Creating New Menu Items with 2020 Dietary Trends

During a time of global pandemic, it might be difficult as a food-service business to keep your finger on the pulse of driving dietary trends. While we are all trying to keep our heads above water to garner then supply demand, it’s easy to lose sight of the evolution of the marketplace. But never fear, MenuCalc is here to bring you the data you need to remain in-the-know as restaurants begin to re-open nationwide. It should come as no surprise that healthy food trends have continued to forge a very impressive path of longevity within the industry. We’ve watched as functional foods have evolved and meatless meats have morphed. Continue reading to find out exactly what is on the horizon for 2020 dietary trends and how you can integrate some of these healthy items into your restaurant menu for a sales boost.

Good Carbs Vs. Bad Carbs

Last year, with the still wildly-popular keto-trend, carbs were out and fats were in. Now, instead of avoiding carbs at all costs, consumers are beginning to make a distinction between carbohydrates that are beneficial and those that are not. And the primary difference is (drumroll please) … FIBER. While consumers are conscious of carbohydrates, they still very much enjoy them. High-fiber carbohydrates offer the ability to still partake in starchy favorites like bread and pasta, minus the guilt. Fiber is actually a carbohydrate that can not be digested. Particular types of fiber, like inulin, also serve as a sweetener and a powerful prebiotic and are a common replacement for sugar in keto favorites.


“I think the key for the future for plant-based products is ensuring they live up to the consumer expectation of being healthy. In past decades, the mindset for consumers seeking plant-based products was ‘avoid’ – vegans and vegetarians avoiding meat, animal products, or allergens. Now, the dominant mindset behind plant-based is ‘include’ – plant-based carries a strong health halo for consumers, and they will catch on to products that claim to be plant-based but are not delivering any real nutrition or health benefit. ” – Nathan Pratt, PhD, RD, Nutrition Scientist with the Kerry Health and Nutrition Institute

The ever-evolving plant-based movement has now begun to shine the light on nutritional gaps in order to make plant-based dished more complete so that they could stand up to their animal-based counterparts from a nutritional standpoint. Going gram for gram in protein as a substitution for animal-based meats is now becoming a common practice within the food industry. People are looking for plant-based alternatives that stand up to animal based diets but offer better health benefits.

Now you can craft your menu around trending nutrition preferences that speak directly to your specific dining audience.

Digestive Health

While probiotics have been well-known in the industry for sometime with their earliest introduction being yogurts, a new “biotic” has begun to steal the show, although their similarity to probiotics can sometimes be a little confusing. That’s right, “prebiotics” have begun to arrive on the scene for 2020 dietary trends and gain tremendous popularity in conjunction with the keto and plant-based trends. Prebiotics are a type of fiber that withstand the digestive process through the stomach and small intestine and become nutritious food for gut flora, also known as, probiotics. Prebiotic fiber strengthen the digestive system while simultaneously improving immune system health. Prebiotic fiber can be found in a number of foods that we are already accustomed to, making it easy for you to appeal to diners through your menu items  by simply calling their attention to the presence of prebiotics in your dishes!

Morphing Your Menu 

With the right tools, it’s easy to not only see what your customers are looking to eat, but supply the demand as well. MenuCalc’s Meal-Builder has the ability to plug straight into your online menu and ordering system, gathering precious insights that speak to trends and dietary habits of your most popular audiences. These insights can help you craft existing menu items around the demands of your customer base and even offer you the opportunity to create new items that your customers will instantly love. Now, instead of just being aware of the 2020 dietary trends, you can put the data to good use in a unique way that attracts your specific dining audience.

Want to learn more? Curious how it all works? Check it out here. And Contact us today. 

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