As part of Culinary Tides’ ongoing work, we have been tracking the political and economic unease here and abroad, well before the onset of COVID-19.  What the spread of COVID-19 has caused, is an amplification and acceleration of the Tide that was already rolling in. It's no less significant for its abruptness and shock value, but pandemics can have the effect of shaping and altering the trajectory of already identified trends. 

As such, I’m proud to have contributed to this year’s Shifting Sands Forecast report on trends that will shape the food industry over the next 12 months.
It can be difficult to know which trends are most likely to rise above the noise over the next 12 months as the situation is still very much in flux.  It can be even more confusing trying to decide which will resonate most with brands and consumers.  This report’s forecasts offer insight into how and why the current climate will affect trends for 2020/21. Menu Matters, with Culinary Tides, help the industry navigate, trend by trend, what to expect during the immediacy of this crisis and what the long-term effects could be in shaping the future of these trends.  Understanding that a trend is coming is only valuable if you know how to strategically leverage it.

This report is a cross-analysis of 214 prediction lists for 2020 put forth by 162 industry experts.  In all, more than 1,700 individual predictions were evaluated for their potential during the coming year, however only well supported predictions were included in the final report.  All trends in the report are anticipated to remain in focus throughout 2020 and into the first quarter of 2021.  

Discover Navigation charts with “Ah-Ha Moments” you can use to navigate trends affecting your playground.  The trends are broken down by macro and micro families, which help to establish their strengths and links to other existing trends.  Gap analysis was performed to identify overlooked trends which were considered critical to the overall forecast picture by Culinary Tides, Inc with contributions from Menu Matters.

Knowing which trends best fit your brand, which will resonate most with customers, and how long they will stick around can clear a path for meaningful innovation.  Understanding these trends birth patterns and what is pushing them into the spotlight can help move you to a calmer, more confident position for strategy development.

2020/21 predictions explore:
• Government – cybersecurity, plant proteins, obesity, cannabis, GMO
• Technology – narrowcasting, order, delivery, GMO, robotics, packaging, cellular agriculture
• Health – microbiome, active aging, protein plus, nootropics, lifestyle diets, cannabis
• Consumers – clockless eating, transparency, invisibly healthy, path to purchase, Climatarian
• Travel – digital detox, climate neutral, dark travel, cross-generational, self-care, second cities
• Beverage – infused ice, zero proof, seasonal, plant milk, fermented, sour beer, florals, functional, tea/coffee infused, and regional global
• Flavor & Cuisine – micro ethnic, plant-based, pickled, alternative flours, wild game, cannabis, foodceuticals, fruit and vegetable wallflowers

Menu Matters is a strategic consultancy focused on the food industry and dedicated to working closely and collaboratively with clients to identify, prioritize and leverage trends in consumer behavior, operations, and menuing. Menu Matters is focused on identifying the most critical shifts that will resonate specifically for its clients to help drive impactful long-term strategic plan development.

Learn more about Menu Matters.

Culinary Tides, Inc. acts as a side-along Think Tank to industry partners to help accelerate marketing and product innovation by getting new products to market faster and more successfully.  Culinary Tides, Inc. practices Chaos Forecasting and uses Military Intelligence analytics.  We foretell a trend’s birth and forecast its trajectory, personality, & longevity to aid strategy.  It allows for successful entrance, navigation, and exit strategies and safeguards corporate stability.

Learn more about the report.