2021 Food Trends – What Happens Now?

Posted by Chad Ablondi

For what has now been over a year in which we have all have experienced life altering events and changes, we have begun to adapt, rethink and institute new ways to go through our day to day. 
Those in the foodservice world have faced enormous adversity, many restaurants and companies are no longer here, however there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. Restrictions in many places are lightening in others they remain tight as we continue to navigate this situation. Some restaurants have begun to return while new places are starting to test the waters and try to find success in the most difficult of times. Business has changed for many and so have the trends, but we will find a way work within the confines and develop new ways to be successful. 


Here are some trends for the Summer of 2021 to keep an eye on: 


African Cuisine Gets the Notoriety It Deserves 


What seems well overdue is African Cuisine getting its time to shine and for more people to experience flavors of a culture that is often cast aside. Many cuisines like Haitian, Jamaican and Dominican use flavors and concepts of African food and many of us are none the wiser. These flavors show themselves in many more cuisines and it's time for the mainstream to start experiencing the wonderful tastes it has to offer. 


Comfort Over Concept 


Artistry and complexity will always be celebrated and have its place in dining. However, comfort will be reigning supreme this summer and for the foreseeable future as the upset of COVID heals. Just as its name, Comfort Food can provide a sense of home and warmth that is needed in these emotional times. Comfort Food also doesn’t mean simple, comfort food is always being taken to the next level and often has the most experimentation done to it in search of the most satisfying flavor profiles. Keep you and your stomach happy this summer! 


Online Cooking Courses 


Eating at home regularly may be a part of the new post-pandemic world, but that doesn’t mean restaurants have to miss out on the opportunities. Take-out and delivery are obviously the most popular non-home cooked options of late but another way to reach customers who are less willing to join you back in-doors this summer is by offering online cooking courses. This offers guests a way to connect with their favorite restaurants and try some of your meals for themselves. Not only will you be able to hang on to their patronage, but you will offer a deeper connection that will have them coming back when they feel comfortable. 


Environmentally Friendly Packaging 


Take-out is here to stay but unfortunately that means that single-use packaging is also still in high-demand. This creates a dilemma with all the trash and litter that occurs from it. With take-out still being a popular choice and not something going away, working towards more eco-friendly packaging will also help lighten the tole on the environment. Biodegradable packaging and the use of more recyclable items like cardboard and paper products will become more of a norm as we adapt into the summer. 


Plant-Based Hits the Mainstream 


Plant-based foods don’t have to be just enjoyed by Vegans and Vegetarians, these healthy alternatives have come a long way in flavor and use. Many of us have sought to change during the pandemic and use our time at home to better ourselves, eating healthy and trying new foods that are out of our comfort zone can be one of those changes. Eating plant-based foods doesn’t mean you have to make the switch to Vegan, but it can be an interesting change for a few meals a week that will leave you satisfied 


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