When it comes to food trends for 2021, I think it is safe to say that health and wellness is the overarching theme. Certainly, the ongoing pandemic is strongly influencing trends not only from a health standpoint but also due to the increased need to cook at home. Consumers drive trends and food producers, retailers and support services are keenly paying attention. From products that are being developed and placed on store shelves to take-out meals, the use of nutritionally-dense ingredients is making a solid showing. While interest in plant-based cooking has been on the rise for several years, it seems that our awareness of using better quality ingredients has been heightened in a way that it may not have been previously.
The use of plant-based ingredients is no longer solely of interest to vegetarians and vegans. There are many who are adopting a “plant-forward” approach to meals – incorporating more plant-based ingredients while lessening meat consumption and the use of highly processed ingredients. Many aspects of what we all experienced in 2020 may be influencing this trend. The desire to boost immune systems and improve or maintain mental health, changes in financial situations, periodic food shortages, concern for the environment, and having meal preparation take on a new look all contribute. Many of us have learned the benefits and necessity of having a well-stocked pantry and freezer that naturally includes many plant-based items such as dried or canned beans, whole grains, dried and frozen fruit, nuts, and seeds. As a result, new ingredients and recipes have made their way to our tables expanding our cooking styles, skills, and dining experiences.
The following 10 food trends illustrate the common thread of plant-based or plant-forward meals and are driving what we’ll find in our local markets, restaurants, and home kitchens in this new year.
10 MAJOR FOOD TRENDS FOR 2021
- Cooking for health and wellbeing
- Incorporating more plant-based and plant-forward dishes into weekly menus
- Creating more meals based on pantry ingredients
- Desire for and increased awareness of better-quality carbs and proteins
- Use of specific ingredients – Herbs, Roots, Mushrooms, Chickpeas
- Nut spread and butter
- Oils – specifically, pumpkin seed oil, sunflower seed oil, avocado oil
- Dairy milk alternatives – such as coconut milk, almond milk, soy or pea milk, oat milk
- Craft mocktails
- Limiting food waste
In addition, the desire for virtual cook-along classes and efforts to lessen personal environmental impact relating to food are expected to grow this year.
By sharing information on ingredients, providing recipes and creating fun virtual classes and events, Love + Craft Kitchen will continue to be a resource for you. I look forward to our continued interactions in 2021. Wishing you a happy, healthy and delicious new year!
- Whole Foods Markets
- The Specialty Food Association
- National Restaurant Association
- American Chef Association
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