As a leading food and drink agency we make sure we stay ahead of the game when it comes to the latest foodie trends. So we always look forward to see what trends The Food People predict will be shaping menus and shopping baskets. We may be nearly half way through 2021, but with a rather stuttering start to the year due to Covid, now seems as good a time as any to take a look at what they are tipping to be the next big foodie trends. So, here we go…

Streateries – i.e. al fresco dining is set to continue as people feel safer outside and we head into warmer weather.

Mini Splurge – often referred to as the lipstick effect we are likely to see more little treats with consumers trading up to reward themselves.

Gourmet Alfresco – this time it’s DIY outdoor dining as consumers picnic in style.

Frozen – already showing strong growth, frozen food is becoming increasingly popular with consumers looking to minimise waste, value for money and some great innovation.

Comfort Carbs – the saying may go β€˜no carbs before Marbs’ but Covid has sent us straight to the cupboard for a bit of comfort food.

Contactless – from tap to pay, to app payment, vending and much more, tech has seen a huge boom driven by the need for contactless transactions.

Get Thrifty – driven by both cost savings and eco consciousness consumers are making and do and mending, upcycling and growing their own across the country.

Digi Health – monitoring your health has gone truly digital with Fitbits, Apple watches, fitness and nutrition apps and much more.

Brand Identity – or more specifically brand purpose has come to the fore this year, be it Black Lives Matters, LGBTQ, general diversity, sustainability or workers’ rights – brands are recognising they have to truly stand for something to engage with today’s Gen Z consumer.

I Can Cook – lockdowns have seen us re-engage with our kitchens and upskill our cooking.

Headspace – already high on the agenda, mental health was highlighted more than ever during the pandemic and consumers are increasingly looking for solutions and products to help their mental wellbeing from CBD gummies to meditation or mindfulness apps.

To Your Door – the pandemic has driven the demand for delivery so we now expect to be able to get anything delivered to our door from make at home kits to subscription food or drink boxes. It has also seen dark kitchens, cloud kitchens, ghost kitchens, call them what you will, boom as operators look to cash in on delivery and save on overheads.

Localism – over the past year our worlds have shrunk leading to far more local shopping and eating out – a habit that may continue long after restrictions are lifted.

Super Gut – with more research highlighting the link between the gut (microbiome) and our immune system and mental health, consumers are seeking out gut friendly products from fermented pickles to kombucha and kafir and of course good old pre and probiotics.

Stella Seafood – for those looking to reduce their meat intake fish is the obvious answer with consumers being spoilt for choice with not just fresh but premiumisation in tinned and frozen categories

Fired Up – more than just BBQ, cooks and chefs alike are experimenting with different kinds of wood and infused smokes, charring, blistering and layering fire flavours inspired by Japanese, Korean, Thai and classic BBQ.

Added Extras – super charged products with immune boosting properties have found their audience in Covid times.

Lighten Up – with obesity making people more susceptible to Covid and many seeing this year as a chance to get fit, healthy eating and diets are very much top of mind.

Plants Please – although we see a upsurge in meat alternatives which imitate the real thing there is now a move to counter this by focusing on treating veg as if they were centre plate meat with whole roasted cauliflower, centre plate carrots and alike.

Pantry – ambient is the new black, as consumers rediscovered their cupboards and pantries over the past year and now look to mix things up with premium ambient ingredients like yuzu, tahini and miso.

So lots going on!

To find out more about The Food People and their trend hub visit www.thefoodpeople.co.uk