Looking back at our 2020 food predictions

Towards the end of 2019, Liquid’s food team penned an article about food predictions for 2020.

Of course, we now know that no one could have predicted the events of the first half of this year, so we decided to take a look back at our food forecast to see if any of them have come to fruition.

One of our food team’s predictions was the rise of West African cuisine – big, bold flavours packed with unique tastes that offer an insight into gastronomy from across the world. The initial prediction was supported by research done by organic retailer, Whole Foods Market, and their annual trends list. Recent research into current trends this year affirm the prediction of increased West African influences in cooking, with the rich and earthy flavours continuing to grow in popularity.

The next prediction was an increase in concerns being raised around food wastage, and how this affects the way we eat. An article from BBC Food suggests environmental concerns of food have risen in recent months, with an uplift in local and seasonal produce rising in popularity to avoid increased food miles, carbon footprint, and food wastage.

We had also pegged the emergence of the “seacuterie” as a likelihood for 2020, an aquatic version of the well-known charcuterie meat boards. This prediction has been reinforced through articles by BBC Food and Food Manufacture, who both highlight the increased popularity of seafood, particularly the seafood charcuterie trend which incorporates smoked, fermented, aged, brined and pickled cuts. Also ideal as a low-impact source of healthy protein.

Surprisingly, almost all of our food predictions for 2020 were pretty spot on – an unexpected outcome given that just about everything else this year has been so unpredictable. It’s no surprise that people have become more conscious of what they eat and the impact it has on their health, perhaps influenced by the current challenges we’re facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Food trends have become increasingly prominent during this time, with many people taking to home baking and cooking, due to the fact that eating out has become a thing of the past. Many have found it therapeutic but also a means to stay away from takeaways. Increased time at home also means people are occupying themselves with forming new positive habits such as working out and eating healthily, inspiring increased homecooked meals and snacks.

We can see food trends for 2020 are big on flavour but also factor in an increased awareness around health, well-being and environmentally responsible. As we’re half-way through the year, is it time to start thinking about the food trends for 2021?