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Food Trends: What to Expect in 2021

By Published On: January 18, 2021

The year 2020 was challenging for all of us. For the food retail industry, last year was a time for retailers to quickly pivot, shift their business strategy, and consistently innovate and get creative to keep up with the ever-changing customer demand. Though it has been difficult to keep things afloat, our industry has managed to push through.

As we enter 2021, several changes in consumer food trends, shopping behaviors, and consumer spending will likely continue to alter how we keep our operations up and running. Here are some trends that food retailers could expect to gain market share over the next year.

The Trend in Immunity-Boosting Foods is Rising

Even before COVID-19, immune-support foods, such as probiotics, olive oil for heart health, beans, and other immunity boosters, were already in demand. However, the current environment has helped consumers refocus and realize that a healthy immune system helps improve overall health. That is why the demand for immune-boosting food products has been skyrocketing and is expected to reach $24.02 billion in 2023 according to ResearchAndMarkets.

Sustainability Never Goes Out of Style

The dream for a sustainable future and a better environment for all is the driving factor for the sustainability movement coming into this year. People will continue to look for healthier food alternatives that are sustainably sourced. Consumers will more likely choose food items when they know the source, where it was processed, and how it was prepared.

Plant-based Products Aren’t Going Anywhere

Organic foods, plant-based meat, seafood, and organic beverages have gained popularity a few years back and their surge in demand is expected to continue this year. Plant-based is the new revolution as the number of vegetarians and flexitarians is rapidly increasing. According to investment firm UBS, the global market for plant-based meat is projected to reach $85 billion by 2030. And, with technological advancements integrating into food retail, the possibilities for plant-based foods are endless.

The difficulties we are facing in the food retail industry are creating moments for retailers to reinforce their strategies. These upcoming food trends present a lot of growth opportunities especially for supermarkets and grocery stores that are investing and planning to dive into plant-based and sustainable foods. It is a great time for retailers to promote and display traditional healthy foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables by strategically merchandising display cases and feature foods that are not just beneficial for consumption but also for the planet. This year is a favorable time for retailers to increase in-store visibility through cross-merchandising utilizing strategic marketing of plant-based foods and beverages and immune-boosting food items and highlight their health benefits. 

There is no denying that the pandemic has reshaped the food-retail industry in 2020 and this year would be critical. With the COVID-19 vaccines fully coming into play, we hope things will go back to normal or even yet, be better than our pre-Coronavirus days.