Whether you deem yourself a breakfast person, a dinner enthusiast, or 6-small meals supporter, I think we can all agree that snacks are a vital, unappreciated, and downright delicious part of the American diet. Regardless of if you snack for extra calories/bulking purposes or for pure gluttony, there are a countless amount of snack varieties out there and it’s good to stay up to date on all the ever-changing options. Think back to the Pudding Pops and the Bagel Bites of the ‘80s, the Dunkaroos and the Oreos of the ‘90s, and the Cheese Balls and Gripz of the early 2000s. It is obvious that snack trends and their ingredients have continuously evolved over the decades. But where are we headed today? Let’s explore what products and ingredients experts think will reign supreme in 2020.
1. Vegetable proteins
We already got a glimpse of this over the course of the last two years but 2020 is bound to be packed with even more vegetable substitutes. According to Women’s Health Magazine, brands like Impossible, Beyond Meat, and others are coming out with even more meat-mimicking products. On top of these already well-established brands, several other popular companies are investing more in vegetable protein options to appeal to the ever growing vegan and vegetarian community. The Whole Foods 2020 Trend Report prompts us to keep an eye on options like pumpkin, avocado, watermelon seed, and mung bean as likely new protein sources to arise in popularity in 2020. Look out for these new options to use in your favorite sliders, sandwiches, and other dainty meat and cheese combos.
2. New flours
If you love carbs as much as me, you know flour is basically the key to any and all delicious, starchy snacks. Much like our friend the vegetable protein, in an effort to make these delicious snacks just a hair healthier, flour substitutes have already started to rise in popularity and will continue to do so in 2020. Great for gluten-free or paleo diets, flour substitutes typically contain more protein and more fiber than regular wheat flour, making snacks typically more filling and less carb-rich. These new varieties can be divided into sweet-based options (like banana, apple, coconut, and pomegranate flours) or more universal, savory varieties such as cauliflower, tigernut, and chickpea. The newfound diversity in flavors helps these flour substitutes to not just serve as a healthier alternative but also as an enhancer to the overall flavor profile of the snack.
3. Different butters and spreads
We all know the fan favorite peanut butter and are now growing more familiar with the alternatives like almond butter, sunflower seed butter, and even tahini but where does the nut/seed butter trend go next? As the Whole Food Trends Report cheekily says it, “Has (insert nut, seed, snack) been made into a butter yet? It’s likely to happen in 2020.” Watch out for new options such as watermelon seed, pumpkin butter, and a variety of other new nut options, including macadamia nuts and pecans, to surely arise in popularity throughout the course of 2020. Want to get started on the new trend early? Try Millican’s Creamy Pecan Butter. Super delicious, sure to satisfy, and a great way to mix up your boring, ole PB&J routine.
4. Plant based dairy products
Unless you have absolute tunnel vision in the grocery store, you have surely noticed the increase in milk options outside of the realm of the standard skim, 1%, 2%, and whole milk over the last few years. We now have almond, coconut, hemp, flax, oat, rice, and pea milk options galore. We could be seeing even more options of plant-based dairy in 2020, and not just limited to the confines of milk. A registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) via Today.com, warns us to look out for pistachio milk, black sesame milk, and multiple different oat-milk based yogurts. Going even further, Women’s Health Magazine’s consulted RDN suspects these dairy alternatives will also extend into coffee creamers, cheeses, and ice creams.
5. CBD containing products
A CBD corner store seemingly popped up on every block between 2018 and 2019. We’ve already started seeing it as a featured ingredient in more lotions, soaps, and other skincare products but get ready to find it in an edible form more often in 2020. While some CBD snacks are already on the market, more and more options should be readily available in 2020 including CBD-infused candy, seltzers, gum, coffee, and tea. Per Today.com, there will also likely be an increase of gummies and chocolate aimed specifically at a better night’s sleep within the New Year. All in all, CBD’s popularity shows no signs of slowing down in 2020.
6. And finally, more alcohol-free products
Last but certainly not least, the demand for alcohol-free cocktail options has almost surprisingly increased in younger generations. It appears millennials and Gen-Zers are drinking way less as a whole and thus the market has rapidly grown for more fun, sober options. As Whole Foods states, “many of these beverages seek to re-create classic cocktail flavors using distilling methods typically reserved for alcohol”. Thus, an alternative liquor is formed that is meant to be used with a mixer than as a drink of its own. Add that to other alcohol-free beers and wines being produced, and the zero-proof resolution is born.