Media The Road Ahead: Food Trends in 2021 (Coverage of the 2020 Specialty Food Live! Virtual Experience, September 2020)

The Road Ahead: Food Trends in 2021 (Coverage of the 2020 Specialty Food Live! Virtual Experience, September 2020) /media/flashcomm?action=mediaview&context=normal&id=7945
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Las Vegas, NV (Nov. 8, 2020): This article is the most current update on the current food trends into 2021 as both the 2020 Summer Fancy Food Show in New York and the 2021 Fancy Food Show in San Francisco have been cancelled until further notice due to these unprecedented times. The 2020 Specialty Food Association (SFA) Panel has announced the 2021 Trend Predictions. First and foremost, the top of the list include the replication of the travel and restaurant atmosphere at the home kitchen, value conscious shopping and health focused ingredients. At the end of the day, maybe the question to ask is: how do we reconcile the growth of the approximately $150 billion specialty food category and the consumer needs of the record numbers of customers staying at home, increasing emphasis on social awareness and the maturation of the Gen Z population. Covid-19 has had a tremendous impact on the 2021 predictions due the home restrictions forcing home cooking and gearing the latter to the support the mental and physical of the traditional family. An obvious concern would be menu fatigue in everyday meals and this leads to experimentation with ingredients and turning to functional and plant-based foods. Here are the predicted food market trends in 2021: 1. EATING/COOKING AT HOME: this trend will continue well into 2021 due to the surging pandemic. The goal is to avoid menu fatigue and diversify the monotony of consecutive family meals. Some suggested solutions include: replication of restaurant food in the home kitchen due to severe economic concerns such as restaurant quality condiments, sauces and cocktails, for example. Examples of these include: Smoked maple syrup for the bar, Sliced Calabrian chiles, Combined seven toppings sauce for the Chicago Hot Dog and Smoke watermelon salts. To re-create the restaurant atmosphere, the food service industry will shift emphasis and expansion into home eating routine and family meal kits; 2. TWIST ON CLASSICS: To reduce menu fatigue, modifications of classics will be the center of attention. For example, products like beetroot drinking chocolate powder, mint-flavored pasta, sheep's milk chocolate, bagel broccoli bites, aged cheddar granola and vodka and tomato ketchup. 3. EATERTAINMENT: With the forced lockdowns of everything related to the entertainment industry, certain novelty items can actually bring some entertainment to the home kitchen. For example, a reusable lunchbox packaging with llamas and unicorns, edible spoons with various flavors, hot chocolate on a stick, unicorn smores skillet kit and a pretzel bread mix. 4. VALUE-BASED BUYING: Food dollars are become the center of attention due to the economic downturn. Therefore, food shoppers are becoming more and more conscious shoppers. Specifically, the consumers are more geared to seek out food products from companies ethnically diverse, gender diverse and more sustainable sourced. The relevance of the #metoo and #blacklivesmatter movements have come into play here and have allowed the conscious shopper to express their opinions on these social matters. Also, the maturation of Generation Z is realized as a pivot and shift by the food marketplace. 5. GLOBAL TRENDS WITHOUT LEAVING THE HOME: Global flavors offer the culinary experience without departing the home kitchen. For example, there is increase prominence for the culinary experience from parts of the globe often overlooked like the African cuisine. Similary, other often overlooked flavors will take center state such as Scandinavia, Cambodia and Senegal. Examples of such global culinary delights include: Cambodian chile pastes, Fonio grains from Senegal,  and Sea buckthorns; 6. FUNCTIONAL INGREDIENTS: With health concerns at center stage during the pandemic, functional ingredients will be sought by the health conscious consumers. In particular, producst the boost immunity and stress management will gain importance into 2021. Women's health, Sleep assistance, Cardiovascular health, Fermented honey sauce and prebiotic-laced snacks for digestive health and immunity boost are examples. Mushroom powders, Tumeric products, CBD, Adaptogens and MCT are all gaining emergence and meteroric relevance in the food service industry. 7. PLANT-BASED CONTINUING REVOLUTION: During Covid-19 lockdowns, plant-based products interestingly enough gained a significant boost in sales especially the milk and other dairy and meat alternatives. The SFA estimates an annual growth of between 10% to 20% in the next five years. Examples include: meatless mixes for home cooking, dairy-free made with aquafaba, cashew cheesy sauce, plant-based tzatziki greek sauce, oat milk chocolate and cactus made chips. There seems to be a "re-branding" occurence as plant-based allowing more options in chili, soups and various tomato-based sauces. 8. LESS SUGAR AND NATURAL SUGARS: Relevant to the conscious and health based consumer, there is a pivot for these shoppers to align themselves towards products that offer less sugar or natural sugars with low glycemic indexes. This trend will continue well into 2021 due to the expanding popularity of alternative sweeteners such as: monk fruit, keto-friendly sugars and coconut sugars. Other examples include: peach sweetened hot sauces, carrot sweetened jams, Asian cane sugar, sugar-free Carolina BBQ sauce and dates sweetened sauces. 9. HALVA: Halva is emerging in 2021 due to growing demand for Tahini sauce and its naturally vegan appeal. Examples include the black sesame flavors in ice creams and latte. This Middle Eastern confection is popular due to its high iron content. Other examples in Specialty Food LIve! include: halva butter from sesame paste for toast, biscuits and ice cream and halva slices in flavors like toasted coconut and triple chocolate. The eleven (11) 2020 SFA Panelists were: 1. Melanie Zanoza Bartelme (Mintel); 2. Monifa Dayo (The Supperclub); 3. Jonathan Deustch, PhD (Drexel Food Core Lab); 4. Andrew Freeman (af&co); 5. Illyanna Maisonet (Puerto Rican food columnist); 6. Clara Park (Chelten House Products); 7. Chef Tu David Phu (TDP Enterprises, LLC); 8. Wendy Robinson (Market Hall Foods); 9. Leith Steel (Carbonate); 10. Chris Styler (Freelance Food, LLC); 11. Bryant Terry (Museum of the African DiasporaSF). (All texts by Rene Zamora, Photographer/Reporter, Newsmexx TV, Henderson, Nevada  USA).

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