Nutritional trends have always been subject to change every few years. Most critical developments in the health-food arena get shaped by the latest research insights, including various socio-economic and environmental factors.
As far as 2021 diet trends and health-food preferences are concerned, the Covid-19 pandemic has played a defining role. The perception of healthy eating itself has undergone a complete metamorphosis. Just like the other far-reaching effects of the pandemic, the latest health food trends are expected to last well into the foreseeable future.
Here’s a look at the most noteworthy ones:
Massive Focus on Digestive Health:
As per top nutritionists, there is an 80% link between your gut health and immunity level. So it is not just immunity-boosting vitamins and herbs that will help you fight deadly viruses. Furthermore, the friendly bacteria and yeast in your gastrointestinal tract are directly responsible for nutrient absorption, regulating your hormones, and overall mental health.
Prebiotic, probiotic, and the latest entrant in the field, postbiotic foods have received a massive boost in the consumer quest to acquire a robust gut biome. Recipes of Sourdough Bread, Cabbage Kimchi, Kefir, Kombucha, and Home-set Yoghurt have floored social media.
The 2021 diet trends have witnessed the emergence of several exciting foods. The prolonged shutdowns in 2020 and 2021 led many of us towards gardening for solace. With the renewed emphasis on the consumption of green, leafy veggies to boost immunity, home-grown microgreens have come to the forefront.
Additionally, these are fast-growing and easy to manage. From salads and soups to sandwich fillings and healthy pizza toppings, their culinary versatility is impressive—no wonder the demand for microgreen seeds is growing exponentially.
Reduction in Meat Consumption:
When the pandemic struck, the supply chains of most meat and meat-based products were disrupted. Consumers began to rely on plant-based foods and alternative protein sources like chickpeas, soy, nuts, legumes, peas, quinoa, and so on. Even though meat supply has been resumed now, vegetarianism has become a popular trend. Consumers are more inclined towards sustainable living, shunning foods like meat and dairy due to the higher carbon footprint than locally-grown plant-based produce.
Low-Calorie Beverages and Alcohol-free Drinks:
So far, we have spoken about food innovation, but even the beverage sector has witnessed many interesting transitions. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about highly unexpected changes in the beverage sector.
Seaweed is Gradually Making In-roads:
Although the traditional Japanese, Vietnamese, and Thai cuisine incorporates the use of seaweed, other parts of the world hardly found any takers for this food category past.
Several inferences can be drawn from the above food innovation and nutritional trends. But the most important one goes as follows. A new era of healthy, sustainable, and mindful consumption has been ushered in by the Covid-19 pandemic. This consumer health revolution is marching ahead, covering further ground. Therefore, it is necessary for existing food and beverage businesses and start-ups in this sector to pay heed to these trends and align their offerings accordingly.