The food industry has undergone a shift in the last year. As 2021 kicks off with hopes for a healthier future, here are some of the food trends that will dominate in the new year.
I know I’ve eaten a ton of blue box Kraft Mac’ and Cheese for the last twelve months. During hard times, we often turn to comfort foods to nurse our souls. Going into the new year, these comfort foods will continue to be an important part of our daily lives. Expect to see more people getting creative with these old favorites. Trying healthier options is a good way to take a childhood staples and elevate it to something new.
With the change in the restaurant industry, a lot of restaurants started offeringfood kits for their customers. It’s like interactive take out where you get a meal from your favorite local place, but you assemble it in the comfort of your home. This has been particularly on the rise with international cuisines with consumers wanting to try new flavors. Bakeries have also used this method which is very popular among children. The pandemic has forced the industry to get creative which in turn gives us very tasty results. Blue Apron, Home Chef, Freshly, and other meal kits aren't going away either.
The food packaging industry has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic in the last year. This has made food prices rise and made it more difficult to find certain ingredients. In response, programs have started where local farmers can provide for their communities at a small market or food stand. Local farmers are usually outdoors allowing for safer conditions to shop for fresh products. The pandemic saw many growing their own food or take up gardening as a hobby. Expect that trend to continue.
Outdoor dining will continue to be an important emphasis for the restaurant industry to stay in business while still safely serving their patrons. They’ve been pushing for creative new ways to welcome back diners including heated rooftop open aired rooms in the colder months. Come warmer weather, expect outdoor pop-up shops to provide for a unique experience. Food trucks are also a safer bet to enjoy outdoor eating or to take back home. Container food trucks and boxes in food courts are growing in popularity, and will continue in 2021.
As we said before, DoorDash and GrubHub became essential last year allowing us to enjoy our favorite foods safely. But don’t be surprised if you see other restaurants expand their delivery services to cut out these middlemen. Not only will this help their business, it will help people find jobs as delivery drivers too while still serving their customers.
There are a few reasons why people are turning to more plant-based diets. It’s cheaper for the consumer and it's also good for the environment. Another reason to switch to a plant-based diet? It's healthier. Cutting down on red meats can help with fighting heart disease and lower risk of other illness. The battle against climate change is another big incentive as well. Plant based diets cut down on the carbon footprint that is produced by the meat industry. All around, cutting down on meat has a lot of benefits.
When millions were forced to stay home to work through a pandemic, they suddenly had time for breakfast. There are so many benefits to breakfast including helping with weight loss and maintaining focus during the day. Instead of stopping in at the McDonalds on the drive to work, consumers discovered the joys of preparing healthier options like omelets and fresh smoothies. It allowed people to not only try old favorites, but also discover new ways to enjoy the first meal of the day.
The charcuterie board is one of the most visibly appealing trends that came out of 2020, and it’s not going away anytime soon, so we hope you enjoy seeing them on Instagram. Charcuterie is a term for "meat and cheese board," but these boards are elevated delicacies. Charcuterie boards can be seasonal with fresh picks from the spring, summer, and fall harvests. Holiday inspired picks can be used for the Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. And best of all, they’re relatively inexpensive to make while looking beautiful on your Instagram page.
Food trends are always difficult to predict, and 2020 proved that it could always change. As we move into the new year, keep an eye on these trends, and maybe try a few of your own.