With the world in various states of lockdown due to the pandemic, never before have we seen such significant sweeps of change within the food industry. The pandemic presents a challenge to those in foodservice especially – yet also a big opportunity to reimagine dining hospitality.
For example, food suppliers, brands and restaurants have had to pivot their offerings to better service consumers at home. Previously, it had been younger diners embracing takeout and to-go cocktails. Now, the adjustment to the pandemic has embraced what younger generations are looking for. Takeout has taken on a whole new meaning with diners embracing the opportunity to create their own experiences or ambiance at home. Premium and luxury food has become more accessible and a welcome respite during lockdown.
It’s no surprise, consumers are also seeking comfort now in a pandemic – challenging food professionals on how to introduce new flavor innovation offerings while catering to the demand for at-ease foods.
Keeping this all in mind, here are five trends anticipated to rise and thrive in 2021:
- The pandemic has accelerated demand for immunity boosting products and ingredients. And the immunity trend is here to stay. Interest in food and beverage that carry an immunity claim has surged since the beginning of the year and has no evidence of slowing down. ?Vitamin boosted offerings, especially in beverages, provides an opportunity for restaurants to tell consumers ‘Let us take care of you.’
2) Bread Love
- Bread is key for comfort with gluten making a small comeback. Expect to see global introductions of new bread concepts whether through toast or bread starter kits to make at home. Restaurants have a big opportunity to extend a form of hospitality with bread concepts.
3) Sandwich Sophistication
- Old school deli sandwiches are being elevated to a new level of sophistication. Playing into the ‘bread boom’, meat-centric comfort-focused ‘wiches are catering to takeout-hungry consumers.
4) Take-Home Bakes
- Amid COVID, restaurants are shaking-up their meal kit games, but also are offering pre-made casseroles and take-home bakes, making it an even easier for people to cook at home – without the mess or stress.
5) Plant-Based Dairy
- Alternative dairy products made of nut, grains, or pea-proteins have taken off in coffee shops and retail - appealing to younger consumers with their eco-friendly and ‘health halo’ benefits.
Source: Flavor & the Menu