The pandemic has changed the face of the food and beverage industry. Enforced social isolation has led to restaurants having to innovate to stay in business. Let’s dive into some of the food service and dining trends of 2020 expected to continue into 2021.
The pandemic has brought undivided attention to the kind of food being consumed. Restaurants have started incorporating a new section, “Healthy Eats,” in their menu to cater to rising demand. Additionally, immunity boosters have raced to the top of the food service trends.
Having to stay at home has led to people reaching out to their families for recipes. This has further created awareness on traditional cooking methods, traditional ingredients, and, more importantly, traditional cookware such as cast iron, clay pots, stoneware, etc.
Hesitancy over dining out has led to a new food trend in 2020 – the increase of home chefs. Social media, enforced isolation, and shut restaurants allowed home chefs to meet growing demands.
Local, Seasonal Produce
The focus on local, seasonal produce has grown enormously. There is increasing awareness of nutritional profiles and the quality of produce. Organic food is making a comeback with consumers willing to pay for high-quality, locally-grown produce.
Whether cocktails or entire meals, there has been a rise for DIY kits. We anticipate this continuing well into the future. Consumers view these kits as a fun way to relax and enjoy a meal.
There is increased consumer demand to know about the origin of ingredients, their quality, and usage. Restaurants are now mentioning ingredient lists, calories, fibre content, etc.
A prominent food service trend is the exponential increase in takeaways and dining at home. This has led to restaurants redesigning their menus and cutlery to bring home the restaurant dining experience.
Must Read: Food Trend Predictions For 2022 & Beyond
5 Best Food Trends Everyone Should Try in 2021
Quarantine cooking and making ends meet led to people acquainting themselves with ingredients available at home. Responsible shopping allowed people to put up satiating, delicious meals. Increasing awareness of climate change has led to growing eco-conscious purchasing decisions. This has made low- or zero-waste cooking one of the prominent food trends of 2021.
This involves reducing/eliminating unnecessary packaging and using food scraps that you may have previously thrown out. A great way to begin is composting and looking up recipes to use broccoli stems, carrot tops, potato peels, etc.
One of the biggest 2021 food trends is the higher demand for meat alternatives and plant-based foods. However, instead of a complete switch to a plant-based diet, “flexitarian” eating has increased.
This allows meat to be part of your diet, while consumption is limited to weekends or once-in-a-while instead of everyday meals. An overall reduction in meat consumption has definite benefits for our health and the environment.
Have you jumped on the sourdough wagon yet? 2020 is the year we all learned about sourdough. With no access to our favorite bakeries, the mystery around bread has fallen away.
People realize how simple, healthy, and flavorful homemade bread can be. Whether sourdough or classic milk bread, we anticipate homemade bread to continue as a health food trend in 2021.
As awareness around immunity boosters and healthy food consumption, fermentation became a hot food trend in 2020. Whether it was making homemade curd, kombucha, or kimchi, fermented foods are here to stay. Lacto-fermented means the food is chock-full of natural probiotics that maintain a healthy gut.
With travel looking impossible for a while, food has become the gateway for the exotic. Unlimited access to traditional cuisines has led to fusion cuisine as a new food trend in 2020.
While the concept is not new, there is unprecedented creativity and innovation in food today. With its recipes and tutorials, the internet has allowed for unique fusions like Mexican-Korean, Chinese-Peruvian, and so much more.
Also Read: Plant-Based Dessert Brands To Watch In 2021
Biggest Dining Trends to Be Followed in 2021
Restaurants have begun incorporating high-quality native ingredients and fresh, local produce into their menus, following growing consumer awareness.
This 2021 dining trend is expected to translate when cooking at home and while dining out. Disrupted supply chains have shifted the focus from imported, frozen, and packaged products to fresh, locally grown, regionally available produce.
Additionally, we anticipate an exponential rise in regional food, particularly dishes and cuisines from lesser-known regions.
Curated at-home dining experiences are expected to become a notable dining trend in 2021. The focus on developing unique experiential offerings will allow consumers to have a restaurant-like experience in the comfort of their homes.
This could range from bringing home a bar experience, a pasta-making masterclass, a DIY dim sum kit, or a wine and cheese pairing. Authentic experiences could well be the top food service trend of 2021.
Healthier menu options
The pandemic has highlighted the importance of healthy eating. People making the switch to plant-based foods as a more eco-friendly option is expected to continue. A significant food service trend of 2021 will be consistently high demand for vegetarian food and plant-based meats.
This includes restaurants making provisions for consumers with various dietary preferences keeping flavor and nutrition at the top. We anticipate increasing healthy options like organic salads, vegetable-based pasta, vegan cheese, etc.
Reduced human interaction
Dining out in 2021 will not be filled with the same warmth as before. Buffets, complex meals, and shared platters will be pushed aside to favor simple cooking and eating.
Bring back the long drives, blankets, and family picnics in open spaces. Packages and hampers launched by restaurants will make such picnics easier.