Food Trends 2021

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Yearly trends in dining and cooking can be difficult to predict, and the food trends in 2021 are no exception. But after a stressful 2020, many people have turned to food more than ever as a means of comfort, wellbeing and community.

The food trends of 2021 point toward an overall goal of better health for our bodies, planet and wallets. From cooking styles to star ingredients, you can expect many of the items on this list to become a permanent part of the culinary landscape even beyond 2021.

So, which food trend of 2021 is your favourite? Which will you try first? Browse the list below and get inspired.

1. Store Cupboard Meals

Born of quarantine cooking and making ends meet, 2020 found more and more people familiarising themselves with the ingredients they already had on hand. With the luxury of restaurant meals and well-stocked grocery shelves in limbo, people learned how to shop their store cupboards and transform overlooked canned and dry goods into filling, delicious meals. This money- and food-saving skill will undoubtedly continue as a food trend in 2021.

2. Mental Health Cooking

Food and nutrients play an integral role in maintaining overall mental and cognitive health. And after a long and arduous 2020, mental wellbeing has never been more important.  There is no denying that when your body is malnourished of certain nutrients, it can leave lasting effects. This is exactly why eating for your mind and body will be coming into focus as a rising food trend of 2021. There are so many wonderful ingredients and superfoods that can boost your mood, soothe anxiety, combat depression and support your mental health.

3. Veganism and Vegetarianism

While veganism and vegetarianism are hardly a “trend,” the influx of people joining the lifestyle is on the rise. Increasing concerns over mental and physical wellbeing, not to mention the environmental impact, has led many to reconsider their meat-centered diets. Many are giving up animal products completely in effort to live a healthier, more eco-friendly life.  The abundance of plant-based options on the market has made the switch easier than ever.

4. “Flexitarian” Diets

Not everyone is ready or willing to make the switch to a total plant-based diet, which is why the trend of “flexitarian” eating is also on the rise. The concept of being a flexitarian is simple: Meat becomes a once-in-a-while or only-on-the-weekends food rather than part of your regular meal rotation.  Reducing our meat consumption even slightly has still been shown to be overall better for the environment and our general health, making this one of the biggest food trends for 2021.

5. Carb Alternatives

Keto brought back low-carb eating in a big way, but it won’t be the only option for the food trends in 2021. With the rise in carb alternative products, especially with cauliflower leading the pack in things like pizza crust and gnocchi, it has never been easier to stick with low-carb diets.  With versatile ingredients replacing rice and flour-based recipes, you can still indulge in your favourite treats.

6. Takeaway

Many of us had to take a break from our most beloved restaurants in 2020, which is why a takeaway from our favourite neighbourhood eateries will be a top food trend of 2021.  Whether you’re looking to support local businesses, show some extra love to a hurting restaurant industry, indulge in your favourite eats or a combination of all three, it’s time to dial up for your favourite local joint and put in an order for pickup or delivery.

7. Low-Waste Foods

With concerns of climate change on the rise, we’re more aware than ever of making eco-conscious purchasing decisions. This has, of course, trickled into the food scene, making low- or zero-waste one of the upcoming food trends of 2021. Going low-waste with food means drastically reducing unnecessary packaging (especially plastic) and repurposing food scraps that may have previously ended up in the bin (like broccoli stems, carrot tops and potato peels). There are many ways you can cut down on waste in the kitchen, and any step in this direction is a great way to kick off this crucial food trend in 2021.

8. Elevated Desserts

As attention to healthy eating takes centre-stage this year, desserts are far from being left out of the picture. In fact, desserts are becoming a form of art on their own with new innovations and trends from around the world. This is the part of the menu where creativity can shine, especially with the usage of unique ingredients and even plant-based resources.

9. Fusion Cuisine

There is so much access to traditional cuisines from around the world, that a huge food trend in 2021 will be cross-cultural cuisine. Fusion dining is not a new concept, but the time for creativity and innovation in food has definitely arrived. Sample fusions like Mexican-Korean, Chinese-Peruvian and so much more as the options are vast and exciting.

10. Home-Baked Bread

Another trend born of quarantine cooking, 2020 was the year we all learned how to bake homemade bread. Now that the elusive veil has slipped, many people realise just how healthy, flavourful and uncomplicated fresh-baked homemade bread can be. From tangy sourdough to hearty rye to classic white, home-baked loaves of bread are sticking with us as an ongoing food trend in 2021.