The corona virus pandemic has successfully crossed the year with us. This was not in the cards because everyone was busy talking about what they will do “after Corona.”
The global food market trends in 2021 will for the first time be guided by the effects of a global pandemic.
This is new because we have been used to lying to our bodies that we will take care of them for the whole year in the pretense of new year resolutions, only to resort to our junky ways of life and blame it on the luscious junk food displays in ads and our busy schedules.
As we have seen in the best part of last year all the food trends were pointed towards eating healthy foods. This year will be no different especially with the way that the virus is actively finding new ways to remain with us.
As we kick off the year, I have dug out a few important things we should expect in the food trends 2021 from the farms to the consumers.
1. More Focus on Immune Boosters
We have realized that in recent times, Instagram is no longer a place we go and immediately start feeling hungry as we salivate on those yummy-looking junk foods posted by vloggers.
No one wants to post themselves eating yams, pumpkins, and those gross-looking healthy smoothies on their timelines.
Actually, few people want to be seen eating vegan diets or keto diets for reasons best known to them.
We tend to leave the important healthy pictures to be posted by food bloggers and dieticians yet these are the foods that people are actually consuming more in the background.
I do not suggest you showcase them, but it is important to note that you are setting a food trend for the year 2021.
If you are a farmer or food producer, take note of the trend and avail more foods that boost immunity such as fruits (especially lime, oranges, lemons, kiwi, tree tomato, pawpaw, grapes), seafood, garlic, ginger, honey, turmeric, vegetables, green tea, super seeds (especially sunflower, sesame, chia, pumpkin, flax).
2. Less Demand for Street Food
People are skeptical, especially when confronted by something out of the ordinary.
With the pandemic raging on, there have been so many rumors and hearsay about its effects on food safety.
Since no one wants to be a guinea pig in the numerous scientific studies on the virus and whether it can spread through food, people will simply lean on the cautious side and try as much as possible to avoid street food.
We are bound to see more people resorting to growing and cooking their own food at home rather than buying food outside.
I have seen more people getting interested in recipes on Cookpad and also on some of my country food blogs such as Kaluhi’s Kitchen and Nimoh’s Kitchen that makes me believe that everyone is keen on getting into the kitchen and making meals they can trust.
Other than the threat of the COVID-19 virus, people are also becoming increasingly cautious about other foodborne diseases such as Listeria, Botulism, and salmonella poisoning that have currently been on the rise.
However, I believe this trend is going to be short-lived because humans just can’t find a way to defeat the urge that comes with seeing and smelling good food on the streets.
3. Alternative Flour and Sugar
Let no one lie to you that porridge is baby food or a poor man’s food.
I am in the business of selling flour as a small scale trader and I can assure you that the number of people opting for wimbi (millet flour), mtama/mawele (sorghum flour), mhogo (cassava flour) is astonishingly high.
This has made millers creative in their quest to satisfy this market by creating nutritious flour products through integration of ingredients in the flour such as omena (silver cyprinid), terere (amaranthus), karanga (peanuts), pumpkin seeds, and soy beans.
A good number of the city population is also moving away from refined maize flour to the more nutritious whole grain flour.
Similar trends can be seen in wheat flour and wheat products where brown flour is fast increasing in popularity across the globe.
Generally, the term processed food is gradually becoming one of the most feared and controversial terms in the food markets.
The debates on whether these processed foods are safe for consumption or not still rages on with everyone on both sides of the debate taking strong stances about their opinions on the subject.
Everyone is also trying to move away from refined sugars to other alternatives.
In this case, honey is the preferred natural alternative and is quickly gaining traction as the trending food in 2021. Over to you beekeepers.
4. Local Food Consumption
You probably have noticed an influx of some fruit or vegetable in your market that was never there or wasn’t easily available in your locality.
With the pandemic, most countries have adopted strategies that would make them self-sufficient in feeding their population. This only means one thing to farmers.
Target more local consumers.
We may argue about our local consumption capabilities and other factors, but the train has left the station. We either adapt to the new market food trends 2021 or die complaining about our miseries.
There is a growing number of local entrepreneurs who have taken the cue and are ready to popularize their products in the local markets.
5. Home Deliveries is the Thing
Who doesn’t like to be lazy on a boring Saturday afternoon and just dial for some ready-made food? The internet is here and the pandemic is also here; which means our lifestyles will never be the same again.
Most food trends in 2020 touched on increased online food delivery platforms and looking back, the trend lived up to expectations.
2021 and the subsequent years will see even more activities inclined in home deliveries.
Any food producer who will be rigid for their own reasons and wait for customers in their premises will end up Blakberrying or Kodaking themselves out of business.
6. Online Cooking Classes and Recipes
Everyone else who will not be ordering their foods online will be busy on their phones and computers trying to master a cooking skill or following an interesting recipe.
If you are a content creator in love with food like me, you wouldn’t want to stay far from that segment of the population.
As more people work from home and continue observing high cleanliness standards due to the pandemic, it is expected that many will want to spare some time to sharpen their culinary skills and impress the masses. Masters, bring on the recipes.
7. Upward Trend in Food Production
We all know how the pandemic came with the devil of job losses across the globe.
To most smart and able youths who did not go into self-pity, they went back to the basics and leased some land or revamped their idle land back home to do some serious farming.
If you see what I am seeing, then you know that this year will be a year of plentiful if mother nature embraces our hustler’s nation spirit of never say die.
Restrictions of mobility will also mean companies sourcing raw materials from within and thus investing more on local farmers.
It is thus safe to say that the food trends in 2021 will be slowing us down from the fast-paced life we had been cruising on and bringing us down to the basics of healthy living.
Enjoy the new destination and let me know if there is an important food trend you think I omitted in this list.