The Future of Food & Drink: 2021 Predictions

2020 has been a year unlike any other. The COVID-19 pandemic led to dramatic and unexpected shifts in our everyday habits, behaviours and priorities, with the global food and drink industry having to adapt rapidly in response.

This created a whole new wave of food and drink trends, many of which experts predict are here to stay – at least for the foreseeable future – as the pandemic continues to impact the ways in which consumers shop, cook, eat and drink.

So, with the new year on the horizon, here are some of the key trends predicted to dominate the agenda in 2021…

DIY is here to stay

With traditional hospitality at times ‘off the table’, 2020 saw soaring demand for services that provide a culinary experience and sense of adventure at home. As a result, global meal kit delivery services, including the likes of Hello Fresh and Gousto, witnessed exponential growth and as an industry, is projected to be worth $20 billion by 2027.

DIY meal kits are expected to grow in popularity throughout the year ahead as foodservice brands, such as Hawksmoor and Pasta Evangelists, increasingly provide a range of options in this category, giving consumers an experience to mimic that of the restaurant from the comfort of their own homes.

Health remains a priority

Health and wellness will also remain a priority in light of ongoing anxiety stemming from COVID-19. For example, a number of food and beverage brands, such as Creative Nature and Moju Drinks are already creating products with ingredients that offer health-related benefits.

This trend is set to continue, and as a result we can expect to see more and more food and drink products that contain ingredients such as vitamins and minerals, probiotics or CBD, with the aim of supporting immune systems, enhancing mood or promoting healthy digestive systems.

Upcycling to take off

As sustainability continues to drive innovation in the food and drink industry, another rapidly growing movement is the “upcycling” of products which would otherwise go to waste. Food production is responsible for one quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, yet it is estimated that one-third of food produced for human consumption gets lost or wasted each year.

Thankfully, a number of businesses have found creative ways to salvage leftover food waste or ingredients to produce new – or “upcycled” – products. Some fantastic examples include Toast Ale who have produced a range of beers brewed using surplus bread, while Rubies in the Rubble offer an award-winning range of condiments made by repurposing ingredients which would otherwise go to waste.

In fact, food waste is becoming a booming business – estimated to be worth $46.7 billion in 2019, it has an expected annual growth rate of 5% for the next ten years.

A renewed sense of community

Finally, this year has reignited an appreciation of community and support for the businesses and suppliers within it – from the local grocer to independent restaurants. According to a recent survey, two thirds (66%) of shoppers in the UK are now more likely to shop in their local communities than they were a year ago.

As the economy returns to growth, it is expected that consumers will continue to show support for their community through purchasing and consuming locally grown food and drink products. Watch this space!

Do you have an innovative food or drink business that you’re keen to promote in 2021? Get in touch with our award-winning team of experts today to discuss how we could help.

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