Bidfood Reveals The Hottest Trends Set To Dominate The Rest Of 2021

With the food and drink landscape having changed dramatically foodservice provider Bidfood has updated its food and drinks trends for 2021 in line with the shift in consumer behaviour as the UK begins to emerge from the damage of the pandemic.

Bidfood analyzed the current food and drink trends to understand how they have manifested and evolved so far in 2021, and which will be key for operators as they look to adapt their menus and tune into changing consumer needs.

As part of the trends refresh, Bidfood has pulled together a report which will explore every element of the food and drink trends that will be dominating menus for the remainder of the year. From cuisine flavours and infusions, twists on classics and even dishes consumers have been unable to recreate at home, the report will help operators stay ahead of the curve and entice customers in.

The hottest trends in focus:

Wellness my way: 68% of consumers say the pandemic has made them more concerned about their health and wellbeing. This trend looks at the new and evolving ways that consumers are optimising their physical and mental health through the food and drink they consume, and the lifestyles they live – whether that is adopting completely new diets and lifestyles, or just subtler changes to their routine through healthy swaps.

Careful consumption: With UK consumers caring more about food sustainability than they did pre-pandemic, supporting local businesses and considering the social and environmental impact of their behaviours and food choices, in this new age of transparency this trend has never been so important. There’s nowhere to hide irresponsible practices or eye-watering air miles, as consumers look to support low impact and local businesses, as well as brands and producers that align with their values on diversity and equality.

Cuisines: With restrictions on travel again this year, many people are leaning towards food that brings to life their culinary adventures and excites their senses. In fact, 52% of UK consumers say they want to be more experimental with their food choices than they were before pre-pandemic. Well established cuisines such as Middle Eastern or Global Flavours, continue to expand and are being explored in more depth, but there are some new hot trends set to fuel the market. These include:

  • Regional Chinese – We expect to see more regionally inspired dishes using Cantonese cooking styles, spicy Sichuan flavours, or dishes like Shanghai dumplings and steamed bao
  • Flavours of South East Asia – Consumers are moving beyond the traditional Thai green curry and instead exploring regional influences, discovering flavours of Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam
  • Caribbean – Jamaican ‘jerk’ flavour is not new, but we’re seeing it rise in popularity and increasingly applied to a variety of foods, from Jerk rabbit, pork belly and burgers
  • Korean – This cuisine is all about the ingredients, techniques and flavours – from fire-fried chicken wings and Korean garlic bread.

Macro social trends

Alongside the food and drink trends shaping 2021, wider macro social trends have also become increasingly apparent. These trends continue to reveal shifts in consumer attitudes, behaviours and lifestyles, as well as showing that economic, social and sustainable influences are changing how we think, make decisions and act. The main social trends are:

The new normal

Places that were previously considered safe, have evaded consumers’ comfort zones due to the ongoing threat of the pandemic. Cleanliness and safety have never been more important, and they’re often overtaking price on consumers’ agendas when eating out.

Changing choices

The pandemic has prompted many people to rearrange their priorities, adapt to new ways of working and living, and re-evaluate what truly matters. As a result we’re seeing a real shift in consumer choices. The key factors that are top of mind for consumers are:

  • Quality
  • Something a bit different
  • Caring for causes
  • Supporting local