WGSN's trends reveal what’s next in plant-based innovation, convenient quaffing, functional ingredients and comfort food. Rapid changes fueled by COVID-19 have affected how consumers shop, eat and gather around food.
“With a focus on inspiring and informing strategic new product design, we used a consumer-first approach to analyze and forecast the trends food makers and brands need to know now for future success,” says Kara Nielsen, WGSN’s director of food and drink and a long-time food trend authority. “Our research points to these trends to meet consumer needs and desires next year and to inspire innovative new products with global potential.”
Its eight projected trends for 2021 are:
Make room for labriculture
The food tech arena will surge, with lab-grown beef, seafood and dairy joining plant-based meat and dairy by the end of the year as alternatives to animal products.
Expect tastier vegan tacos, soul food and indulgent snacks from chefs and creators pairing exciting plant-based ingredients with favourite flavors.
Homebound coffee drinking is yielding more convenient coffee formats like concentrates, steeped, single-serve bags and edible coffee snacks.
Along with canned wine, cocktails and hard beverages, 2021 will welcome innovation in sustainable aluminum cans to support our passion for portable potables.
Crazy for cacao
Chocolate lovers will have more to enjoy thanks to resourceful new products being created from cacao pods, and increased attention to cacao’s heritage and preservation.
Burnt basque cheesecake
This buzzy dessert’s oozing, creamy center and alluring charred top will move from Instagram comfort-food darling to menu and freezer-case treat.
It’s been hard to focus this year. Brands will leverage the mental clarity benefits of L-Theanine, the amino acid that powers green tea and other nootropics, to help us think clearly.
Sleepy time eats
Need some rest? Turn to new food and drink designed to promote a good night’s sleep, from natural botanicals, fruits and other nutritious ingredients.