NRN names the hottest food and beverage trends for the nation’s restaurants

Before it gets too late to write about predictions for 2020, let’s take a look at what the editors at Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN) expect to be the top food and beverage trends at restaurants this year.

1—“Real” meat burgers. With all the buzz lately about plant-based meat products being better for the environment, NRN says get ready for the counter argument that beef burgers that support regenerative agriculture are actually better for the planet. The magazine explains, “Regenerative practices refer to cattle raised in a way that helps sequester carbon in the soil,” making “even methane-belching cows” carbon neutral.

2—“Softer” cocktails. NRN declares, “2020 will be all about the low-proof cocktail.” They say the social aspect of drinking has become more important than the alcohol level and cites the rise of alcoholic seltzers as proof. Drinks that taste good are more important than drinks that get you drunk. NRN doesn’t expect regular drinks to vanish, but predicts, “many newer and trendier eateries will have multiple drink menus with different price ranges and alcohol content levels.”

3—The chicken sandwich battle. Already, according to Datassential, almost half of all restaurant menus offer a chicken sandwich—and nearly 80% of diners “like or love” them. NRN says the war of the chicken sandwiches will continue this year.

4—Mood food. Consumers are now looking for food that “elevates their existence” and helps them function better, such as increasing productivity or improving their sleep. This is made possible by adding things like “adaptogens, probiotics and more. NRN predicts “forward-thinking restaurants [will] capitalize on the trend.”

One specific menu item they mentioned—moon milk. What is moon milk? NRN describes it as “Milk (cow, cashew or other), blended with adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha, becomes a healing —and often Instagrammable—beverage with marketability galore. (Take note of ashwagandha, by the way. You’ll be hearing more about the medicinal herb next year, too.)”

There’s more on their list—be sure to check out the article. And you might also want to take a look at their expanded list of 16 food, drink, operations and tech predictions for restaurants in 2020.

Moon Milk stock photo by s_karau/Shutterstock