Home-cooked food, healthy meals, and innovative ways to bring the restaurant experience to life, at home.
This past year has been a whirlwind one for multiple reasons. As we wrap up 2020 and welcome the new post Covid-19 world, we predict the food trends that are in line to become popular in the coming year. Here’s what we predict will be the top 10 food and nutrition trends for 2021.
The theory behind the flexitarian diet is a more flexible approach to vegetarianism, so that you can still reap the benefits of loading up on fruits, vegetables and whole grains, without ditching your favorite non-vegetarian meals entirely. The word flexitarian is simply the combination of the two words flexible and vegetarian. This food trend touts the basic principles and benefits of a plant-based diet along with the inclusion of some animal proteins to a lesser extent. Studies show that naturally increasing your consumption of satisfying plant-based foods, which are rich in nutrients for overall health promotion, will lead to greater consumption of vegetarian dishes. The focus in this food trend is less on restriction and removal and more on incorporating an abundance of plant-foods.
If there is anything that this year has taught us, it is that even our most favorite takeaways—albeit with complicated recipes—can be recreated in our kitchens. For the most part of the year, we stayed home and tried our hand at cooking up different recipes. This food trend is not going to go away anytime soon. The year 2021 will see more creative and reimagined ways of bringing the restaurant experience to life, at home. With our focus shifting more on healthier alternatives to junk food, home-cooked meals are the simplest way to achieve this without indulging in expensive restaurants that cater to the health-conscious crowd.
Superfoods of some kind are always trending. As for the new year, expect all things moringa. A plant with multiple medicinal and therapeutic benefits, incorporating moringa into your diet is may be highly beneficial for your overall health. It is an excellent source of vital nutrients, does not contain caffeine, has a distinct flavor, and will be one of the year’s hottest wellness trends.
Consumers are going social about their decision to reduce consumption and reconsider what it truly means to abstain from alcohol. Alcohol-free alternatives to classic cocktails are on the rise, as are beverages that have a relatively low percentage of alcohol. The motivation to adopt a healthier lifestyle is one of the biggest reasons for this trend, which will only become more substantial in 2021. Beers, spirits and mocktails, all sans alcohol are going to be the new favorites for experimental drinkers. The idea is to focus on one’s health and wellbeing without sacrificing great taste.
Foods that help boost our immunity are trending now more than ever, given the circumstances. You can be rest assured, that this particular food trend is here to stay even in 2021. Incorporating immunity-boosting foods in our diet is important not only for keeping us healthy and fit on a regular basis but may protect us from future illnesses and diseases as well. A strong immune system is the best medicine against all kinds of viruses and bacteria. The idea of boosting the immune system is enticing, but the ability to do so has proved elusive for multiple reasons. The immune system is a system, not a single entity. Hence, to function well, it requires balance and harmony. Vitamin C, E, zinc, carotenoids and omega-3 fatty acids are important nutrients to boost the immune system.
Drawing from the previously mentioned points on eating healthy, consumers are now more aware and mindful of the ingredients that go into the products they consume. Transparency, in this regard, is going to be an important aspect for manufacturers to keep in mind. IRI defines transparency as “the consumer expectation for clarity, accuracy and usefulness of food-related information from the companies that produce and sell it”. As a result of our deeper understanding and questioning, major supermarkets and food companies are now much more conscious of the need to map out and make their supply chains opaque.
Gut is another word for the gastrointestinal or digestive tract, which starts at your mouth and ends at your rectum. Gut health refers to the overall health of your digestive tract and the balance of microorganisms that live in it. This is also known as your gut microbiome. The microbiome is responsible for a range of things, including aiding digestion and absorbing nutrients, helping to regulate bile and vitamin levels, and supporting the immune system. An imbalance in gut bacteria has been found to contribute to diseases such as IBS, diabetes and carcinoma. A nutritious and balanced diet is one way to maintain a healthy gut. Incorporating fibers found in wholegrains, nuts, pulses, fruit and vegetables, cutting back on processed foods and eating mindfully and regularly are important ways to encourage a diverse and healthy microbiome.
As defined by the Upcycled Food Association (UFA), “upcycled foods use ingredients that otherwise would not have gone to human consumption, are procured and produced using verifiable supply chains, and have a positive impact on the environment." UFA is working to reduce food waste while improving the environment through research, networking and policy advocacy. The upcycled food industry is gaining ground for all of the right reasons. Food waste is a huge problem globally. The idea of turning leftovers into consumable items is not new but is gradually percolating the masses as more and more organizations are recognizing it. Expect this food trend to become more popular in the coming year.
Despite the existence and use of multiple oils on the shelf, olive oil is set to be the star of the season in 2021. We all are aware of the benefits of using olive oil to cook. Its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties make it one of the most versatile and healthy oils to cook with and eat. It’s also one of the healthiest oils to use as a dressing and can be used in baking as well.
It’s fairly obvious that one underlying factor in all the food trends that will seemingly become popular in 2021, is the desire to adopt a healthier lifestyle. In October 2020, Forbes reported that one of the primary trends we're going to see in 2021 is a move towards healthy, sustainable and environmentally-friendly eating. To this end, consumers will be more mindful of their diet and what they put in their body on a daily basis. This, in all probability, will extend beyond the coming year as well.