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6 Food Service Trends for 2020

Krystle Kettman
Krystle Kettman | January 8, 2020

Here are the six trends that Martin Bros. Chefs and Marketing Specialists identified as having a big impact on your business in 2020. Some trends have been around for a while, some continue to gain traction and others are pretty new to the watch list. All of these trends, though, are great ones to focus on in the coming year.

1. Smart Technology

Technology just keeps getting smarter. Artificial intelligence is becoming more and more capable. Businesses need to keep up with this growth if they want to remain relevant and successful. Technology can be used for marketing, keeping track of sales and monitoring your business. Customers can use it to place orders and share their meals and experiences. Don’t miss out on the opportunities that technology has to offer, even if you only focus on integrating one or two at a time. Martin Bros. Dist. is one of the few food service distributors that offers a full suite of leading edge technology solutions for our customers, including a mobile ordering app, inventory and profit tracking solutions, healthcare menu program, and more!

2. Labor Savings

With the continuing struggle to find and keep workers and the continual rise in operating costs, more and more food service professionals are looking for ways to save on labor. This can be done by using products that reduce the amount of labor needed to prepare them, utilizing technology to find possible savings, cross-training staff, rethinking your menu and using equipment that is in good working condition.

3. All-Day Snacking

We no longer live in an 8-5 world. Therefore, meals no longer happen only at certain times of the day…and snacking no longer happens only at specific times of the day. And this is how all-day snacking was born. People are so busy…and busy at such inconsistent times…that it’s best for anyone in food service to have a variety of snacking options available throughout the day and night – 24/7 and 365.

4. Global Fusions & Street Foods

We are seeing so many different global seasonings, sauces and even grains and vegetables becoming mainstream. Seeing and tasting all these unique varieties makes us think of ways we can incorporate them into our own cooking to create a fusion of global flavors. A perfect way to serve these fusions is with a street food mindset. Street foods are very popular in other parts of the world, and it’s a growing trend in the United States, as well. Street foods are quick to cook and easy to eat on-the-go.

5. Cleaner Labels

The clean label trend started a few years ago and has moved forward at a fast pace. It’s not going away either. Even with meat, cleaner products are the name of the game. In a few more years, cleaner labels will definitely become the norm.

6. Alternative & Important Proteins

We are seeing more plant-based proteins, pastas made with legumes and fruits and vegetables as the center of the plate. Even popular chains are featuring plant-based meats on their menus these days. And protein is still a huge focus of the meal, too, as many people aim to eat foods high in (and bowls full of) protein to help them live a healthy lifestyle.

Want some ideas for how to make these trends work for your business? Check out our Trends for 2020 issue of Dish! magazine!

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