Arguably 2020 has seen the biggest shift in food trends; not only were families forced to cook more and together at home, but many turned to cultivating vegetable gardens for fresh produce. Sales of seeds skyrocketed around the world. People found a new respect and understanding for the process of 'farm to table'.
Experimentation in the home kitchen also thrived. As most people had more time, cooking became a family affair and was more enjoyable. Some products were harder to access so one had to be inventive. There was less waste, and one became more conscious of what we were eating.
But going forward, as we enter a brand new year, celebrity chef Sarah Todd believes we will see an increase in plant-based food and sustainable eating. "I believe there has been a paradigm shift in eating habits. The last 12 months have instilled a new mindset that will continue in 2021. We will think before we spend, meaning home cooking will continue. farmers approach to marketing has matured and customers are now more aware of what is available," she told IANSlife.
Adding: "Restaurants and cafes have been the hardest hit during the pandemic which affects farmers, workers and proprietors. People are making a conscious effort to support them by eating out when they can. This will increase as confidence grows."
Chef Vineet Manocha, Vice President Culinary, Lite Bite Foods feels the year 2020 brought dramatic changes in eating and living habits with "local being the new sustainable... More and more use of local resources, produce, ingredients and equipments and focus on seasonal produce," he added. Manocha lists down a few trends to look out for in 2021:
Healthy all the way: Health food is totally in and immunity boosting foods are trending. The focus will be on choosing the ingredients carefully and eating well in the age of dieting. Wholesome nutritious food will be planned by us which is well balanced as per the principles of Ayurveda. Food also affects your mental health and in this age of pandemic anxiety, it's very important that we eat calming, nutritional food.
Heirloom and ancient ingredients: There will be a lot of experimentation on Heirloom varieties like ragi, barley, millets, teff and spelt. More and more focus will be on lost ingredients and lost recipes. Home chefs are bringing in a lot of traction on ancient recipes. It's not difficult in India to move back to sustainable heirloom ingredients as we just have to look back two generations. There is a lot of focus on reviving the old cooking methods, cookware, techniques and recipes. There is a growing appreciation for Ghee and cold-pressed seed oils which were used by our ancestors.
Rise of neighbourhood Foodpreneurs: With growing awareness and campaigns about "Support Local Businesses", many trained chefs will turn entrepreneurs, providing personalised, customized food solutions to limited customer base. This is also supported by the demand for "food with a story". Small menus, customised to needs, changing frequently to provide variety, local sustainability, daily subscription of meal kits, unpretentious dark kitchens etc. will get a further boost this year.
Upcycled food: We are all aware of the threat of food security and rising population. The severity of food wastage is catching up as a trend with the chefs. There will be a growing trend to reduce food wastage as much as possible and develop recipes which can make peels delicious. The trend does not just revolve around Blissful food from waste but also cocktails and beverages using food waste, peels and ingredients like apple pulp, orange peels etc. Blissful recipes will be a big trend in 2021.
Wine Trends for 2021
Sonal Holland, India's only Master of Wine believes in the last quarter of 2020, we have finally seen some buoyancy and a pick-up in sales in the F&B industry. With sales only opening up again in end-August, the industry has been playing catch-up ever since, to try and make back the significant losses faced over the course of the year. Keeping this in mind, her forecast for the wine trends for 2021:
A Thirst for Knowledge: The pandemic was marked by a steep increase in online learning - webinars, Zoom meets, Instagram Lives and more helped people worldwide bide their time, with countless resources becoming available via which people were able to to learn new skills. The wine and beverage industry also saw a lot of knowledge being shared by global experts; I predict that both consumers and professionals in the trade will continue to consume education about beverages and wine, well into the New Year.
A Surge in Specialist Wine Stores & Online Sales: In 2021, I see more consumers seeking out modern wine specialist stores at which to make their purchases. These are typically posh shops located within large food retail formats, shopping malls or multi-theatre complexes. They offer a wider selection of both domestic and international wines; better-informed staff; and overall, a better experience for the consumer.
