2021's must-use ingredient and other food trends to look out for this year

From alcohol-free sips to 'no kill' meat made from stem cells, here's what we predict will be trending

17 January 2021 - 00:02
Make room potatoes, crisps are now being made from everything from lentils (pictured) to chickpeas.
Make room potatoes, crisps are now being made from everything from lentils (pictured) to chickpeas.
Image: 123RF/vaivirga

1. CHIPS ARE DOWN

Potato crisps aside, the choice has grown to include those made with vegetables, soy, lentils and even pea powder.

2. MOVE OVER CAULIFLOWER, CABBAGE IS KING

Baby, red, white, Chinese, raw, boiled, steamed, stir-fried, pickled, fermented like the German sauerkraut and Korean kimchi: cabbage is big in all its iterations.

3. IMMUNITY-BOOSTING FOODS

Seeking out nutritionally dense foods that will up the health stakes. Fermented foods like pickles and drinks like kombucha, fruit and veg high in antioxidants like blueberries and leafy greens like spinach, morog and kale, plus seeds, nuts and grains.

4. PLANT POWER

Swapping animal protein for plant-powered foods made easy with a growing range found in supermarkets - sausages, hamburger patties, chicken nuggets and schnitzels, savoury mince.

5. CELL-CULTURED MEAT

Late last year Singapore was the first country to give the go-ahead to the sale of chicken made in a lab by US start-up company Eat Just. The race is on for a bigger rollout of cultured meat around the globe. Grown from stem cells taken from the fat and muscles of animals such man-made proteins are described as "clean meat" as they don't come from slaughtered animals. 

These chicken nuggets were made from lab-grown poultry developed by Eat Just.
These chicken nuggets were made from lab-grown poultry developed by Eat Just.
Image: Eat Just Inc/Handout via Reuters

6. SUSTAINABLY SOURCED

Choose products that carry the sustainably sourced label from fish to meat and agricultural produce. It means they are farmed with a conscience, not just economic considerations. It's farming that is mindful of the environment and the social impact of the activities.

7. DAIRY-FREE

The growing range of plant-based milks including coconut, rice, oat and soya, yoghurts and cheeses for those choosing a plant-based diet.

8. DINING IN IS THE NEW DINING OUT

Made easy with meal kits, convenience frozen meals and fresh readymade meals. A supermarket in the UK is the first to sell ready-cooked pasta in a bag.

9. ALCOHOL-FREE

The growing range of alcohol-free beers, wines and even spirits like gin are gaining momentum.