The Biggest Food Trends of 2021 So Far

July 9, 2021
The Biggest Food Trends of 2021 So Far

To many, food is more than just eating to sustain our bodies and energy levels. Food is so much more than that. Eating is a time we can be sociable with each other over meals. It can provide a creative outlay for those that love to cook. It can be highly enjoyable when chowing down on our favourite ingredients and dishes. As a result, it can be subject to huge trends given how eating and drinking has become so much more than sustenance in our day to day lives. Here, we look at the biggest food trends of the year so far to see whether you should try them out or not. 

Meal Kit Delivery Services

Meal kit delivery services have proliferated this year due to the increased time spent in our homes because of lockdown restrictions. They are a great trend to try as they can be so beneficial to a person’s abilities in the kitchen. And, as there are not so many to choose from, there are some meal kit delivery services that are brilliantly tailored to even the strictest of diet regimes. The result is a whole world of culinary expertise is possible within a person’s own home - with a lot of added convenience too. 

As food is sent straight to your door for a specific recipe, you do not have to go to a supermarket or even do an online grocery shop to know that you will be able to eat well that week. Instead, you can menu plan quickly through a company’s website or app, knowing that the food that you will create will be delicious - as well as nutritionally balanced thanks to being created by a chef or nutritionist. This is a trend that does not appear to be going anywhere, and more and more meal kit delivery service companies are starting each week.   

High Dining Takeaways

While meal kit delivery services allowed people to make their own food from recipe cards, during the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, many high dining restaurants even delivered their own food to people’s doors. They would vary in how they arrived - some would be similar to meal kits in that customers could make some of the dishes in their own kitchen. Others, however, delivered a gourmet meal that was far more than the normal grease laden Friday night takeaway. What has been great about this food trend is that it allows people to try out food from restaurants that was perhaps previously out of their budget. While these delivery services are not cheap, they also do not come with a hefty service charge on top - and are often without drinks included too. Alcohol is so often where restaurants make a huge mark up and materially increase a bill. Without it, people can afford the actual food, while buying a bottle of red or white from their wine supplier at far lower cost. 

Sustainable Food

People’s attention and care about the environment continues to be more heightened and as a result, there has been an increase in the popularity and usage of sustainable food. Farmers have noticed that there is demand for food that has been cultivated in a carbon neutral - or even carbon positive - way. Supermarkets are starting to respond to this too by reducing the amount of plastic that they sell food in - as well as the type. There has also been a proliferation of ‘wonky’ veg sold in grocery stores so that all food that is grown is sold, and not wasted. Up until recently, supermarkets (the biggest customers for the majority of farmers) would not take food if it did not look correct. The result? A large amount of food is thrown away before it even hits the shelves. 

Upmarket Freezer Food

Another way that people are trying to reduce their waste is to use their freezer more. As a result, a hole in the market was created for the production of upmarket freezer food - that was more than just what school cafeterias of old used to sell. So instead of potato waffles and fish fingers, highly nutritious freezer food is now very popular with meal delivery services, like All Plant, providing ready made meals without any of the preservatives that ready made meals are usually laden with. 

Plant-Based Goodness

The aforementioned company All Plant is also a company that sells vegan food. This points to another huge trend of 2021. More and more people are going vegan and adopting a plant based diet. A key link has been made between our carbon footprint and our food. In short, a person who follows a typical omnivore diet has been seen to have a far higher carbon footprint than those who follow a vegan diet. Cows and other livestock produce huge amounts of methane that escape into the atmosphere warming the planet. Plant based alternatives are cropping up more and more, with restaurants offering more Vegan options on their menus. 

Recommended Reading:- Going Vegan - Plant Based Protein Ideas

Cocktail Making

Finally, as lockdown restrictions continued in 2021, more people made use of home delivery cocktail making kits. They were hugely popular - particularly if used in conjunction on a zoom call with friends, as a way of socialising and doing something a little bit different, then just settling into another night of Netflix. This trend also allowed smaller more independent alcohol outlets to diversify their product line, by sending out kits to customers who wanted to try their latest flavours of gin or whisky. 

2021 has been a tough year for many in the UK. With the lockdown restrictions back in place after a long 2020, much of the population were in need of some light relief - which was something that food was able to help with. The above trends look set to continue despite lockdown restrictions ending as people have integrated a lot of them into their day to day lives now. So, even though they can now have a person make them a cocktail or a gourmet meal at a bar or restaurant, they also know there is a great option to do so at home too.

Rachel Lee
Having worked at Morgan Stanley and BNYMellon for over 10 years in pensions and investments, Rachel now works as a full-time business and financial writer.