Top 10 healthy food trends 2021
What healthy foods will we be eating in 2021? Whole Foods Market predicts the top 10 healthy food trends for the year ahead
Hard kombucha, upcycled foods, levelled-up breakfasts and jerky made from produce are among the food influences expected to take off in the coming year, according to Whole Foods Market experts.
While its predictions for 2020, including regenerative agriculture, new varieties of flour and meat-plant blends, continue to evolve, the 2021 trends represent what’s new and next for the coming year and what consumers should expect to see on the food scene.
“There have been radical shifts in consumer habits in 2020,” says Sonya Gafsi Oblisk, chief marketing officer. “For example, shoppers have found new passions for cooking, they’ve purchased more items related to health and wellness, and more are eating breakfast at home every day compared to pre-Covid. Food trends are a sign of the times, and our 2021 trends are no exception.”
1. WELLBEING IS SERVED
The lines are blurring between the supplement and grocery aisles, and that trend will accelerate in 2021. That means superfoods, probiotics, broths and sauerkrauts. Suppliers are incorporating functional ingredients like vitamin C, mushrooms and adaptogens to foster a calm headspace and support the immune system. For obvious reasons, people want this pronto.
2. EPIC BREAKFAST EVERY DAY
With more people working from home, the most important meal is getting the attention it deserves, not just on weekends, but every day. There’s a whole new lineup of innovative products tailored to people paying more attention to what they eat in the morning. Think pancakes on weekdays and even ‘eggs’ made from mung beans.
3. BASICS ON FIRE
With more time in the kitchen, home chefs are looking for hot, new takes on pantry staples. Pasta, sauces, spices — the basics will never be boring again. Get ready for reimagined classics like hearts of palm pasta, applewood-smoked salt and ‘meaty’ vegan soup.
4. COFFEE BEYOND THE MUG
The love affair between humans and coffee burns way beyond a brewed pot of joe. That’s right, java is giving a jolt to all kinds of food. You can now get your coffee fix in the form of coffee-flavoured bars and granolas, smoothie boosters and booze, even coffee yogurt for those looking to crank up that breakfast parfait.
5. BABY FOOD, ALL GROWN UP
Thanks to some inspired culinary innovation, parents have never had a wider or richer range of ingredients to choose from. We’re talking portable, on-the-go squeeze pouches full of rhubarb, rosemary, purple carrots and omega-3-rich flaxseeds. Little eaters, big flavours.
6. UPCYCLED FOODS Peels and stems have come a long way from the compost bin. We’re seeing a huge rise in packaged products that use neglected and underused parts of an ingredient as a path to reducing food waste. Upcycled foods, made from ingredients that would have otherwise been food waste, help to maximise the energy used to produce, transport and prepare that ingredient. Dig in, do good.
7. OIL CHANGE
Slide over, olive oil. There’s a different crop of oils coming for that place in the skillet or salad dressing. At-home chefs are branching out with oils that each add their own unique flavour and properties. Walnut and pumpkin seed oils lend a delicious nutty flavour, while sunflower seed oil is hitting the shelves in a bunch of new products and is versatile enough to use at high temps or in salad dressing.
8. BOOZED-UP POOCH
We tipped you off about hard seltzer bursting on the scene in 2018, and now alcoholic kombucha is making a strong flex on the beverage aisle. Hard kombucha checks all the boxes: It’s gluten-free, it’s super bubbly and can be filled with live probiotic cultures. Cheers to that!
9. THE MIGHTY CHICKPEA
You can chickpea anything. Yep, the time has come to think beyond hummus and falafel, and even chickpea pasta. Rich in fibre and plant-based protein, chickpeas are the new cauliflower — popping up in products like chickpea tofu, chickpea flour and even chickpea cereal. That’s garbanzo-bonkers.
10. FRUIT AND VEGGIE JERKY
Jerky isn’t just for meat lovers anymore. Now all kinds of produce from mushrooms to jackfruit are being served jerky-style, providing a new, shelf-stable way to enjoy fruits and veggies. The produce is dried at the peak freshness to preserve nutrients and yumminess. If that’s not enough, suppliers are literally spicing things up with finishes of chilli, salt, ginger and cacao drizzle.