Replicating restaurant and travel experience in the home kitchen, values-based shopping and functional ingredients to support and maintain health top the list of 2021 rising trend predictions from the Specialty Food Association Trendspotter Panel.
With the continuing coronavirus pandemic keeping record numbers of people close to home, growing social awareness affecting purchasing decisions and a maturing Gen Z population, the growth of the $158.4 billion specialty food category is positioned to fill consumers’ needs.
“COVID-19 has a massive impact on trend predictions heading into 2021, as consumers cook and eat at home more, turning to everyday meals and special treats to comfort and support their mental and physical well-being,” says Denise Purcell, director of content for the Specialty Food Association. “We’re seeing several trends around experimenting with flavors and ingredients, as well as turning to functional or plant-based foods and twists on classic products to avoid menu fatigue.”
The Trendspotter Panel, composed of professionals representing diverse segments in the culinary world, have identified the following trends for 2021. Several members of the panel also trendspotted at the SFA’s recent Specialty Food Live! virtual marketplace and identified food and beverage examples from that event for each trend.