The hottest food, drink and wellness trends for 2020

Intuitive eating, CBD and plant-based proteins top the list

Diets are done.

Eaters will embrace a more liberal approach to food in 2020 where they reject the diet mentality, give in to cravings and feel satisfied with meals, rather than shame for indulging. That's according to the No. 1 food trend on Eating Well’s list of food and wellness trends for the New Year.

It’s an ideology called intuitive eating, a mindful approach to the way we eat. That means retraining the mind to stop associating indulgent foods like carbs and sweets with being forbidden as diet culture perpetuates.

“The gist of it is that you don’t diet, you don’t label foods as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and you give yourself permission to eat what you want,” Lisa Valente, a nutrition editor at EatingWell, writes of the anti-diet approach to life.

More people will follow the intuitive eating ideology of embracing food instead of shaming it in 2020, according to EatingWell's new trend report.

The concept was coined in the early '90s by dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch’s in their book “Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works,” but it’s having a resurgence as more consumers become fed up with fad diets and the acceptance of body positivity in pop culture.

The way Americans are dieting is changing too. Instead of eating diet foods, consumers are looking for “clean” alternatives or ingredients that eliminate GMOs, acritical flavors and sweeteners, a $1.9 billion market, according to data from Indeed, diet soda sales fell an estimated 1.6 percent to $18.63 billion in 2018, and artificial sweeteners dropped to $2.25 billion, according to the same report.

Intuitive eating joins a number of other wellness trends on EatingWell’s list, a sign of the growing $4.2 trillion wellness industry.

CBD (Cannabidiol), the non-intoxicating compound found in hemp said to alleviate conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation and insomnia, is No. 2 on the list, no surprise considering the market is slated to reach nearly $2 billion by 2022, according to New Frontier Data. 

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Consumers will also devour more sustainable seafood and plant-based protein helmed by technology from makers of Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat. And there will be an uptick in grain-free foods; prebiotics, a type of fiber that's good for the gut; adaptogens, a class of herbs said to help the body respond to stress better and boost immunity; and the seasoning Tajin, a mix of chili powder, dehydrated lime and salt that's becoming more popular with fruits, eggs, vegetables and fish.


And 2020 could also be the year of fewer hangovers with the rise of low-alcohol products like spiked seltzer and non-alcoholic beverages from big beer makers like Heineken.

“People still want to celebrate, but maybe without the hangover,” Valente writes.