2020 Food Trends from the Winter Fancy Food Show

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A short list of 2020 foods trends I observed at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco –  the event of the season to see what’s hot and trending in specialty foods from around the world.

view of south hall of winter fancy food show

2020 Food Trends from the Winter Fancy Food Show

The 2020 Winter Fancy Food Show capped a weekend of non-stop food discoveries. I attended the Good Food Awards Mercantile, meeting many of the brands that received accolades the previous evening. Then I returned to the city the next day with my videographer and did a whirlwind tour of the Winter Fancy Food Show, another opportunity to observe what’s new on the food scene for 2020.

People always ask – what are the food trends? What should I expect to see in stores and on restaurant menus in the coming year?  

Video Coverage of Food Finds and Trends at the 2020 Show

Watch the video for a fast-paced overview of more than 35 brands and food products I discovered at the Fancy Food show. (Video production by Ben Baranovsky. Music by: dcuttermusic )

Beth’s Top Five 2020 Food Trends

Here are five trends I observed and also gleaned from reading the reports from the show’s official trendologists.

  1. Dairy Alternatives

You’re probably familiar with almond and soy milk. Oatmilk has recently surged in recognition and was visible throughout the weekend on its own and added into coffee drinks and even chocolate. We also found sesame milk and even hazelnut and walnut milk. Both oats and sesames are in plentiful supply so look for these two options to proliferate!

2020 food trend - sesame milk show with cups to taste it

  1. Fermented Foods Still Prevalent

Probiotic powerhouses like kimchi – even a vegan version minus the fish sauce, fermented tea drinks, pickles made from ugly produce and even fermented tea leaves for a Burmese take home kit to make a specialty tea salad.

another 2020 trend - fermented tea leaf salad

  1. International Flavors in Unexpected Places

Popcorn with za’atar, mushroom jerky with Thai spices, chocolate with rose and cardamom. Just a tiny taste of some enticing and creative flavor profiles we discovered.

popcorn flavored with za'atar in a bright green bag and bowl

  1. Coffee Creations

Cold brew in cans, a latte in candy bar form, the coffee fruit (cascara) turned into a canned drink far healthier than soda.

Riff cascara coffee beverage 3 flavors handheld in cans

  1. Plant-based Products that Taste Great!

So many creative uses of plant-based products that tasted so satisfying. Both days – at Good Food Awards and Fancy Food Show I tasted mushroom jerky from two different vendors that was hearty, chewy, flavorful and extremely satisfying. How about a soft serve ice cream created with plant-based ingredients that really had the mouthfeel of dairy. No cows involved.

Eclipse plant-based soft serve ice cream - another 2020 food trend

Past Coverage of the Fancy Food Show 

2019 Winter Fancy Food show video

2018 Winter Fancy Food show post 

2016/17 Winter Fancy Food show post 

2015 Winter Fancy Food show post 

2014 Winter Fancy Food show post 

Questions about specific products or the 2020 food trends? Have an opinion about what you see trending in 2020? Leave a comment below or drop me a note in any of my social channels. I’m always up for a conversation about food!


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Beth Lee

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