21 Crazy Things that I Expect From 2020
After my piece reflecting on the most noteworthy events of 2019, I think I should do one with my expectations of 2020. As stated on the previous post, during the past year we got many new cool products, including Huel Black, Powdermatter Bar, Vite Ramen and so on. However, we also lost some cool brands like Nutberg and Pulve.
For 2020, there have been some cool announcements already; like Mana Burger and Soylent coming back to Canada. Besides those, here I’ve compiled a set of events, product launches and expectations I have for the new year.
- We will see more Ketogenic options in Europe. For a while, Keto Genesis, from Genesis Foods has been the only option. However, the Spanish brand Satislent joined with their own keto powder. While in the US the variety is huge, including the new keto RTD, Europe is lacking behind and it’s time we catch up.
- Huel Granola will no longer be sold. It has already been taken out from the marketing pamphlets, and apparently it’s continuation “is being considered”. It does not look good for the least successful Huel product.
- Ambronite will launch a plant-based protein. This is another half announced event. The Finnish company has been hinting this product in their emails, so I expect it to be out before the first half of 2020 ends.
- Runtime will launch in the US. This is one of my least confident predictions. Nevertheless, the gaming oriented company is already shipping their products to the US. The website and the marketing are the aspects that are left behind for now; thus, I suspect that at some point during this year they will make the jump.
- There will be more food-like meal replacements. Either from Feed. or other European brands, I suspect that this trend is here to stay. I cannot fanthom what this could be, whether a complete pizza, a complete bread or something else; but there will be innovation in 2020. Or I sure hope so.
- More brands will be available on retail. Truth be told, the companies are making a big effort for this to happen. Recently, Saturo announced that they would be available in Aldi in Germany. Feed. is also present in many French supermarkets and Sainsbury’s. Other brands like Huel, Runtime, Jimmyjoy are already available. Therefore, I suspect that we will see more in 2020.
- Soylent Canada will start with 4 products only: Powder (Cacao and Original) and Drink (same flavours). The comeback of Soylent to Canada is a highly anticipated event. Despite the dates being approximately set, one of the points that isn’t clear yet is which products will be available. The US based brand did a poll asking Canadians what they would like to see. Nevertheless, I suspect that the offering will be quite limited, at least to start with.
- Jake and Queal will launch an RTD during 2020. This is one of my boldest claims. In the case of Jake, they did have a prototype for a bit at the start of 2019. Thus, it is more likely that they have the formula to make this happen. In Queal’s case, however, they haven’t done anything about it yet. Taking into account the competition, the costs of manufacturing an RTD, and the fact that they have cut some of their products (Agile), I am not so sure this will happen.
- Ample will launch new flavours, but will not launch new products. Up until recently, there were a few brands with a single product (for instance, Ambronite). However, in 2019, we saw that many brands expanded their repertoire considerably. Ample is one of the few brands that has kept the line up intact in the past year. While I could see them releasing a bar, I think the possibilities for this are medium-low.
- Base Noodles will be available throughout all the USA. These noodles were one of the biggest surprises in 2019, for me. Right now, they are only available in Japan and the West Coast of the US. However, I would not be surprised to see them available in the whole country before the end of the year.
- More meal replacement bars available in the US. To be honest, the paradigm has shifted significantly at the end of 2019; with Huel introducing their bars, Powdermatter bars, Ambrobite, Plenny Bars etc. Nonetheless, I think the trend will continue and that by the end of 2020 we might have a similar offering to that available in Europe.
- Queal won’t come back to the USA. With Mana coming to the US, there are now 3 European brands that have a presence in American soil (plus Saturo). I expect that this number will increase during 2020 by one or two brands. Despite this, I don’t think Queal will be one of those.
- Soylent Europe. When they announced that Soylent will start selling in the UK (end of 2018), many thought that this was the premonition for Soylent Europe. However, their introduction to the British Islands has been a rocky one, certainly less successful than they expected. Furthermore, they do not seem to be making more effort to increase their presence, thus I think that the European move is far from being imnminent.
- Jimmyjoy will launch a new product. While the Dutch brand has been very flexible in the past, and has increased their array of products following market trends (Plenny Drink and Plenny Bar), I think this will be the year of no new products. We will have new flavours (for the products mentioned above, I suspect), instead.
- Mana launching a meal replacement bar. I might be wrong, but with their bet for Mana Burger, I think that the Czech company will be busy for a while. Thus, I do not think that they will start selling a bar.
- There will be more savoury flavours. Unfortunately, I think this is another unlikely event. While there were some people asking for more of these in the Complete Food Survey 2019, the truth is that they do not sell very well.
- Vite Ramen selling in Europe. Sadly, I think that the complete instant noodles will have to wait for us, Europeans. Despite the success the brand has had, they will be plenty of busy consolidating in the home market (US) and developing new iterations. Thus, I think that we will have to wait until 2021, at least.
- Huel will launch a food-like option. After the little success Granola has had, I don’t think Huel will join this trend, at least in 2020. They have always been slower than the competition, when it comes to jumping into new formats (Huel RTD). Plus, rushing products is not really their style.
- Complete Pizza. In spite of the fact that many fellows would love this to be a reality, I think we will have to be content with burgers and noodles for now.
- There will be no more major brands delivering to Canada. While Soylent’s return is a welcome one, the truth is that the North is still suffering from lack of variety. None of the major brands deliver there, and the ones that do (Powdermatter, Jake, Queal) are subject to taxes and ridiculous shipping fees. I don’t think this will improve much this year.
- YFood available in the USA. As some of you might know, YFood has the best ready to drink meal replacement in the market, Alpine Chocolate. I think that it would do great in the US, however, the German brand seems to be too focus on the local market to expand any time soon.
So, I hope you enjoyed this little exercise of foreshadowing the future. We shall see by the end of 2020 how many of this I was right about. Please, let me know if you have any other crazy guesses or ideas as to what might happen around meal replacements in this new decade.
Happy New Year 2020!