Food and good health are the two most important things for human beings to survive. You cannot choose between them. Similarly, these are the two industries that must remain open or operational no matter what happens. That is, generally, what happened amid the pandemic.
In the food industry, many businesses and restaurants had to close down for safety reasons. They had to find alternative ways to remain operational because people have to eat. In fact, consumers were not ready to settle for just anything in the market. They had their own demands. That was a huge challenge, but eventually, there was a breakthrough.
Every nation, every city, and every region had unique food experiences.
The purpose of writing this post is to highlight the global food trends in 2021.
Contactless is a top 2021 food trend that will most probably last even after the pandemic.
With the social distancing rules in place, the world had to go cashless and contactless; to prevent the rapid spread of the virus. Businesses switched from one-on-one interactions with customers to use multiple channels. These made it easier for customers to share their expectations with the products they intend to buy. Online food ordering and delivery have also become so much easier, faster, and convenient. It is also indispensable in the food industry.
2. Upcycled Food
Upcycling is, in simple terms, turning waste into something more useful. It’s a way of minimizing waste and environmental pollution to fight global warming.
Upcycling has been on the rise globally this year as more people are now fully aware of the adverse effects that come with environmental pollution. Examples of upcycling include
- White Moustache, a yoghurt company based in Brooklyn, manufactures its products from waste whey and fruits.
- Flavoured water from discarded melons by WTRMLN WTR
- RISE makes its flour products from waste grains
- Beer from waste bread by Toast Ale
- Sweet Benin, West Africa, makes cashew apple juice from waste cashew apples
- The list is long.
Upcycled foods will continue to increase as more companies join the upcycling movement.
Technology has played a crucial role in making the impacts of the pandemic more bearable.
To begin with, most people had to work from home during the total lockdowns; without technology, this would not have been a success. Think about the online food ordering and delivering systems, the emails, instant messaging, zoom meetings, etc. All these were crucial to maintaining business operations.
Other than that, machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), and AI in food industry also dominated the global food tech industry amid the pandemic. It will continue to do so to the end of this year and beyond. These digital transformations affect all players, including restaurants, food productions, distributions, and retailers. Precisely, they have helped businesses to create opportunities from the challenges posed by the pandemic.
Some of the trending applications of technology in the food industry include
- Inventory management; forecasting food demand and supply to reduce food waste
- Improving customer experience through data analytics
- Improving flexibility to help businesses adapt to uncertainties
- Enhancing more accuracy in food safety
According to recent statistics, more than ⅔ of consumers globally want to make positive contributions to the environment through their actions. That explains why more than ⅓ of customers buy sustainably produced products. As these numbers continue to grow, there is also an increasing demand for businesses to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, not just through the final food products but also their operating standards.
Apart from contactless meals, sustainability is another 2021 food trend that is going nowhere. It is here to stay.
These are some of the trends that have been taking over globally. Food companies must focus on these trends to survive and succeed during and after the pandemic.