2021 was a year full of food crazes. We’re still reeling from the Siracha excitement! Whether you craved sweet, spicy, natural or crazy food combinations, 2021 was the year to find it. But we’re guessing there’s even more food fun in store for the future.
The National Restaurant Association and restaurant-research firms have shared what they think we’ll all see on our plates this year. Now it’s DietInReview.com’s turn to predict the biggest food trends of the upcoming year.
Locally Sourced Food
Though there’s still no real standard for what makes something local, we expect that people will still place the origin of their food as a top priority in 2021. More restaurants are promoting local ingredients and more consumers are demanding local meat, fish, and vegetables.
Getting Rid of Gluten
The gluten-free movement will still be alive and kicking in 2021. The United Nations declared this year as “The Year of Quinoa,” so it will be interesting to see what happens as gluten-free diets gain mainstream popularity.
Backlash Against “Food”
We predict that 2021 will be the year of real food. Restaurants are already having a harder time defending dishes that aren’t quite what they seem. The McRib is a perfect example. It likely lost some of its cult-like following when it was revealed the “ribs” are actually made of 70 ingredients.
Pizza Gets Even Better
Pizza: it’s not the best thing for you, and you probably shouldn’t eat it every day. But for those of us pizza-lovers, there is good news. The upcoming year should see more chains making their pies healthier.
Alternate Oils on the Rise
Butter and vegetable oil may be losing their foothold on the baking world. A variety of new oils, like coconut oil, grew in popularity in 2021. That trend will likely continue in the new year. We love all the health benefits of coconut oil, including boosting your metabolism and help manage insulin levels.
We All Go Nuts
Nuts are great sources of nutrients and their list of benefits gets loner each year. A new study found that people who eat nuts regularly are less likely to develop certain diseases, including heart disease and cancer. People are also finding more ways to incorporate nuts into their diet.
Remaking Restaurant Favorites
There’s no denying that there’s a push against high-calorie, less-than-healthy restaurant faire. Consumers want the best of both worlds: great taste and health. Instead of seeking out this perfect combination in a restaurant, diners may start making healthier versions of their favorites at home.
Trans Fats Were Just the Beginning
The FDA’s decision to remove trans fats from the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) list was one we, and many dietitians, applauded. We wouldn’t be surprised if they were just the tip of the iceberg for the FDA which is certainly picking up steam as we head toward 2021.
Donuts are Back
2021 can keep its cronuts. We believe, or maybe it’s just wishful thinking, that donuts will make a comeback in 2021 as the indulgent breakfast food of choice. Sweet or savory, homemade baked donuts can be a great way to fill up without overdoing it on calories, sugar and fat.
Kids Eating Healthier
The distinction between “kid’s food” and “real food” has never been a great one. Kids should eat just as healthfully as adults, if not more so. In 2021 we saw schools begin to make meals healthier, and that trend should continue into 2021.
Meat consumption may be on the rise, but number of people eating vegetarian and vegan diets will only increase in 2021 according to food experts. We love that more people are eating their veggies, and look forward to trying them in new and delicious ways in the coming year!
It was a big year for the anti-GMO movement, and the next promises to be even bigger. The conversation about GMO labeling no longer only takes place in niche groups, this dialogue has quickly become a full-blown social movement. We’re thinking 2021 might be the year the GMO labeling becomes an actuality!