Taste the future – Top 9 food and nutrition trends to watch in 2020

Curious to know what the future of food and nutrition will look like? Lia shares her view regarding the major food trends in 2020 at Anuga trade show in Cologne - the epicentre for global food trends. Anuga is the world’s largest trade fair for food and beverages. Every year, movers and shakers from around the globe gather in Cologne for five days of inspiration, networking and scouting. Here’s a look at the food that will be popping up on plates in the year to come. And don't miss Simone's interview and coverage of the NewtritionX. Summit which took place as part of Anuga 2019.


1. Plant kingdom on the rise: The changing global food market presents new challenges for all stakeholders along the food value chain. One of the strongest driving forces is the consumer demand for alternatives to animal proteins. According to Innova Market Insights, the plant-based market recorded an average annual growth of 30% within the last four years, and shows no signs of slowing down. From chickpea-derived vegan butter (ForaFoods), to plant-based salmon alternatives made from algae (Veganz) - at Anuga I got a taste of the future of plant-based innovation. 

2. Supergrains: New foods marketed as superfoods have recorded an average annual growth of 12% from 2014-2018*. Forecasts say that the growth trajectory will only continue to rise. The overall category growth is being led by grains and primeval grains, and the fastest growing superfoods are pumpkin seeds (+34%), sunflower seeds (+21%) and quinoa (+14%)*. At Anuga I discovered Hemptastic – nutritious bars made from hemp, the world’s oldest cultivated plant.

3. “Free from” is the new “with”: Free from is becoming an increasingly popular category. 23% of all new foods carried a free-from claim in 2018*. “Gluten-free” leads this segment, with 58% of all free-from products being gluten-free (2018). Globally, Europe ranks first in terms of introducing new free-from products*. My favourite free-from pick at Anuga were the mango coconut smoothie cookies from Fr. Ultrafrisch.

4. Food for body and mind: Nutrition that supports both physical and emotional well-being is thriving. Individuals are looking for more holistic ways to manage health, taking into consideration not only the body, but also the mind and emotional welfare. In response to the recent hype around the human microbiome and its tremendous potential for our physical and mental health, a plethora of prebiotic and probiotic supplements and drinks have hit the market. One of my all-time favourites: the bacteria-boosting raw kombucha from ManuTeeFaktur.

5. The adventurous foodie: Consumers are moving out of their comfort zones to explore bolder flavours and multisensory food experiences. In response, brands are creating more engaging experiences, drawing on aspects like sensory delivery, storytelling and flavours from other cultures. Consumers desire to gain knowledge about other cultures, and the origin of products has contributed to a 17% average annual growth in new food and beverage launches tracked with a "discovery" claim*. NaraFoods for example, doesn’t only sell over ten different types of dates, but also has a unique story about the farmer for each variety.

6. Alternatives to alcohol: As people in the Western world are becoming more educated and conscious about health, a demand for alcohol free alternatives is on the rise. Currently there are only a handful of companies tackling this topic. This in turn, provides stakeholders in the food and beverage industry with a great market opportunity to play an active role in shaping the non-alcoholic segment, and in setting the course for the future. My favourite product in this space at the moment is Real Kombucha - brewed from hand-picked, loose-leaf fine teas carefully selected from small gardens around the world, and served in Michelin star restaurants as an alternative to wine and champagne.

7. Call for organic: The organic segment remains a growing sector. Innova Market Insights reports a CAGR of 11% in organic claims on global food and beverage launches (2014-2018). Geographically, Europe is leading the pack. Of all launches containing an organic claim, 58% were reported in Europe, compared to 22% in North America*. My personal organic winner from Anuga is Edamama – a delicious high protein vegan pasta made from beans.

8. The future is personal: Customers are no longer satisfied with “one size fits all” solutions. Increasingly, new technologies are meeting this need: health trackers, DNA and microbial analyses, and even improvements in production are allowing more differentiated and targeted product innovations. While currently start-ups, such as Persona, Baze and MadeFor are dominating the personal nutrition space, established corporates are also catching on. Nestle for example recently launched the DNA-personalized supplement program called “Wellness Ambassador program” in Japan.

9. The green revolution: Plant-based and health food innovations continue to flourish. The green movement of eco conscious companies goes hand in hand with the better-for-you foods. Consumers recognise that what is good for the planet is also essentially good for the individual. At Anuga I discovered a variety of green innovations along the value chain, from sustainable packaging (f.ex. Halm) to AI-based start-ups combating food waste (f.ex. Delicious data). 

* Innova Market Research 


This article was written by Lia Schmökel

Lia Marlen Schmökel, Co-Founder Nutrition Hub


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NUTRITION HUB is the largest network for the new generation of nutrition experts. We are driven to spread nutrition knowledge and innovation based on scientific evidence - leading to a better-informed consumer. Founded by leading nutrition experts, Nutrition Hub connects specialists with industry, start-ups, and NGOs.

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