Another big trend that will continue into the New Year is the purchase of alcohol online. Ever since the Government has allowed online sales of alcohol, consumers have gravitated towards this highly convenient - and pandemic-proof - way of purchasing their favourite beverages. Given that the excise department has seen such a significant dip in revenue this year, I see no reason why the Government won't continue to encourage online liquor sales into the New Year, and even longer.
Wine - An Affordable Luxury: In a year where the affluent haven't had a chance to spend on themselves as much, through international holidays or luxury purchases, a quick and convenient way to consume luxury is by spending on premium wines. Now more than ever, wine has become a luxury that the affluent can splurge on - I see premium wine purchases continuing through the New Year, with the wealthy even looking to trade up, and splurge more than usual on their wines and other luxury beverages.
Wine in Cans: With the recent introduction of wine in cans by brands like Sula and Fratelli, the Indian consumer, who is younger and not as experienced in the world of wines, will have more opportunities to try and enjoy wines in 2021. Wine in cans is a more accessible and price-sensitive way for consumers to sample the beverage, and with their introduction, the hope is that a younger, newer audience will convert to drinking wine.
Blush & Rose Wines: In 2021, I predict that rose still wine from regions all across the world - like French Provence, Italy, Spain and so on, will continue to rise in popularity. Rose wines are incredibly versatile, offering the lightness and freshness of a white wine, but the body and fruit of a red wine. They also pair very well with vegetarian food. One variant in the rose category that will continue to enjoy popularity in the New Year is the blush-coloured styles of Moscato wines. It's a medium-sweet wine and low in alcohol, thus allowing for easy drinking. It's got great aromatics and is especially a hit among lady drinkers. As women continue to embrace wines in 2021, options like Moscato, which are perfumed, sherbet-like and not very expensive, will remain popular.
Dessert Trends for 2021
In the midst of so much uncertainty in 2020, treating took centre stage as it delivered our daily dose of 'small happy'; so as we step into 2021, what better way to celebrate than by looking forward to the delicious and tantalising treats that will emerge over the next twelve months. The Baileys Treat Report 2021 compiled by Baileys, with leading food futurologist Dr. Morgaine Gaye present delicious trends for 2021.
A Drop of Self-care - Unsurprisingly, everyone has been indulging in a bit more self-care in 2020 and the self-care kick will continue. People will be indulging themselves in new botanical drinks that offer qualities like 'calm', 'focus', 'glow' and 'rest', and new fermented beverages like hop water; a non-alcoholic drink with a slight beer or ale taste, will be bigger than ever.
Oat Everything - the humble porridge oats will go centre stage as oat-based milk chocolates, ice creams, cheeses, yoghurts, and even double cream are coming our way.
I Should Cacao! - Cacao pulp, the bit you don't see as it's generally discarded when making chocolate, is a sweet and fruity flesh. You can also expect to see it as a flavourful alternative to coconut water, topped with eye catching edible flowers for the perfect non-alcoholic refresher.
Japanese Indulgence - Japan is a haven for delicious, whimsical treats that will put a smile on your face, and we'll be seeing a massive influx of Japanese inspired wonders including wobbly, fat, pillow-like pancakes and the Taiyaki fish, a soft waffle-like cones in the shape of a fish is stuffed to the gills with ice cream, sprinkles, sauces and wafers.
Spread the Love - Savoury spreads are getting a makeover as they turn to treats. Add a touch of luxury to toast as Sloe Gin spreads and Champagne butters will make the humble piece of bread into a meal fit for royalty.
How's this for a glow-up? - We're talking completely edible algae that will find its way into our favourite cocktails, giving them an incredible other-worldly appearance that will be hard to ignore. Will someone pass us a Glowtini?
As Light as Air - On the coattails of the whipped Dalgona coffee, this treating trend is only growing popularity in 2021. Air will be whipped, injected and stuffed into everything from ice cream to candy floss, giving a light texture that leaves us craving more.
Extra Sweet(s) - They've been around for a few years, but in 2021, some classics get a gloriously adventurous treating make-over as the macaron and Danish pastry get whimsical. Introducing the Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich and the Nougat Crown, with all the muted tones and flavours getting set aside for over the top colour and tastes... already building up a sizeable following in Los Angeles.
Let's hope in the New Year we can finally raise a glass and cheer while we focus on clean and mindful eating.