Tastewise, an AI-powered food intelligence startup, issues its latest report predicting sustainability trends for the food and beverage industry in 2020.

Plastic straws and packaging are hurting the planet, shopping local can reduce pollution, and meat alternatives are skyrocketing. Sustainability matters for the health of the planet, but what does it mean to consumers? Tastewise leverages real-time insights of consumers’ motivations and preferences to help companies advance products and practices to meet the needs of today’s sustainability trends and anticipate emerging food trends.

Analyzing over two billion social interactions, more than three million online recipes, and the largest restaurant menu database available of 274,000 restaurants, the latest report from Tastewise forecasts industry changes in sustainability for the coming decade. The study discloses 23% more consumers prioritize sustainable food choices today than a year ago. Furthermore, the data-driven approach examines why.

For example, consumers’ eco-motivations and health needs eclipse all other factors when it comes to sustainable food, propelling the growing popularity of dark chocolate and cocoa beans.

Other highlights from the report include:
• While 39% of consumers’ sustainable conversations focus on health benefits, only 1% discuss animal rights, disproportionally to its impact on environment sustainability
• Meatless conversations are on the rise, with vegan diet proving most popular
• California leads the way in sustainability; with only 12% of US population, it’s home to 22% of sustainable restaurants
• Keto dieters are seeking suitable, sustainable meat options, while some are ready to avoid animal products altogether
• Seafood is taking over sustainable recipes, with pollock dominating sustainable seafood menus, and oysters rising fastest in discussions
• Juice and smoothie bars that promote sustainable packaging are benefiting from increased consumer excitement
• Healthy waffles and oats are on track to win the restaurant scene
“Sustainability is an issue that’s increasingly important across food categories and markets, and we’re excited to offer data that impacts the future of our industry,” said Alon Chen, Tastewise Co-Founder and CEO. “We are helping our clients on a daily basis to find the right sustainable solutions that meet their consumer needs of today, as well as tomorrow. If a menu or a product doesn't offer sustainable seafood, it’s time to catch up to consumers’ heightened culinary consciousness.”

Download the full Tastewise 2020 Food and Beverage Sustainability Trends Report.