American diets are getting healthier. According to a food trend forecast from Nielsen that surveyed nearly 20,000 Americans, diet and nutrition will continue to improve in 2020.

The “How America Will Eat” report found that 49 percent of respondents made healthier eating choices in 2019. And while two-thirds of Americans say their eating habits have changed over the last five years, they’re not eating as well as they would like, leaving an opportunity for CPG companies to step up.

“Americans have bright intentions for the future, and this presents manufacturers and retailers with a golden opportunity to capitalize on this optimism by removing the barriers that separate what people want to eat and drink with what they actually consume,” Nielsen analysts said in the report.

So what does the future of food look like in the new decade? The ‘impossible equation’ for companies to solve will be to create products that save consumers time and money while maintaining good overall health, mental strength, and stress management.

Below, we’re sharing some companies to watch this year that are helping to bridge the gap to healthier eating in America.

1. GOOD PLANeT Foods
With a mission to do good and be good for you, this plant-based cheese company offers “delicious, nutritious dairy-free products while respecting animal rights and the environment.” Tapping into the growing number of environmentally conscious consumers, GOOD PLANeT Foods has made its way onto the menus of several large national restaurant chains. The vegan cheese has received widespread praise from animal rights organization PETA and Allergic Living Magazine, as well as accolades from numerous vegan influencers.

2. Alpha Foods
Satisfying the growing demand among Americans for plant-based, protein-packed, and convenient foods, Alpha Foods makes easy meals for everyday life that are completely vegan. With the meatless market expected to be worth an estimated $5 billion this year, and with a 600 percent increase in consumers who have gone vegan in the last three years, this year is shaping up to be the most impressive year to date for new vegan products.

Tech entrepreneur and NUGGS founder Ben Pasternak is on a mission to make chicken nuggets go viral. The company has ambitiously developed a chicken nugget simulation that uses innovative pea protein technology to create a product more advanced than animal-based meat. Operating like a software company, NUGGS takes user feedback to help develop new versions of the product while keeping its ‘users’ updated via releases on its site. A truly revolutionary plant-based company, NUGGS is aiming to capture the imagination and desires of most Americans, especially younger people.

4. Melt Organic
Melt’s founder Cygnia Rapp started the company out of necessity — to help heal her body from chronic disease. Melt is a purpose-driven company that creates rich, creamy, delicious butter that’s dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, and made from organic coconut oil. The Boise-based company recently joined the ranks of more than 2,700 global companies dedicated to social and environmental responsibility by becoming B Corp certified.

Interested in joining the plant-based movement? Explore our FoodForce division.