The 7 Top Food and Dining Trends of 2021

Last year marked a dramatic shake up for the food and drinks industry in ways that couldn’t have been predicted. While some of the trends we saw start in 2020 look set to grow in popularity throughout 2021 (from further forays into home cooking to ordering take-out), there are certainly many new dishes that are likely to arrive on our tables this year. In this post we’ll discover what’s on the menu in 2021: from exciting new home dining experiences, to the foods we can rediscover, and the importance of exploring new flavours!

1. Virtual Cooking Classes

As much as we miss the experience of dining out and treating ourselves to the discovery of new dishes, it makes sense that chefs and home cooks are also missing their appreciative audience. As more aspects of our lives have moved online this has highlighted how easy it is to connect with people on the other side of the world. This shift will enable us to discover a diverse range of authentic dishes from across the globe through virtual cookery classes…without even leaving the comfort of our own kitchens! From a fun way to cook with friends and family, to access to tempting offerings of expert tuition by famous chefs and your favourite restaurants, the virtual cooking class is predicted to be a culinary highlight of 2021. At AirCook For You we will soon be embracing this trend, so keep an eye out for our virtual events that will include cook-alongs, bake-alongs and demonstrations!

2. Eco-Friendly Packaging

Another trend of 2021 that deserves to be carried into next year and beyond is the move towards appreciating and supporting eco-friendly packaging. From Riverford, an organic fruit and vegetable box company, moving to 100% home-compostable packaging and more supermarkets offering ‘fill your own’ stations for packaging-free cupboard essentials — being more mindful of what we buy and throw away can only be a positive change.

3. Homemade Pasta

Did you turn your hand to baking sourdough in 2020? Whether persuaded by the empty shelves in supermarkets or a desire to master a new skill in lockdown, after many of us tried it, only a few seem to have continued to nurture their starter dough. Pasta dough is likely to be a little more predictable and still offers a fun afternoon activity with a delicious reward.

4. Stocking the Pantry

With their long shelf life and ability to add a twist to monotonous mid-week meals, one solid prediction for 2021 is the rise of new additions to the pantry and store cupboards. Last year saw a surge in mason jar sales due to the popularity of homemade preserves and pickles — a trend set to continue this year. Alongside those jars you can stock some of the most popular flavours of 2021, such as ‘nduja paste (made of pork and local Calabrian chillies this is a welcome addition to pasta sauces, stews, and pizzas) or amchoor (powdered green mangoes hailing from northern India that add a fruity kick to curries and marinating seafood). Whether you fancy getting self-sufficient by preserving the contents of your vegetable patch for the winter or choose to try flavours from further afield with one of the hot ingredients of 2021, the pantry will be a source of inspiration.

5. Comfort Food

The chill of winter and dark evenings has always brought a craving for warm, comforting dishes. So, while new flavours and recipes are on the horizon, we are also predicted to seek comfort this season through the nostalgic foods of childhood and our most trusted recipes.

6. Loving Local

As we are encouraged to limit travel, this presents a wonderful opportunity to discover and support local shops. Many people are discovering the quality produce on their doorsteps for the first time and, as it has never been more important to support small businesses, this trend is set to continue. From the north to the south, directories are springing up to share a love of local produce. Why not see what you can discover in your area?

7. Easy Plant-Based Alternatives

The Veganuary challenge has been on the rise since 2014, with a record number of 500,000 people pledging to go vegan this month. January may be drawing to a close but this year it’ll be even easier to incorporate plant-based alternatives into your diet, as there has been a boom in the vegan snack market and the search for ‘vegan’ on Deliveroo has led to partners quickly adding more vegan options. Whether you want to continue exploring new recipes or fancy a low-effort alternative that’s good for you and the planet: it looks like 2021 will make it easy to embrace a plant-based diet.

Have you spotted another trend that is going to get big this year? Let us know in the comments below!

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