In its annual survey of professional chefs, the National Restaurant Association has identified the food and beverage trends that will be prevalent on menus this coming year. More than 600 American chefs, all American Culinary Federation members, answered an online survey in which they were given a list of 133 items in 12 categories identified in partnership with Technomic Inc.

The survey finds that many more alternatives will show up in foodservice establishments this year. Among those is eco-friendly packaging, plant-based proteins, revamped classic cocktails, specialty burger blends (mushroom-beef burgers, etc.), and unique beef and pork cuts.

“These trends reflect Americans’ desires to combine the tried and true with the new and different,” says Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research for the Association. “This mix of comfort and edginess is a microcosm of the world we live in. Consumers want something different, but want to keep what satisfies them at the same time, and more than 1 million restaurants around the country are ready to meet those wants and needs.”

According to the report, eco-friendly packaging tops the list for 2020. Protection of the environment is on the minds on consumers, so they will look to spend their money at places that reduce use of packaging that can’t be recycled or composted, and use more environmentally responsible alternatives.

Here are the rest of the top ten trends for 2020:

  1. Eco-friendly packaging
  2. Plant-based proteins
  3. Delivery-friendly menu items
  4. Healthy bowls
  5. Scratchmade foods
  6. Creativity with catering
  7. Revamped classic cocktails
  8. Stress relievers (ingredients that promote relaxation/relieve stress)
  9. Specialty burger blends (mushroom-beef burgers, etc.)
  10. Unique beef and pork cuts

Bakeries and sweets shops are also affected by these trends. The NRA asked chefs for the trending snacks and sweets for 2020, and here is the top five:

  1. CBD snacks/sweets
  2. Boozy treats
  3. Dairy-free ice cream
  4. Drinkable desserts
  5. Herb-based sweets

You can view the 2020 What's Hot report here.