What will we eat in this 2021? The new trends coming

How are gastronomic hits born? And how do companies move following food trends? We tell you what we will eat and drink the most in 2021.

Research, intuitions, desires that become imperatives, data that have transformed ingredients such as kimchi, pulled pork and artisanal gin into gastronomic hits :how a gastronomic smash is created that invades the marketthese are the gears at the basis of the food trends that are proposed or proposed every year. But, after infesting social media with the most instagrammable photos , bored consumers want and look for more. But is it really possible to create a food trend with hearts, likes and retweets ? Or is there something else, bigger, behind it? Perry Haydn Taylor , founder of the Big Fish branding consultance agency, thinks consumers behave like dogs: they wag their tails at the slightest hint of novelty and bark at each other on social media. “ Food is fashion ”, he adds. What drives this excitement around a product? The differentiation . Tony Naylor on theThe Guardian points out that the wide range of Fever-Tree tonics has created an aura of quality and refinement around the product.

Trends start from Instagram

The most followed social network among foodies around the world is undoubtedly Instagram . Companies all over the world are competing to capture users’ attention through the stories and posts of the most followed influencers, won with free gifts. The most active at the moment are vegan companies . As Miguel Barclay , a foodie famous for his one pound meals , explains , vegan companies have taken social action to a whole other level. “They track anyone who uses the vegan hashtag , build a network of 200 influencers and bombard them with gifts. That’s why most people promote things they don’t give a damn about . “

The role of chefs and restaurants

Nicola Lando , owner of the online store of special ingredients Sous Chef, is one of those people who constantly keeps their eyes open for the next kimchi. According to her, the endorsement of important chefs and the most famous penne in food and wine still counts. If a star of the kitchen picks it up, the ingredient takes on a new light. Just think that the barbecue or the cooking with the fire itself , the bao buns  have all come to the fore thanks to the restaurants . Supermarkets just go with the flow. 

Follow the insiders

Journalists, bartenders, food bloggers and insiders are still very important in determining food trends. They determine the credibility of an idea. It happened with the avocado . Two decades ago, the London PR agency Richmond & Towers also contributed to unleashing this real craze . He started working for the South African Avocado Growers Association talking about the country to journalists, cooks, ambassadors. Cookbooks popped up and hundreds of tutorials taught families how to eat the fruit and even what to do with the pit. After twenty years, the British agency considers the avocado case its greatest success. Perhaps now more attention would be paid to phenomena like these, which have a dark side: the ecological factor.

Monitor the data

Then there are the data, those that emerge from online stores and social networks. Martyn Lee of Waitrose is monitoring the growing popularity of guanciale across Italian cookbooks in the UK and restaurant orders. By connecting the dots, we can understand what will end up on our plate. For example, in the Covid-19 era, preferences seem to be shifting towards comfort food , with some attention to home -grown ingredients. 

How food becomes famous

Toni Petersson , a Scandinavian oat milk producer, loves taunts. He recently asked for the Co2 rate associated with the production of food products to be indicated. For his product he came up with a provocative (unapproved) slogan: “ It’s like milk, but made for humans “. Oatly’s target is the post-milk generation . Talk to them through trendy coffee shops, retail stores, and even a coffee culture site, oatlybarista.com. Coffee fanatics have become the brand’s biggest supporters, online and on social media. Fiona Beauchamp of the Bray Leino agency recalls the case of skrei (pronounced skray). Working for the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC), the team used skrei this rare, high-quality cod from starred menus, turning it into a glamorous product. The target? Valuing the Norwegian economy. The skrei has spread. From 2012 to 2018 he was everywhere, also thanks to the action of two chef ambassadors, Michel Roux Jr and Simon Hulstone of the Elephant, in Torquay.

Thanks to the popularity of sriracha , the Sichuan spicy oil and pepper sauce known as Lao Gan Ma , it had an easy time. It was created by Tao Huabi, owner of a noodles stall. The sauce has had an uncontrolled success. In the mid-1990s it was sold all over the world, earning its creator $ 1.05 billion. All thanks to word of mouth , which still makes it its fortune. In May 2020, Eater greeted a wave of chef-made chili oils and many were inspired by Lao Gan Ma. Spicy fans just spread the word.

The food trends of 2021

After the extensive review Naylor goes to the point and asks his British experts: what will we eat and drink in 2021?


  1. It will be the year of corn ribs cutlets made from corn cobs, cut to resemble those of animal origin. The pioneer of this trend is the immense David Chang , who proposed them in his Momofuku Ssam Bar.
  2. What for us is a solid certainty, in the country of Brexit will become an ingredient to have at all costs: we are talking about the pillow . Objective: to create a real carbonara.
  3. Green chickpeas will also be very popular, very popular for a colorful hummus, but also used for salads or pilaf.
  4. Another big trend will be hard seltzers , moderately alcoholic drinks, low in calories, containing sparkling water, often flavored with fruit, flowers or spices. The alcohol content is often obtained from the direct addition of wine, liqueurs or distillates, when not to fermented products deriving from cane sugar or (here is the connection with the brewing sector) from barley malt. Mixologists see hard seltzers as one of the drinks that will console us in 2021 .
  5. This will also be the year of teff , an African cereal that is very easy to cook and highly sustainable.
  6. carob sackWell known to our grandparents, even the carob is preparing for the rescue . In the past, its powder was used as a substitute for chocolate in confectionery. 
  7. The table beer – or bière de table – is the beer that everyone at the table can drink. Great flavors, very little alcohol, it fits a lot of dishes and could also be suitable for children. 
  8. The flavored salts are back in the limelight: according to Nicola Lando they can embellish any type of preparation, from ribs to boiled eggs. 
  9. Vegan cuisine, which is driving many trends including that of pseudo-cereals, is pushing a lot on banana buds , proposed as substitutes for fish. 
  10. And speaking of substitutions, there are those who look to Eringi mushrooms with great interest as a substitute for steaks and scallops. After all, Chinese cuisine has also become famous for its rich history of ingredients capable of replacing practically everything we are used to eating.

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