By Charles Banks, Co Founder, thefoodpeople
For 2021 we head into a period of ‘Industry – Reset’. Owing to the pandemic and other global shifts we expect to see continued shifts in lifestyle as people decide how they want to react, behave, choose and consume in times of change. On the subject of reset, we predict a more self-sufficient, family orientated and self-contained lifestyle, consumers are aligning themselves with the tribes that they believe can make the positive change needed to reset across all areas of society.
Bringing wider societal behaviour back to the world of foodservice and out of home food and drink, amongst the many complex trend and counter trends manifestations, we see 8 key trend themes for 2021.
Here are 8 big trends for 2021 that we expect to see…
- MINI SPLURGE. Whilst many consumers might be starting to feel the financial aftermath of pandemic, they still want to treat themselves with little ‘touches of luxury’ and edible indulgence in food.
- THRIFT. Diners and operators are getting thrifty, for both cost and environmental reasons. Throwaway culture is rejected in favour of ‘upcycling’ surplus food and would-be waste into desirable culinary creations.
- COMFORT. The wider world is uncertain and stressful, so consumers want to make their own world as comfortable as possible. Comfort food is a reassurance, a ritual, a time, an experience or a place a safety either in the present or past. The obsession with baking continues unabated, gourmet sandwiches, lasagne, noodles and pizza – comfort is embraced across the spectrum.
- HOME DELIVERY. The online and home delivery revolution is well underway; today’s consumer expects to get anything (and everything) delivered – and fast. Accelerated by the pandemic the notion of @HOME has moved from novelty to necessity. Retail brands and hospitality alike are turning to direct to consumer as an essential evolution of channel strategy. In the new world ‘food goes to people’.
- HEALTHY GUT & BETTER MIND. Gut health gains even more traction as we learn more about the link between our guts, immune function and mental health. Consumers are looking for practical solutions to help them on their mental health journey from pre sleep relaxation, yoga, meditation, apoptogenic foods, CBD and more.
- LOVE YOUR VEG. If the motivations of human and planet health, animal welfare weren’t enough to tempt consumers to make the shift, plants now also have a ‘hygiene halo’ in the reset era. In their natural form we see evermore examples of plants being celebrated their seasonality and varieties, brought centre stage through techniques such as confit, charring or fermenting. Meat replacers and alternatives begin to move with the rest of food culture, they evolve to shorter, more natural ingredients lists.
- ALFRESCO COOKING & DINING. Being out in the fresh air has a new level of relevance and appeal. Either imposed by local restrictions or by choice many are opting to dine outdoors, out of home. This is new level of outdoor cooking and eating – pizza and barbecue kits are sourced from artisan butchers or restaurants famed for brisket and expertly blended sauces and marinades.
- FIRE COOKING. Chefs are getting ever more creative in their fire cooking – experimenting with types of wood and smoke (olive, chestnut, hickory, maple, oak and more) to layering ‘fire flavours’ over each other (think charred steak with blistered tomatoes and smoked hollandaise); and embracing global grill techniques such as Japanese, Korean and Thai barbeque to fire cooking desserts.