I think we would all agree that 2020 wasn’t the best year for the hospitality industry, but 2021 is the year of opportunities! We put on our food forecasting hats to take a look at what we think the biggest food trends will be for 2021.
If 2020 taught us anything it is that supporting local is now more important than ever. We expect to see a host of small local brands take the spotlight throughout 2021. The Food District at The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai is already leading the way, having created a space for 13 homegrown local concepts to expand and thrive.
Fine dining will thrive in 2021! After many of us have had to endure our own cooking for far too long, we will be more than happy to leave it to the professionals. 2021 will be our biggest year for dining out, with more of us wanting to enjoy life (and fine food) that little bit more.
In 2021 any restaurant not offering vegan options risks losing a large share of diners. Vegan dining will also heavily influence a rise in sustainable dining as guests become increasingly concerned with what they consume and if it has been ethically sourced and sustainably produced.
Four hands, six hands and even eight hands chef collaborations are happening all over town. The trend, which we must admit we are quite fond of, shows no sign of slowing down. A plus for diners is that they will get to experience several unique dining experiences as chefs push themselves to their creative boundaries.
Immune Boosting Foods
The pandemic made everyone step back and review what they were putting into their body, so it should come as no surprise that interest in functional foods with nutritional benefits is at an all-time high. Predictions are that people will be refocusing on creating tailored, nutrition-packed meals that use specific ingredients to achieve individualized goals. We do expect to see a decline in ‘fad’ diets for a more balanced calculated approach to eating.
Zero Waste Movement
2020 was the year we bid a long overdue goodbye to buffets, as a result of this, buffet style brunches will decline in popularity as guests opt towards a more conscious dining experience. Alongside this with proteins experiencing a big fluctuation in availability and price since the pandemic we predict a larger, ‘no waste’ approach to protein selections.
As parents become more educated about food and nutrition, they will be more cautious as to what their children are eating. We’ve already seen brands such as Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts overall their children’s menu, making them more nutritious and appealing. We predict that more brands in 2021 will re-engineer younger diners’ menus as younger diners opt for healthier more ethical options.
Expect these to be a big focus for many local F&B businesses in 2021. Ghost Kitchens, like Deliveroo Editions are hubs that host a collection of hand-picked restaurants, all specially designed for delivery, helping hot new trending chefs launch for the first time, or well-loved restaurants reach fans in new locations within the city. Personally, we are all for it! It’s a great idea that allows the industry to grow and flourish.
2020 changed the restaurant industry in many ways, we predict that even in the long run, sanitation, spacing, and guest’s comfort levels will (and should) remain a high priority. This will undoubtedly change new restaurants approach when it comes to fit-outs and concepts. Hopefully, we will see less of ‘how many seats can we fit in here to increase the bottom line’ and more of ‘what experiences can we give our guests’ approach.
Do you remember the days when we would skip breakfast and rush to the office? This seems like one bad habit we will all leave behind. With many of us having spent months working from home we have become quite accustomed to our generous breakfasts and it’s not something we will be willing to part ways with ever again!