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The year 2020 brought hardships and change for many people around the globe, and our everyday habits and behaviors have dramatically shifted – what will the top 10 food and nutrition trends look like in 2021?

Seemingly, our priorities have changed, with many people focusing anew on their health and well-being, including what they eat. As a result, food and health culture have changed as well.

We’re about to see these changes come to fruition. With many industry experts expecting massive change, you may wonder what 2021 has in store.

Here are the 10 top food and nutrition trends expected in 2021.

Functional Medicine

As Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Though this statement is controversial, its essence rings true today — eat foods that nourish you both physically and mentally.

Due to the significant impact of COVID-19 on many people’s physical and mental well-being, there’s growing interest in eating foods that serve health-related purposes.

1. Immunity boosters

Foods won’t just be valued for staving off hunger pains. The future of food and drink will take cues from the supplement market, calling attention to the roles that specific ingredients play in improving overall health and well-being.

COVID-19 was a reminder that health is transient and can change at any time. For many, this led to looking for products that could support a healthy immune system to better prepare them for illness.  The IV Clinic at LotusRain has been as busy as ever with people taking advantage of bolstering their immune systems.

According to Market Research, over 50% of consumers reported taking more supplements to support their immune health in 2020.

This growing interest in immune health will continue to be a top focus of the health and wellness industry in 2021. Rather than focusing on treating conditions, many consumers will strive to prevent them via a strengthened immune system.

In response to this, the food industry will take notes from the supplement industry by creating products with added nutrients that may support immune function and overall health, such as zinc, selenium, vitamin C, and vitamin D.

What’s more, alternative remedies have and are expected to continue to increase in sales in 2021. Elderberry, echinacea, astragalus, turmeric, and ginger are some of the top selling herbal supplements claimed to help boost your immune system.  We carry an enormous array of supplments, we also ship supplments.

Furthermore, purpose-driven ingredients are predicted to be at the forefront of the food industry. Examples of this include adding olive oil to support heart health, vitamin C to boost the immune system, or probiotics in kombucha to promote a healthy digestive system.

2. Mental health

Mental health has also become a priority for many people.

While food alone cannot treat or cure depression, anxiety, or stress, eating a mostly minimally processed diet rich in a variety of nutrients may help support your mental health.

Diets rich in antioxidants, vitamins (e.g., B vitamins), minerals (e.g., zinc, magnesium), fiber, healthy fats (e.g., omega-3s), and other bioactive compounds, such as probiotics, have been linked to better mental well-being.

In 2021, we’ll notice more food and beverage companies coming out with products that contain these ingredients with an emphasis on reducing stress and improving sleep, which is also linked to better mental health.

In particular, functional beverages that contain stress-reducing compounds, such as adaptogens — substances that can help your body adapt to stress — and cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive part of the cannabis plant, will increase in popularity.  We are proud to partner with concierge medical cannabis consultation service that helps educate, guide, and support patients with product choices, dosages, and timing.

Food With a Purpose

An increasing number of consumers are looking to support local companies with a backstory and purpose rather than large corporations, hence one of the reasons for the shift in the top 10 food and nutrition trends,

In fact, according to Kantar’s COVID-19 Barometer, 52% of respondents stated they pay more attention to the origin of their products, with a focus on buying locally.

3. Localism

The pandemic shutdowns gave many people a renewed appreciation of their local community, especially the food purveyors — grocery stores, farmers markets, and restaurants — that kept food on our plates, a part of the shift in the top 10 food and nutrition trends.

Going forward, there will be a growing interest in purchasing and consuming locally grown food. It supports the local economy, is generally fresher, and has less of an environmental impact. Top 10 Food and Nutrition Trends

4. Backstory

Many consumers are also interested in learning a company’s backstory, such as a multigenerational family-run business.

Companies should focus on the meaning behind their products and give consumers a reason to purchase their products over those of their competitors.

For many, nice packaging alone no longer makes a product appealing, but rather the impact of purchasing it.

5. Climatarian

Echoing the benefits of localism, diets are expected to shift to include more environmentally friendly, sustainable food practices.

Rather than fighting between the two extreme spectrums (i.e., vegan vs. meat-eaters), many people will mostly focus on foods that have the lowest climate impact.

For example, diets may involve a lower intake of animal products but not eliminate them. Instead, consumers may choose animal products with a lower environmental footprint, such as swapping beef for chicken or eating a few plant-based meals each week.Top 10 Food and Nutrition Trends

What’s more, consumers may choose to buy locally grown produce and animal-based products to lower carbon emissions caused by long-distance food delivery.

