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Dishing about Edmonton’s food scene in 2020: more mock meat and the growth of the ghost kitchen

What does 2020 have in store for food trends?
WATCH ABOVE: What will top menus and grace your plate in 2020? Jennifer Crosby talks food trends with Jennifer Fisk, owner of Freestone Communications and active member of the local food scene, and Paul Campbell, program chair for the culinary arts department at NAIT.

Food trends can range from the divisive (think the rapid rise of food delivery) to the downright ridiculous (unicorn poutine anyone?).

But in 2020, look for Edmonton’s food trends to focus on you.

Global Edmonton put together a food panel made up of Jennifer Fisk, who owns Freestone Communications and has served on the Edmonton Food Council and the Edmonton Downtown Farmers’ Market board, and Paul Campbell, who is the program chair for the culinary arts department at NAIT and also chairs the annual High School Culinary Challenge.

Fisk and Campbell see three major trends transforming in the year ahead.

Meatless meals

JF: I think plant-based eating is here to stay.

It’s not even a trend anymore.

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But I think we’ll see it evolve where consumers will be a little more discriminating in their choices.

PC:  People will be certainly more conscious of their health and making those better choices.

READ MORE: Burger wars: Is a plant-based patty always better for you than beef?

Ghosting

With the explosion of food delivery services, our panel predicts the growth of the ghost kitchen: operations dedicated to servicing delivery demand, leaving restaurants to the dine-in patron.

PC:  It changes the consumer perspective. How many times have you been in a restaurant and you’re in line or sitting down and you see someone come in, grab some food and go? Those ghost kitchens eliminate that.

It makes you feel like as a guest, you’re important.

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JF:  It allows restaurants to continue to be restaurants and focus on their patrons dining in the restaurant. But then you have these kitchens that can support this other side of the business.

Something to drink?

When it comes to alcoholic options, a number of new microbreweries and secret cocktail locations have recently opened in Edmonton. Fisk and Campbell forecast a future where patrons have more low- or no-alcohol options.

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JF:  I think people are looking at alcohol more responsibly than they might have in the past, so I think you’re starting to see the rise of more mocktails and zero-proof beverages — options for dining out that might feel like an alcoholic beverage, but in fact it’s not.

READ MORE: Harmful alcohol use is on the rise — and experts warn it’s not slowing down

PC: That’s right — it’s more fun. You can be out in that bar atmosphere and still feel like you’re enjoying yourself, and not just having a water or Coca-Cola.

As for unicorn-themed drinks, our panel is unanimous in a wish for that trend to fade away.