preferences. This may be based on DNA testing may help consumers define the best food and nutrient combinations for them. The challenge however, is that this may only be feasible for individual meals; and not family meals, as each individual is unique.
  • Meal Kits For Home-Cooked Meals With new agricultural technology, locally fresh produce is likely to be easily available. In addition, as cooking may be done with programmed apps and all consumers may have to do, is to insert the oil, spices and vegetables, grains or meat and pulses into the recommended slots, more consumers may want to eat freshly prepared meals. This may increase demand for meal kits for each unique consumer category.

Food Trends 2020+ - 3: High Tech Agricultural Innovations

High Tech Agricultural InnovationsAs agricultural technology advances and researchers identify new ways to grow essential ingredients in water insecure areas and make plants more resilient to extreme weather patterns; and vertical farms, indoor hydroponic systems, robotic-harvested farms, and other high-tech agricultural innovations increase, the supply of fresh produce is likely to increase. In addition, some countries are likely to start growing their own produce and reduce dependency on imports. With these changes, the food industry will have to re-evaluate the demand for processed food like dried, freeze-dried and frozen food.


2020+ will increase demand for plant and insect-based food, fortified food and beverages, personalized nutrition, and high tech agricultural innovations. The food industry will have to be prepared for this demand and more, as this decade is going to be a dynamic one.It will change the way in which we grow our crops; develop, market and sell food. The agricultural and food sectors will have to stay agile. as every day with AI will bring a new set of challenges and big opportunities.