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10 Big Food Trends For 2021: Nutrition Hacking, Kitchen Boredom And More

Benzinga logo Benzinga 12/18/2020 Jayson Derrick
a woman standing in front of a bowl © Provided by Benzinga

Food intelligence platform company Tastewise scanned billions of food data points across social media interactions, recipes, restaurant menus, and more to identify the top 10 food trends for 2021.

1. Nutrition Hacking: A rise of pop culture interest and easy access to nutritional information created a "generation of health 'armchair expert' consumers," Tastewise said.

2. Kitchen Boredom: Consumers developed or improved their kitchen skills throughout the pandemic. Many adventurous home cooks will embrace global ingredients and spices, including Indian and Korean spices.

While not mentioned in the Tastewise report, companies like McCormick & Company (NYSE: MKC) might benefit from the trend. The company sells many international flavors, including Indian spice mixes and a Korean BBQ marinade.

3. Food For Mental Health: Search trends for food and beverages to help with anxiety, treat stress relief, or provide comfort rose during the earlier stages of the pandemic and remain elevated compared to pre-COVID levels, according to Tastewise.

4. Craft Beverages: People unable to frequent bars discovered a new interest in cocktail making, especially those with a "nutritional or functional punch."


Gallery: These 16 New Food Companies Are Changing the Way We Eat (GOBankingRates)

Related Link: GrubHub's 'Taste Of 2020' Rankings: Spicy Chicken Sandwich Reigns Supreme, And People Love Pineapple On Pizza

5. Meal Kits: Meal kits saw a 232% year-over-year increase in interest during the pandemic. Organic and fresh kits saw outsized interest while those that serve a specific dietary need will see continued growth in 2021.

One of the pure-play ways investors can gain exposure to the space is through a company like Blue Apron Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: APRN).

6. Simple And Healthy: Many people are becoming more adventurous in the kitchen while others just want food that is simple and healthy. Some examples include three-ingredient cookies, egg-forward dishes, and creative oats.

7. Plant-Based Foods: Plant-based food and beverages attracted the attention of consumers looking for nutritious alternatives from companies like Beyond Meat Inc (NASDAQ: BYND). The category has shifted away from an alternative to meat but has become its own category.

8. Climate Conscious: Consumers paid more attention to environmental concerns in 2019 but this trend was paused in 2020 due to the pandemic. But food linked with sustainability will see renewed interest in 2021.

9. Gluten-Free: Gluten-free food trends continue to grow steadily but should see rising interest in 2021 as gluten-free food and beverage choices become more mainstream.

10. Transparency in Marketing: Food brands that promote health benefits will likely see greater consumer interest. Examples include brands that promote ingredients that help with bloating.

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