Well in advance of Expo West, the culinary team at SRG, Boulder, Colo., began identifying the big trends to look for at the event and beyond. While the event has been postponed, the agency is sharing its outlook on the food trends you would have seen with insights on what they reveal. 

“Never have we seen a movement evolve so quickly from fringe food group interest to mass adoption like we are seeing in the evolution of plant-based foods and lifestyles,” says Kiley Stone, associate culinary director at SRG. “This includes a growing spectrum of foods and new sub-categories of products all under the plant-based umbrella.” 


“The Expanding Plantscape” is one of SRG’s Top 10 Culinary Trends identified for 2020 and a theme that will surely continue to influence the food world. As the definition of plant-based continues to broaden, the agency has identified a spectrum of innovation—from purely-plant to totally new-to-the-world food sources—that has set the standard for the world of plant-based products. And within this expanding spectrum, SRG has identified five themes to continue charting the course for the growing future of plant-based foods and lifestyles. 

Next-Gen Agriculture - Sustainability and responsibility at scale. Cell-based advancements pose an opportunity for entirely new sources for animal proteins. Lab-created agriculture/aquaculture will continue to become more affordable and approachable to more people.

Savvy Food Science – Minimally processed, Maximum structure. Whole-muscle and full-form ingredients are the next frontier of plant-based meat mimicry. Healthfulness and transparency are must haves.   

Legacy Plant BasedRenaissance of the O.G. Vegan. Classic vegan standbys will have new life breathed into them as they appeal to broader audiences. These legacy formats will be called for what they are. We will see Tempeh vs. ‘fakin bacon’ and more. 

Modern Plant ForwardSimply Understandable. Look for more simplicity and clarity from a few select hero ingredients, including plant/animal blends, to bring a sense of real food, real understanding, and approachability to a confusing space.

Purely Plant - One Ingredient Wonders. The beauty of plants is that many exist in natural forms that provide hearty, savory, rich flavors without needing much else. We will see well-flavored, well-recognized single plant ingredients in out-of-the-box applications from snacking to condiments to center of the plate stars.