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Top 10 menu trend stories of 2020

The year’s top stories on new menu items, trends and new directions, including grab and go, comfort food, wellness revisited, virtual chefs and more.

When 2020 began, the menu trends on our radar included hyper customization, reusable straws and mugs, build-your-own-fill-in-the-blank bars, shareable snacks…and then came the pandemic.

The months of quarantine, lockdowns and turmoil that followed meant quite a few of these menu trends were immediately off the menu. Chefs in all segments went into survival mode, then pivoted and some took a step back for menu development. The pivots have included a laser focus on grab and go, delivery, meal kits and menu items that can make the trip from kitchen (or ghost kitchen) to the customer’s home.

The onsite food service industry in particular had one of their longtime MVPs rudely taken away—the salad bar. But there are ways around that, and other obstacles, too. Take a look at the trends that have shaped this topsy-turvy year where answers don’t come easy, but comfort food makes things easier.

Contact Tara at [email protected].

Follow her on Twitter @Tara_Fitzie

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