Food Leaders: John Koch On Flavor Trends 2020

Posted: Feb 06, 2020

The restaurant and hospitality industry is grappling with a rapid evolution in awareness and technology when it comes to the preparation, creation, and consumption of food. Foodable’s new podcast, Food Leaders, aims to highlight some of the innovative companies, operators, and executives adapting to these changes on a global scale.

In this episode, acclaimed chef and restaurant owner John Koch offers a deep dive into expected food and beverage trends in 2020 and explores the average consumer’s evolving relationship with food. Koch is the vice president of culinary sales for Lyons Magnus, a prominent producer and marketer in the foodservice industry.

Koch previously served as the culinary development leader for a number of popular chains including Outback Steakhouse, Olive Garden, and Applebee’s, and has appeared on such national television programs as Food Network’s CHOPPED and CBS’s Big Brother.

Lyons Magnus’s annual Flavor and Trend report is based on a number of factors: proprietary research, global trends, industry information, input from flavor and ingredient suppliers, customer requests, as well as the company’s own sales trends. For 2020, Lyons Magnus determined six key consumer trends:

Proliferation of plant-life. Plant-based cuisine is only expected to rise in popularity in 2020.

Flavors without borders. Expect an increased demand for safe exploration of international flavors and cultures in a wide variety of dishes. A number of flavors, techniques, and cuisines could appear in the same dish or menu.

Social imaging. Social media is always evolving, but customers and marketers will continue to share information about food and products as a means of crafting a digital image, persona, or story.

Nostalgia. Retro-style dishes are a safe bet for any restaurant. Fruit pies, cobblers, and heritage cookies are likely to see a comeback.

Meaning of transparency. The term “transparency” has broadened in meaning from merely understanding a food’s origins and additives to acknowledging issues related to animal welfare, sustainability, and environmental impact. “The definition of transparency continues to expand,” notes Koch. “You’ll see enormous pressure from shareholders and consumers alike to get that information from their favorite brands.”

Eating for good. Consumers want to eat food and beverages that simultaneously makes them feel better and makes the world a better place. Fermented flavors and antioxidant-high fruits are likely to be popular.

Listen to the episode here to learn more about the specific flavors and ingredients that are trending, as well as Koch’s thoughts on the growing popularity of food delivery!

By Allison Lamberth
February 5, 2020

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