Plant based and vegan diets are a rapidly growing global trend, where consumers are seeking meat alternatives for their health benefits and environmental impact. To capitalise on this rapid change in consumer preferences and behavior, Quick Service Restaurants are starting to introduce and promote plant-based items on their menus, with coffee shops and casual dining restaurants catching up fast. Restaurants are also expanding their menus to offer more plant-based variety instead of the one or two items that historically catered to vegetarians and vegans. In 2020, we expect this trend to continue with more food service manufacturers investing in developing branded and private label plant-based items and ingredients.
Organic and natural products demand has been growing steadily. Consumers today are more familiar with reading labels and have a better understanding of ingredients and clean label products. As a result, Non-GMO and BPA free labels have become household terms. We also see a focus within the Retail and Foodservice (HORECA) channels on promoting “healthy claims”, and restaurants highlighting “local ingredients” and “organic” in their menus. In retail, additional shelf space and dedicated sections are being allocated to organic and natural products. Given the lack of clear definition of the term “natural”, consumers are defining these products by how clean the labels are as well as the absence of artificial ingredients.
Keto and low carb diets have become very popular over the past few years with many loyal followers. In Dubai alone, we see several Keto restaurants popping up in the past few months. Restaurants have started to jump on this trend by introducing Keto and low carb options on their menus. In 2020, we expect Keto’s popularity to continue with more restaurants and retailers offering ingredients and menus catering to growing consumer demand.