Winter food trends

Winter menu trends 2020

Our trends blog is back to give the hospitality industry useable data. Previously we’d give you twelve months’ forecasting, but in avoiding clichés about unprecedented times, we’re cutting that down to six months’ of facts.

If you’re new to our biannual posts, we’ve mined Google Trends so you don’t have to. This combines the breakouts and top rising queries from the lists; recipes, ingredients, dishes, meals, menu, cuisine in the category Food & Drink (UK).

With the caveats in place, let’s see what the demand data means for daily specials, takeaway only or set menu exclusives, for caterers and hospitality businesses of all shapes!

Home Cooks

With fennel, flank steak beef, and pickled cucumber in summer 2020’s top ten, we were anticipating a trend of home-cooked Asian dishes. The data, however, doesn’t lie. Baking has returned to, and remains at the forefront of recipe searches. For food businesses there is an opportunity to innovate and to prove the professional point of difference across all day parts. Here is How to make’s rising stars, for the final six months of 2020:

Soda bread
Cinnamon rolls

The only entries outside of the baking category are the continuation of comfort food:

Yorkshire pudding

Winter 2020’s Trending Ingredients

These are the specific ingredients and flavours most sought after, again using 6 months of data. Gooseberry season is May to August, so diners will be on the hunt for dishes that use pickles and jams (such as crumbles and fools). Data shows yoghurt searches are directly related to tzatziki, and red chilli links to the asian recipes (see below).

Red chilli

2020’s Trending Dishes

Top cuisine searches:

1. Thai

2. Korea

3. Bulgaria

4. Morocco

5. Goa

Asian flavours maintain their popularity, but a special mention for Nigerian fare which enters the top ten at number eight (+70%).

What are the dishes guests are willing to pay to be chef produced?

Japchae noodles
Goan sausage
Moroccan skewers

Fish curry
Tuna steak
Grilled squid

2020’s Winter Drinks Trends

With licensed premises facing rolling lockdowns and the Eat Out to Help Out scheme closed, the alcohol trade continues to seek revenue generation with a low stock risk and minimal training requirement. With curfew, customers have less time to enjoy their night (and in smaller groups) so seek to make the most of their evening with a premium experience.

We wrote about RTDs (ready-to-drinks) in the summer, but when the option of dine-in is available, cocktails are an easy upsell. Now tequila has edged-out rum from the top ten searches, these are the most sought-after recipes:

Cava (Spanish sparkling wine)
Peach schnapps
Tequila rosé

Ginger Ale (non-alcoholic)

‘Cocktails with blue curacao’ and brand name Passoa (passionfruit liqueur to make porn star martinis) also made the top ten.

Food businesses save time and money with Caternet software. Learn more about our management tools for forecasting demand using your own sales data or click here to read previous trends lists.

James Waldron is Marketing Manager at Zupa

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Gooseberry image attribution:

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