FEW industries are as shell-shocked by the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic as that of the hospitality industry. The pandemic resulted in hundreds of thousands of eateries worldwide forced into temporary closure – many of which never re-opened – then allowed to operate with restrictions on in-house dining, and then welcome the lifting of even more restrictions – only to find themselves back in the dwang when the second wave hit. Perhaps it’s for this reason that food producers and restaurateurs are subdued when it comes to predicting exciting new trends for 2021. Still, there are some interesting new developments. The future may not be blindingly bright, but the pandemic has forced the industry to think differently and be more creative. So there is hope.
To discover these new trends I trawled the internet to establish what they are – and quote them below. I’ve credited each section with my source. – Ingrid Shevlin
1 Immune-enhancing everything: Food producers are starting to include vitamins, especially C, as well as mushrooms and adaptogens in a variety of foods to help boost our immune systems. So, expect products like a super-duper mushroom broth (and even a mushroom-enhanced coffee) and more bottled water options, which will include anti-stress ingredients. Adaptogens are compounds in some plants and herbs and include ginseng, ashwagandha, astragalus, cordycep mushrooms, coji berry, licorice root, tulsi (holy basil) and tumeric. They help combat short and longterm physical or mental stress and promote immunity.
2 Plant-based food that is less processed: Plant based foods are often highly processed and contain ingredients like flour, sugar and fats which, obviously, defeats the point of trying to eat better. But, in 2021, you will be seeing these foods include healthier ingredients like millet, kale, sweet poato, flaxseed and apple cider viengar and almonds. Also look out for a plant-based fish alternatives.
3 Heroing breakfast: Breakfast will become the most popular meal of the day, with the sales of breakfast cereals increasing significantly as well as consumers seeing the likes of microwaveable vegan sausage patties. But when they say cereal, don’t look to the highly-sugared varieties of your childhood. Think instead of high-protein, sugar-free cereal. More and more varied breakfast items will also be produced to meet the new demand.
4 Fermented Food. While the interest in probiotic-enhancing food – such as kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, miso and tempeh (fermented soybean) – will continue, here comes something new; a Mexican fermented pineapple cider called tepachito, which can embrace flavours such as cinnamon, tamarind, herbs and spices. Foods rich in prebiotics (as opposed to probitoics) are also showing up more and more in the snack food isles. Like plantain chips.
5 Chickpeas. Don’t think hummus is the only way to eat chickpeas, an all vegan food that is high in fibre. In 2021 you will also find it in different guises, such as a pasta, in pizzas and as a rice substitute. There will be chickpea tortillas and chickpea puffs (like cheese puffs). And there’s more. Combining chickpeas with water gives you aquafaba which makes a vegan mayo. (And, something I learned from chef friend, chickpea juice can also be whipped into a vegan version of meringue, which tastes pretty passable, he said – IMS).
6 Coffee rules. Coffee will be finding its way into granola, youghurt, candy and even whiskey.
Beautified outdoor spaces Restaurants will have to work harder to set the right atmosphere so diners don’t feel they are having a meal on the sidewalk or parking lot. The key is an outdoor area that looks and feels like the inside. Some restaurants have converted parking spaces into tented seating that feels trendy and hip.
- Source: Huffington Post
1 Individualised menues. Restaurants will be offering their customers special menues designed to meet their unique needs, all in an effort to ensure dining out is a special event.
2 Private dining: Small group private dining rooms will become trendy in 2021.
3 Heritage cooking. There will be an increased focus on the traditional food of immigrants. Although this relates more to America, we South Africans will be able to expand our culinary horizons, thanks to platforms like YouTube or TikTok. You, too, can cook the Mongolian way. But, more seriously, the trend is also about realising that non-Eurocentric food has a place at the global table and, in Africa, we should be exploring other African cuisines as a matter of course. In other words, the food of immigrants.
4 At home restaurants: Continuing the trend created during the covid pandemic, more and more restaurants will expand on the takeout and delivery of upscale food (not chicken wings, dear). It’s predicted that some chefs will get very creative with to-go food and how it is presented.
5 Online cooking: On-line, chef-driven virtual cooking classes – with accompanying chef food boxes for the recipes – will continue to expand in 2021. Something to do with the family or friends, perhaps?
6 Cooking with condiments: Obviously the need or desire for homecooked meals will endure, but in 2021 homecooks will use condiments like chimichurri, sauerkraut, sweet chilli sauce, relish/pickles or gochujang (the savory and spicy hot pepper paste that gives many Korean dishes their unique taste), to add spice, heat and flavour to simple dishes.
