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Food trends 2021


Predicting trends for the food and beverage industry is no easy task, especially after a tumultuous 2020. But as 2020 is (finally) behind us with all the upheaval and devastation it brought to an industry, we all love so much, we would like to give our humble take on what is cooking on the food scene in 2021 with the hope of better times to come.

Together with our in-house chef Jan Zoutenbier we have listed our predictions for some of the trends that we think will dominate the industry in 2021:

1. Still big on sustainability

It might be a stretch to still define the emphasis on sustainability as a trend, so let’s call it a change of mindset instead, where an overall sustainable approach to life is becoming the new normal. For many consumers this means a shift towards low impact or local businesses as well as brands and producers, that align with the individual values such as ‘less food waste’, ‘reduced carbon-footprint’, ‘recyclable plastics’ or ‘sustainable fisheries’. And speaking of reducing food waste, the root-to-stem/nose-to-tail dining is expected to continue to gain momentum:

“We see a clear trend in the industry, where untraditional ingredients such as seaweed, insects or upcycled food normally considered as food waste help reduce the overall energy consumption of the product. In general, we want to work with and relate to products and companies that both make good products as well as do good in the world.”
 – Jan Zoutenbier, Head chef and Product Developer at Royal Greenland.

2. Frozen food

When the lockdowns hit across Europe in the spring of 2020, many restaurants were faced with huge inventories of fresh food and no customers to serve, resulting inevitably in an amount of wasted food. Times are still not back to normal, with societies still shifting between re-opening and going back into lockdown. Because of this, we believe frozen food will experience a renewed focus due to the obvious advantages of a flexible inventory and stable prices in these challenging times.

“In many cases, frozen can be better than fresh. The product is frozen at its peak of nutrients and - for seafood particularly - often only a few hours after catch.”
 – Jan Zoutenbier, Head chef and Product Developer at Royal Greenland.

3. Food to-go: In-home restaurant experiences

It is no surprise that the biggest trend of 2020 will continue long into 2021. Restaurants – including the fine-dining segment, that rely heavily on presentation and overall experience have had to pivot into providing fantastic meals for guests to serve at home.

“I see this trend continuing well into 2021 and it might even expand into fine-dining meal kits, as consumers look towards smaller celebrations and occasion dining in their homes or over to more casual dishes such as breakfast kits as we grow tired of cooking all our meals at home.”
– Jan Zoutenbier, Head chef and Product Developer at Royal Greenland.

4. Time consuming experiments and new skills

Fermented or pickled foods, baking with sourdough, dry-aged proteins, kombucha – you name it, lockdowns have made us try them all! The added time at home have pushed us into experimenting more with our food:

 “The lockdowns have presented us with time to immerse into these time-consuming experiments, where we are playing with taste, texture and time for our food in order to intensify and diversify our dining experience.”
 – Jan Zoutenbier, Head chef and Product Developer at Royal Greenland.

Part of this trend might spiral into even more virtual cooking classes, where prominent chefs will share their tips and tricks or how-to’s for their favourite pastime in the kitchen during lockdowns. Get inspired by their online cooking when creating your takeaway menu to tap into this consumer trend or for menu prep once the world opens back up again – many of these methods can offer long shelf-life and added flexibility in the kitchen.  

Next news: Catch us at Seafood Expo North America 2020