Given what we have experienced in 2020, I suspect many of us are happy that 2021 is around the corner. Although a new number on the calendar won’t change much with the pandemic, it is offering us a renewed opportunity to find something new to focus on. Beyond holiday celebrations, another highly anticipated aspect of the end of the year is the release of forward-thinking trends’ reports — and this year is no different.
Whole Foods Market, Austin, Texas, unveiled its Top 10 anticipated food trends for 2021 in the retailer’s sixth annual trends predictions. Influenced by the state of the food industry, the 2021 trends report reveals some of the early ways the food industry is adapting and innovating in response to COVID-19 for a post-pandemic food world.
“There have been radical shifts in consumer habits in 2020. 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,” said Sonya Gafsi Oblisk, chief marketing officer at Whole Foods Market, in a statement.
Among the trends, a handful will impact the beverage market, including Well-Being is Served, Coffee Beyond the Mug and Boozed Up Booch. For Well-Being is Served, the retailer notes that brands are incorporating functional ingredients like vitamin C, mushrooms and adaptogens to foster a calm headspace and support the immune system. With Coffee Beyond the Mug, Whole Foods notes that foods are adding coffee to their flavor profiles, while alcohol products also are developing hard coffee varieties. Boozed Up Booch reminds readers that in 2018 the retailer prognosticated the rise of hard seltzer. With hard kombucha, Whole Foods pinpoints that the bubbly beverage is gluten free and filled with live probiotic cultures.
Innova Market Insights, Arnhem, The Netherlands, also released its Top Ten Trends for 2021 report, which include Transparency Triumphs, Plant-Forward, Tailored to Fit, New Omnichannel Eating and In Tune With Immune.
“The ever-evolving food and beverage industry has seen a significant consumer push for transparency throughout the supply chain, immunity-boosting products and the use of technology. 2021 is a huge year for opportunities and innovation that meet these needs,” said Lu Ann Williams, director of insights and innovation at Innova Market Insights.
Analysts also are reassessing previous trend predictions to add in the COVID-19 factor. In a Sip & Learn podcast episode, I spoke with Kishan Vasani, co-founder and chief executive officer of Spoonshot, to get an update on the company’s “8 Biggest Food Trend Predictions for 2021 & Beyond” report, which was updated in September following its original October 2019 release.