So, the year 2020 pulled a fast one on everyone across the world and it’s still reeling from it. No, no, not yet out of the woods, but we humans are resilient creatures, and you can slowly see the fight to get all this mess cleared out and start on a clean slate.
All industries took a hit due to the pandemic, but probably not as bad as the food and dining industry. But by adapting to the situation, this food and dining scene has changed quite a bit.
Here’s what we think are or will be the biggest food trends in 2021.
Dining Will Become Special Again
With a heightened consumeristic world before 2020, dining out had become an everyday affair for so many. But with the restrictions and lock downs still persisting all over the world, people will now find reasons and occasions again to go out and dine together, much like old times. Dining out will become a special momentous occasion to enjoy and savor again!
Going Back to Cultural Cuisines
Ever since the pandemic played out, a lot of people started home cooking and a lot of businesses took off that were started from home, by chefs who were out of jobs or who took this opportunity to start their own businesses. A lot of them started going back to their culinary roots and that really hit the mark. You wouldn’t find a lot of ethnic restaurants before except for very broadly defined cuisines like say, Thai or Chinese, or Korean. But now a lot of niche cuisines are picking up like, say, African-American amongst many.
Intimacy Will Increase
It will be sometime before people start to mingle in large gatherings or at least, they will be really cautious about it. A lot of people have found joy in meeting and celebrating in intimate and groups. Restaurants and chefs have also taken this time out to create new menus and new ways of creating that intimate experience. And that we think will take off in a big way.
Heritage Cooking Will Show Up
A lot has happened other than just the pandemic. And some of them were world issues that created paradigm shifts in the way we looked at the world around us and treated the people we lived with. Sensitivity has increased and so has curiosity for cultures and a deeper sense of acceptance and warmth. That has helped in the need to look back at what the migrant populations all over the world have brought and infused in the mainstream cultures.
Takeouts and Delivery
Governments all over the world encouraged and continue to do so with takeouts and deliveries to help businesses from floundering. People started improvising on niche cuisines, age-old traditional cuisines, and some even started honing their family cuisines. Along with that the regulars became hot favorites too. Pizzas, fish n’ chips, paellas, biryanis, hotdogs and burgers have become high demand items.
A lot of home cooks, chefs who started businesses from home, or moved away from the restaurant scenes, have taken to adopting new menus and tending to the parallel segments of vegan cooking, gluten-free foods and catering to those who are lactose-intolerant, which again was way too niche before.
Packaging will go a notch up too. People are way more eco-friendly, and more conscious of what they give back to their environments. Even though a lot of the businesses have and will move from home, packaging will take great importance too, because presentation still plays a big role in keeping things palatable, warm or cold as required by the food ordered, branding, and being eco-friendly.
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Online Cooking Classes
It’s almost as if people took the year gone by as a gift of time and started to use it positively to learn new skills, or hone their skills and this was most helped by personalized cooking boxes and online cooking classes, tutorials and videos. Chefs started to interact more personally with their clients or created a whole new customer base who just wanted to get better in their cooking and wanted to create a fine dining experience at home. Some also wanted easy ways to get over with their dining duties. Whatever be the expectations and demands, whatever be the language, there are suddenly options galore and everything customized.
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Businesses Are Getting Diversified
Allied industries like vessels and utensils, cooking gadgets and the likes are fast becoming a demanding segment. Cocktail mixers, baking utensils and molds, mixers and blenders, slow cookers, crockpots are just the tip of the iceberg. Chefs are creating brand lines and these are fast being catered to and met with all kinds of excitement from the interested population.
With the fear or rather skepticism of the indoors, more and more restaurants and dining venues are moving outdoors or are offering the opportunities of getting closer to nature. Piquing people’s interest in embracing nature and getting outdoorsy for fear of the contagious world, fine dining restaurants are creating the out-of-home luxury destinations for dining amidst nature, say, forests or by the beach or on top of a tree or simple, custom designer picnics.
We wouldn’t want to say that the year was all bad. Of course, it was and still is horrific and extremely tragic to families and individuals suffering from Covid or who are caught in its web, but something else happened alongside the pandemic. And that was the humanization of everything. Everyone took a step back and found security in their closest families, connected with loved ones, learnt to be patient and quieten the mind and realized that you do not really need much to live a grander, nicer, and a more meaningful life.
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