Predicting food trends is a little like predicting the weather.There are certain micro-trends one can look toward to give indication of what might catch on with the broader mainstream, but then again, there’s no telling what people will feel a year from now. There might also be items you haven’t even heard of yet that, in a year, will be all the rage. 

But there are certain trends that you can pretty much take to the bank, trends that you’ve already seen gain momentum in 2019, and whose popularity show no signs of abating. The following five food trends, already well underway, are expected to continue into 2020 and beyond. 

Some of these trends are made possible by new legislation (see item #2). Others can attribute their popularity to changes in moral attitudes (see items #1 and #4), and some are credited to the internet age’s quest for new kinds of authenticity (see #5). Whatever the reasons, expect to see the following five food trends everywhere next year. 

Beyond Everything

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen this one coming: the rise of Beyond Meat and other plant-based protein products. Major fast food chains, often the last to adopt progressive trends, have jumped on board, and even diehard meat eaters are curious about the results. 

Cannabis Tea 

CBD is reaching an apex of popularity, as more states – and the entire country of Canada – have moved to legalize cannabis. People are already putting CBD in just about every food item, but, in 2020, expect cannabis tea brands to enjoy the spotlight. Cannabis-infused tea, a sip-able way of enjoying the benefits of CBD, makes a lot of sense. Not only does it have a long history, probably dating back thousands of years, but the pine-y, citrus-y terpenes in cannabis make it a prime candidate for a great cup of tea. 

Family Style Restaurants

You’ve seen small plates, now brace yourself for big plates. Small plates restaurants, which shot up after the rise in popularity of tapas, have dominated the new restaurant scene for some time now. You can expect that to change, as diners start to get tired of having to order seven different $8 plates just to get full. Family style restaurants, serving their offerings on platters, have already made a splash in New York and other large cities, and 2020 could be when they break through to the mainstream.

The Rise of Oat Milk

Oat milk, like soy milk before it, is poised to take on traditional dairy for the role of “what’s in your Starbucks latte this morning”. Unlike soy milk, though, oat milk actually tastes great (apologies to soy drinkers out there), with a nutty aftertaste that complements a range of drinks and dishes. 

Specific Regional Cuisines

You saw it with the rise of Sichuan cuisine, Northern Thai cuisine, Oaxacan cuisine, and, before all that, Tuscan cuisine – instead of viewing food along national lines, intrepid tastemakers look to regions for their traditional food cues. Expect that trend to not only continue, but also become more specific. 

Whatever trends may come, you can expect them to be both surprising and delicious.