The goal of the climatarian diet is not an all-or-nothing approach, but rather to make small changes that collectively as a society make a large difference.

6. Flexitarianism

Trying to convince a meat-eater to go vegan is a big feat, but meeting them somewhere in the middle may be easier.

Rather than trying to convince omnivores to ditch meat and animal products entirely, there will be a growing push to reduce the intake of animal products. Interestingly, up to 60% of millennials are interested in adopting a flexitarian diet, according to recent studies.   That flexible attitude is helping shape the top 10 food and nutrtion trends.

Consumers may look to swap a few meat-based meals for plant-based ones each week. Alternatively, they may decrease the portion of animal products in their recipes and add more plant-based ingredients.

Companies will continue to promote plant-based products but also develop products that contain higher amounts of plant-based ingredients and lower amounts of animal-based ones to help customers find a middle ground.

7. Diet Culture Overhaul

Many people are getting tired of expensive diets and gimmicky supplements that promise big results but don’t deliver.  In 2021, it’s likely that restrictive diets and weight loss programs will fall out of favor as people seek a more balanced approach to health instead.

In addition, more people are embracing eating styles that welcome all foods in moderation, as most people don’t want to avoid chocolate for the rest of their life. Instead, people are starting to embrace other important aspects of food, such as tradition, culture, and enjoyment.

We’re seeing a trend toward happiness, strength, and vitality over attaining impossible standards of beauty à la Photoshop and FaceTune. Finally, an increasing number of people will aim to prioritize health instead of a number on the scale or their jean size.

Consumers will seek products from companies that strive for sustainable, affordable, and nonrestrictive approaches to health, such as eating a varied diet comprising whole, nutrient-dense foods.

They’ll also look for companies that are transparent with their messaging and avoid promoting unhealthy diet messages, such as quick weight loss, starvation, or vilifying certain foods.

8-9 Convenience and Transparency

The way we enjoy food continues to shift as the world changes. Though convenience food has been around for a long time, the quality and healthfulness of these foods are becoming more important, and companies are expected to be more transparent about their ingredients and practices

8. Meal kits

The year 2020 taught many of us that cooking from home can be a fun and enjoyable experience. Still, with life starting to speed up again, we’ll see a growing trend toward premade meal kits and health-food boxes that save time but still allow you to eat healthy from home.

Meal kit delivery services have grown exponentially in the past year thanks to their healthfulness, convenience, and affordability. In fact, the meal kit delivery market is projected to become a $20 billion industry by 2027, according to Grand View Research.

Many people love meal kit delivery services because most of the prep work like grocery shopping, measuring, and cutting is already done. For a busy person who usually eats takeout during the week, this makes eating healthy much easier and convenient.

Plus, many of these companies focus on local food, sustainable practices and cater to a variety of food preferences and diets. As such, meal kit companies are expected to grow in popularity.

9. Transparency

Many people are tired of misleading, false, or obscure information.  In the past, food and supplement companies have been very private about their ingredients and practices. Moreover, many make health claims that have little to no scientific proof to back them up.

With consumers more interested in the nutritional quality of the food products they consume, there will be a growing expectation that companies are clear, transparent, and honest about their products.

They’re expected to utilize this trend by providing ingredient lists that are short and understandable and avoiding the use of controversial ingredients, such as artificial colors, flavors, and dyes.

What’s more, many consumers will look to support companies with philanthropic practices, such as giving part of their proceeds to an honorable cause, supporting educational opportunities for employees, or protecting the environment.

10. Kids nutrition

With more kids attending virtual schooling and staying home, parents are now tasked with making lunches instead of relying on the school cafeteria.

To better their family’s health, many parents will be looking for products that are enjoyable for their kids but still nutritious. Furthermore, given growing concerns about sugar and artificial ingredients in the diet, they’ll be looking for foods made with more natural ingredientTop 10 Food and Nutrition Trends

In addition, supplements for children may be used as added protection to support their immune system and prevent nutritional deficiencies, especially for children who are considered to be picky eaters.

Finally, expect a rise in plant-based options for children to support health and well-being. Many parents hope this will teach their children sustainable and healthy food habits they can use throughout their lives.

Bottom Line

In 2021 you can look forward to a huge shift, these top 10 food and nutrition trends could be just the beginning of some massive changes.  Gone are the days of extreme diets, unnecessary ingredients, and false promises. As we move forward into the new year, we’ll see more people looking to eat food that has a purpose, story, and serves society and health.
From a dietitian’s point of view, these changes appear to be a step in the right direction by focusing on things that truly matter.


*Curated Content: HealthLine


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