The Ultimate 10 Food Trends in 2021admin
The food industry brings new rules to the game this year.
The COVID pandemic left its mark on every industry under the sun. The food industry has seen both sides of the coin because of the harsh restrictions.
It’s particularly interesting because while some parts of the story continue (i.e. the increase in the popularity of plant-based meals), the pandemic brought considerable new changes in the way we produce, purchase, and prepare our food.
If we could summarize it in one word, there’s a single focus that people all around the world seem to agree on after an unimaginable year: health. Let’s talk about that.
In this blog post, we’ll bring to your attention the changes in consumer behavior in 2021 and what brands should be on the lookout for if they want to stay competitive.
Top 10 food trends in 2021
1. Plant-based food is at the forefront
This delicious and healthier option could only gain traction in times like this.
According to Edlong, 1 in 5 consumers are looking for plant-based alternatives, especially for the occasions like indulging in food as a form of escapism.
Escapism can occur when the stress of everyday life during a worldwide pandemic gets a bit too much, and people are looking for comfort. Plant-based products are generally calorically dilute, so they don’t ignite embarrassing guilt after eating.
Brands should focus on coming up with unique flavors, different formats, and sophisticated alternatives that enhance the pleasure of eating plant-based food, as this trend is set to reach a whopping $85 billion in value by 2030.
2. CBD is making an appearance in the food industry
Depending on where you live, CBD can be a taboo topic, but we now have alternatives that bring the same benefits as CBD.
One thing is clear: CBD is fantastic as a treatment for anxiety, chronic pain, and inflammation.
In this tumultuous period of our lives, stress has become a huge enabler for depression and severe anxiety, so we should use all the help we can get.
An alternative for CBD oil is Copaiba. It provides similar benefits, and it’s a completely legal option. It has a pleasant sweet flavor and a wood-like scent that helps you relax.
3. Transparency increases the feeling of safety
People all around the globe are putting a stronger accent on safety after the pandemic.
This means that businesses should be more open about their methods of production, packaging, and distribution, as people are now interested to know exactly what they are consuming.
The winners, though, will be the fresh products from local farms, so brands should get ready to advertise that with every chance they get.
4. Do-it-yourself is back
The COVID restrictions forced us to fall back in love with our homes, and maybe even with the love of cooking. People are trying out new recipes, or are trying to reproduce the restaurant flavors and experience in their kitchen.
This is a huge opportunity for popular restaurants, as they can create a tool (i.e. ingredient, method, paid recipe) to help DIY’ers do that.
5. The focus on immunity-boosting organic products
If there’s anything that COVID taught is, it’s that we need to do better in terms of our health and wellness. Organic products that fuel us with the macronutrients we need will be in high demand.
In the organic food industry, you’ll hear everyone talk about superfoods more often, specifically elderberry, acerola cherry, apple cider vinegar, ginger, and turmeric. Zinc, Vitamin C, probiotics, and prebiotics will also be the stars of the show.
The best-case scenario for ambitious businesses will be the creation of a product that does it all – weight-loss/plant-based benefits AND clean-label, healthy ingredients.
6. Online shopping is king
Grocery stores, restaurants, and supermarkets had to find ways to get their food at the customer’s door.
This is a win-win situation for both parties involved, but the businesses had the more difficult task of finding options that are both fast and responsible, as the food has to be fresh upon delivery.
We expect this trend to expand in the years to come because more people have discovered the convenience of having their products delivered.
7. The travel nostalgia hits hard
We can all understand the nostalgia of thinking about breakfast in the U.K, a lunch in Greece, or a candle-lit dinner in Italy. That’s why the next step is to bring those flavors into our own kitchen and create that experience for ourselves.
People will seek culture-specific ingredients and spices in hopes of recreating the meals that made them happy back when the normal looked very different.
A few examples of that would be:
- From Asia: yuzu, calamansi, tamarind and cardamom.
- From Latin America: guava, chamoy, and mango chili lime
- Mediterranean flavors: blood orange, orange blossom, bergamot, figs, and dates.
8. The environment becomes a stronger focus
This is good news! People are broadening their perspectives and are choosing to pay more attention to sustainable, ethical, and responsible practices in the food industry.
We’re talking about: natural, organic ingredients, sustainable harvesting, fair wages, ethical production and packaging, transparency, sustainable delivery, and last but not least, responsible waste practices.
9. Sugar is replaced with natural sweeteners
This may come off as old news, but this trend is gaining more popularity this year, as health experts keep advising against sugar.
The best option is a completely sugar-free product, but for those of us with a sweet tooth, stevia, allulose, and monk fruit are the way to go.
10. Olive oil enters the room
With the increase in popularity of vegetable oil or even the real butter use in keto/paleo diets, we set aside olive oil for a while.
However, experts found that extra-virgin olive oil is good for health, preventing neurodegenerative diseases and lowering blood pressure.
So, there we have it. The pandemic changed a lot about the way we live our lives, including our food consumption. We’re more concerned about our health and our impact on the environment because we were close to losing it.
Every player in the food industry game should be aware of these organic food trends in 2021, as they are here to stay.
Responsibility, health, and natural ingredients define today’s world.