The next normal for food in the new year will reflect a blend of old standbys and new trends that can be traced back to the effects of the pandemic that dominated all aspects of life in 2020. According to Hormel Foods, new routines, new eating patterns, new approaches to food preparation, new adventures into global cuisine and new ingredients will all influence the top food trends in 2021. While comfort foods were popular and a logical response to home-bound consumers throughout 2020, don’t expect them to completely turn their backs on those foods after the calendar flips to the new year.  

Among the new food trends identified by Hormel are:

  • New routines and rituals, reflecting a shift from theme-based, family meals made from scratch to those utilizing more prepared, convenience foods
  • Leftovers on purpose, to take advantage of versatile cuisine and ingredients for use in multiple meals
  • A buzz around hot honey, as an addition to savory foods and other dishes
  • Charcuterie creations, taking charcuterie boards to the next level, including themed meat displays, including carnivore versions of gingerbread houses
  • Using food to experience other regions and cultures in lieu of traveling; using waffle irons to make other foods; more small snacking occasions throughout the day
  • Reliance on food as a wellness tool to maintain physical and mental health

Heather Vossler, director of innovation and insights at Hormel, says, “What's interesting is that as we all eagerly look ahead to the fresh start of a new year, we're seeing people still wanting that comfort and nostalgia, but also on a more elevated and focused level, as individuals continue seeking inspired, yet familiar, food choices.”