Bidfood highlights food and drink trends that will continue in 2021

Bidfood has highlighted the food and drink trends that it believes will dominate menus for the remainder of the year.

From cuisine flavours and infusions to twists on classics and dishes consumers have been unable to recreate at home, the report is designed to help foodservice operators stay ahead of the curve and entice customers in.

According to Bidfood, the hottest trends are:

Wellness my way: 68% of consumers say the pandemic has made them more concerned about their health and wellbeing. People are optimising their physical and mental health through the food and drink they consume and the lifestyles they live. Life-stage targeting is a new sub-trend highlighted by Bidfood, and there are also growing trends towards products that offer functional benefits, including digestive wellness, as well as light & low products and those that allow people to ‘optimise’ themselves.

Careful consumption: With 49% of UK consumers caring more about whether their food is ethically sourced or impacts the environment than they did before the pandemic began, supporting local businesses and considering the social and environmental impact of behaviours and food choices have never been so important. Consequently, there are growing trends towards plant-based alternatives, wasting less, ethics in action, and greater transparency in the supply chain.

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 the pandemic. Established cuisines such as Middle Eastern continue to expand and are being explored in more depth, but there are some new trends set to fuel the market. These include:

  • Regional Chinese – 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 it is rising in popularity and is being increasingly applied to a variety of foods, including Jerk rabbit, pork belly and burgers.
  • Korean – This cuisine is all about the ingredients, techniques and flavours – from fire-fried chicken wings to Korean garlic bread.

Bidfood also points out that cleanliness and safety have never been more important to consumers, and these factors often overtake price on consumers’ agendas when eating out (CGA).

“Consumers are certainly adapting to the ‘new normal’,” says a company spokesperson. “57% of UK adults would like to see more contactless drive-throughs, and a third (34%) would like to see more restaurant-branded vending machines. Plus, around half (48%) of UK adults would be happy to collect takeaway food/drink from temperature-controlled lockers (Mintel). So, as restrictions ease and consumer confidence grows, we expect to see more of these friction-free ways of delivering foodservice.”

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 there is a real shift in consumer choices. According to Bidfood, the key factors that are top of mind for consumers are: quality, something a bit different, caring for causes and supporting local.

“75% of consumers really want to support their local restaurants, pubs and eating out venues because they’ve had such a difficult time (Bidfood/CGA),” says a company spokesperson. “And we expect the appeal for local produce and ingredients to continue growing. 26% are buying more local produce now than they were a year ago and 23% consider it more important that the food they eat out is British, compared to last year (CGA).”

Tel: Bidfood (01494) 555900

Published Date: June 24, 2021
Category: Wholesale Industry News