7 Tofu: People will look at tofu in a whole new light apparently. Again!
8 Comfort food. But the real deal, food that is both comforting and nostalgic. Classic pizzas (no pineapple, please), burgers (without mounds of crazy toppings), authentic tacos, mac & cheese like mom used to make, bangers and mash and curries will become hugely popular.
9 Preserve & Pickle. Perserving, pickling and fermenting your own food will trend in 2021. Especially the food you might be growing in your gardens. No wastage and planet friendly
10 Destination restaurants. 2021 will see the rise of destination restaurants located out the cities where you can enjoy a high quality experience (food and scenery)
11 Mushrooms. More about mushrooms. 2021 will see a rise in using mushrooms to make snack products such as a biltong alternative. You will also find pumpkin mushroom chips, plain mushroom chips, mushroom granola bars, umami mushroom chips, a paelo-friendly snack bar with mushrooms and even mushroom ice-cream (which may be a mushroom too far for me). This trend will flourish in 2021.
Supporting local. if you have good local eateries in your neighbourhood the 2021 trend will be to support them instead of driving to other neighbourhoods. Help them survive and thrive.
- Source Food & Wine
According to Delish.com sourdough is so 2020. People will be turning to making their own pasta. After all MasterChef made it look really easy. So, haul out that pasta-maker gathering dust at the back of your cupboard and get kneading and rolling.
1 Reduce: Reduce rather than eliminate. If you don’t want to give up all meat products, instead reduce your intake rather than eliminating totally. And that applies to products like sugar, flour-based foods, etc.
2 Mindful Eating: 2021 will bring an increased focus on ditching fad diets and embracing mindful eating. It’s important to start listening to your body. Whole grain carbohydrates, like brown rice and quinoa, provide essential nutrients and a slow-burning form of energy. Instead of shunning carbs, mindfuleating can help you enjoy them. Fad diets are alluring because they promise fast results, but the truth is they’re often tough to follow. Ditching this diet mentality is gaining momentum. Instead of eliminating your favorite foods, it’s more helpful and sustainable to learn how to include them healthfully.
3 Sweet and Unami: Food enthusiasts are always on the lookout for “the next flavour combination”. There are strong indications that the big new flavour destined to rock the culinary world will be umami and sweet. In small measures, here and there, it may not be entirely new. But now think of crisp rice infused with fish sauce caramel, nori and pork floss or the equally marine-inspired palm sugar and fish sauce caramel?
What is umami? Taking its name from Japanese, umami is a pleasant savoury taste imparted by glutamate, a type of amino acid, and ribonucleotides, including inosinate and guanylate, which occur naturally in many foods including meat, fish, vegetables and dairy products.
4 The return of carob. Remember when carob was all the rage and used as a substitute for chocolate? Well, expect that to be big news again pretty soon. Not only is it high in HYP (hydroxproline), it is also rich in protein, antioxidants, iron, calcium and fibre. It is also an important amino acid required for the production of collagen. It is also low-carb, naturally sweet in flavour and both caffeine and gluten-free.
1 Allulose: The future of sweet? Sugar continues to be cast as the villain by health experts and there is a continued effort to encourage consumers to choose products with less or no sugar. As a result, companies responsible for manufacturing consumer packaged goods are looking to find the next new “non-sugar” sweetener. Thanks to advancements in food technology and new requirements by industry regulatory bodies, two approaches are being taken with regards to all things sweet. One is the use of the little-known sugar replacement allulose. In America at the very least, the FDA excluded allulose from the added and total sugar declarations on food nutritional labels, which has made it all the more attractive to food manufacturers. It is a natural sweetener taken from specific fruits and wheat and contains 1/10th the calories of regular table sugar. Expect to see a lot more of allulose in 2021.
2 Ghost kitchens: Expect to see more ghost kitchens or ghost food halls operated out of commissaries (dining halls or canteens) in 2021. These include multiple brands, each selling their own products (and some new) all under one check. So, for example, you could order pizza while your partner orders a burger, and then you both get ice cream, all from three different venues, on the same tab, delivered together, using your own delivery mechanism or logistics.
3 Hemp: A great soy alternative, vegan alternative, and plant-based alternative. More people are wanting to eat plant-based days during the week and now they easily can. Hemp is a healthy plant-protein that is great for people who are Keto, Paleo, and vegan. From CBD to Hempeh super protein to hemp hearts in your smoothie, it’s going to be the year of hemp.
- Source: Real Simple