It’s that time of year again when Whole Foods releases its annual top 10 predictions for the food industry for the coming year ahead. So what will drive real change in the food and beverage space in 2021?
“There have been radical shifts in consumer habits in 2020,” said Sonya Gafsi Oblisk, Chief Marketing Officer at Whole Foods Market. “For example, shoppers have found new passions for cooking, they’ve purchased more items related to health and wellness, and more are eating breakfast at home every day compared to pre-COVID. Food trends are a sign of the times, and our 2021 trends are no exception.”
According to the sixth annual report, the healthy supermarket chain predicts that 2021 will be a year of innovation and intrigue — from mushroom broth to pancake bites. One theme remains consistent: well-being reigns supreme.
1. Well-being is served
Think more superfoods, probiotics, broths, and sauerkrauts. Expect to see the inclusion of more functional ingredients like vitamin C, mushrooms, and adaptogens in products occupying shelf space in 2021.
2. Epic breakfast every day
For many, 2020 ushered in a different way to work: remotely and at home, for the long-term. The absence of an office and a morning commute means more time to enjoy a proper breakfast. Those who are a fan of the ‘most important meal of the day’ will be pleased to find innovative new breakfast products in 2021. Think pancakes, sous vide egg bites, and even egg alternatives made from mung beans.
3. Basics on fire
Pantry staples will get an upgrade in 2021. From innovative approaches to pasta, sauces, and spices, the home cook will have plenty to experiment with next year. Applewood-smoked salt, anyone?
4. Coffee beyond the mug
For many, working remotely means working longer hours. Coffee will make a regular if not frequent appearance in foods of all kinds: granola bars, smoothie boosters, yogurt, and more.
5. Baby food, all grown up
Gone are the days of limited baby food options. So long, little glass jars of pureed peas. Next year will usher in convenient portable, on-the-go squeeze pouches filled with unique ingredients and flavors like rhubarb, rosemary, purple carrots, and omega-3-rich flaxseeds.
6. Upcycled foods
We’ll see an increased use of neglected and underused parts of an ingredient as a more sustainable approach to reducing food waste.
7. Oil change
Despite all its health benefits, olive oil has been pushed aside in the past few years with the introduction of other plant-based alternatives like avocado oil, coconut oil, and even sunflower oil. Expect to find more oils gain popularity in 2021. Walnut and pumpkin seed oils will certainly be popular products when it comes to defining top 2021 food trends.
8. Boozed-up booch
Alcoholic kombucha is a thing — and a big thing for 2021. Hard kombucha is perfect for healthy beverage enthusiasts: it’s gluten-free, bubbly, and has live probiotic cultures to keep your gut health in check.
9. The mighty chickpea
Chickpeas aren’t going anywhere when it comes to 2021 food trends. Chickpea pasta has become as innovative as hummus. Expect to find more products like chickpea tofu, chickpea flour, and chickpea cereal in the coming year.
10. Fruit and veggie jerky
Plant-based jerky is in. From mushrooms to jackfruit, jerky is the new way to get your daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Expect to see unique flavors, too. Think chili, salt, ginger, and cacao drizzle.
Learn more about the top 2021 food trends from Whole Foods here.