October 20, 2020
Whole Foods Market global buyers and experts have released their list of top 10 food trends anticipated for 2021. This is the supermarket chain's sixth annual trend predictions.
The new report reveals some ways the food industry is adapting in response to COVID-19.
"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.
The list of 2021 food trend predictions is below and you can read the full breakdown online. A Trends Council of more than 50 Whole Foods Market team members compiled the trend predictions.
Health and wellness is expanding, with consumers looking specifically for products that support the immune system. More suppliers will incorporate functional ingredients like vitamin C, mushrooms and adaptogens into their products, according to Whole Foods.
"For obvious reasons, people want this pronto," the report states.
Pancakes aren't just for brunch anymore. More people are working from home, leading to more people taking the time to eat breakfast during the week.
"There's a whole new lineup of innovative products tailored to people paying more attention to what they eat in the morning," according to Whole Foods.
The COVID-19 crisis also has lead to more home cooks. Consumers are seeking new takes on pantry staples like pasta, sauces and spices.
The prediction for next year is that "the basics will never be boring again."
Coffee-lovers will be able to find more coffee-flavored products, including bars and granolas, smoothie boosters, yogurt and alcoholic drinks.
There will be a boom in portable, on-the-go squeeze pouches, the report predicts. Ingredients may include rhubarb, rosemary, purple carrots and omega-3-rich flaxseeds.
With consumers interested in sustainability and reducing food waste, there will be an increased interest in upcycled foods.
Cooking oil is one specific pantry item that will expand in options. Home cooks will be able to try new products like walnut or pumpkin seed oils.
"We tipped you off about hard seltzer bursting on the scene in 2018, and now alcoholic kombucha is making a strong flex on the beverage aisle," Whole Foods says. "Hard kombucha checks all the boxes: It's gluten-free, it's super bubbly and can be filled with live probiotic cultures. Cheers to that!"
Sorry, cauliflower. It's all about the chickpea now. There's even chickpea cereal.
Don't be surprised when you see mushrooms or jackfruit served as jerky. It's a "new, shelf-stable way to enjoy fruits and veggies," states the report. The produce is dried at its peak freshness and some are spiced with things like chili, salt and ginger.