2021 is finally here, and the world is looking a lot different than the beginning of last year, causing a large shift in food & dining trends. COVID-19 possibly has impacted how dining looks forever, and with that comes a unique forecast of trends for this year. Let’s take a look at some of the top projections made by experts:
Sustainable Packaging and Upcycled Foods
With concerns about contamination in 2020 due to the pandemic, we saw an increased in single-use packaging across the board. Worries about the environment, sustainability and energy usage prompts the rise of eco-friendly packaging in the New Year. Additionally, there is an expected increase of products that use ingredients that would normally be disposed of. This concept is known as “upcycling”. Products that are upcycled help preserve energy and waste, helping to alleviate rising environmental concerns. In addition, more and more companies offering discounted foods (destined for landfills) are appearing, such as Imperfect Foods and Misfits Market.
New and Reinvented Recipes
More time at home means more time to cook in your own kitchen, inspiring many to experiment with new flavors and recipes. Time at home also led to an increase in social media usage, motivating people from all around the world to share their very own recipes. Virtual cooking classes and TikTok tutorials are driving forces in this cooking revolution. This recipe sharing allows individuals to feed their travel cravings with international cuisines. In addition, companies are releasing products typically known as grocery staples with special new twists. Corporations creating traditional sauces and spices are expected to release new tasty and flavorful takes. Say goodbye to boring food in 2021!
Advanced Delivery Services
Dining-in at restaurants became very limited last year, leaving restaurants struggling to attract the same amount of customers for carryout. This year will bring a new era in food delivery, as more restaurants develop their own systems for online ordering food and contactless pickup. There is also a projected rise in grocery, meal kit, and even alcohol delivery services. Many predict more advanced applications will be created in accordance with this increased demand, with the intent to make online ordering more user-friendly and exciting.
The massive transition to remote work during the pandemic slowed down many people’s mornings. Less individuals are rushing everyday to catch the bus or make it to the office on time. This switch is changing “the most important meal of the day” from a coffee and donut to a full blown feast of eggs, hash browns and bacon.
Pickled and Fermented Foods
Quarantining and social distancing motivated people to take less grocery trips last year and become more self-sufficient through gardening, canning and preserving, baking and more. This trend is expected to continue as fermented products such as kombucha or pickles will be curated at home.
Hot and Canned Cocktails
Hot cocktails will make a big comeback this year as many people continue to gather and drink outdoors at restaurants, no matter what the weather is like. Classics such as the Hot Toddy, Irish Coffee, and Mulled Wine will appear much more on menus, as well as many new creative beverages incorporating eccentric flavors. Furthermore, canned cocktails that boomed in 2020 are expected to further grow in sales as consumers search for quick and convenient ways to enjoy their favorite beverages.
Let’s hope that 2021 lives up to this exciting and fun food forecast!