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How Shoppers Will Be Eating in 2020

Gina Acosta, Progressive Grocer
How Shoppers Will Be Eating in 2020
According to OpenTable data, consumers are moving toward more health-conscious food preferences

OpenTable is opening the book on the most popular food and dining trends, which are expected to have huge implications for food retailers in 2020.

According to OpenTable data, consumers are moving toward more health-conscious food preferences. Alternative diets are also on the rise compared with 2017, with “keto” mentioned a whopping 683 percent more in reviews and “plant-based” mentions increasing by 136 percent.

Diners also vegged out on low-calorie alternatives with “cauliflower crust” mentions skyrocketing in reviews by 487 percent and “jackfruit,” another vegan and vegetarian alternative, increasing in reviews by 148 percent since 2017.

Additionally, San Francisco-based OpenTable found that diners are still choosing to indulge when it comes to global cuisines. In 2019, Mexican-inspired dishes continued to grow in popularity, with “queso” mentions increasing by nearly 31 percent and “nachos” mentions by 19 percent over the past three years. Review mentions of “potstickers,” a staple in Asian cuisine, has increased by 61 percent. Finally, review mentions of the classic Italian delicacy, “cacio e pepe,” has increased by 96 percent since 2017.

Other key takeaways from OpenTable’s report include:

Farmer-to-Table: According to OpenTable data, the year's most booked restaurant was Founding Farmers, a majority farmer-owned restaurant serving scratch-made, responsibly sourced American cuisine, in Washington, D.C.

In With the New: OpenTable found that diners looked to try something new in 2019, with 70 percent of reservations coming from new diners booking that restaurant for the first time through OpenTable.

American versus Italian: American cuisine was the most popular for breakfast and lunch, while Italian cuisine took the top spot for dinner.

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