Research: New year – new normal?

Bidfood recently revealed its evolving dining trends for 2021...

After what has been an incredibly difficult and unprecedented year, Bidfood has revealed the food and drink dining trends, and wider social ones, that are set to shape the industry as we enter into a very different world in 2021. For the majority of the year, 2020 has been a significant challenge for many areas of foodservice. Interestingly, though, where some have been on their knees, others have absolutely thrived.

This period has not just been about the quality of the food and drink, but more so its access and availability. Exploring the impact these elements will have on the industry over the coming 12 months, Bidfood’s report looks at the how, when and why of what we will be eating and drinking, including cuisine flavours, twists and tastes that consumers have grown to love and will hope to see more of as we enter the new year.

Food and drink dining trends

Wellness my way: With diet, exercise and weight management front of mind, it’s authorities like the World Health Organization driving the messages around healthy diets, and the crucial role they play in fighting off coronavirus. For some consumers, that means adopting new diets and lifestyles. For others, it’s about subtler changes to their routine. For example, healthy swaps and additions to dishes.

Careful consumption: In the new age of transparency, there’s nowhere to hide irresponsible practices or eye-watering air miles. Consumers look to support low impact and local businesses, as well as brands and producers that align with their values on diversity and equality. We will see tangible action for causes and for the future.

Little luxuries: Consumers are looking for ways to elevate everyday experiences. For some, it’s as simple as upgrading simple rituals like tea and breakfast with a little gourmet twist. Think a rare tea with an exotic flavour profile. For others, it’s about upgrading with craft ingredients such as truffle oil or experimenting with natural biodynamic wine. There’s also a growing appreciation for craft technique.

Food for the soul: Consumers are looking to make their homes and family lives as comfortable as possible. They’re staying on top of meal planning and schedules, with cooking having become the national pastime. The need to seek comfort through food means that the once unpopular carbs are now firmly back in fashion.

The new normal: Places previously considered safe sadly no longer are with the threat of a virus. Foodservice is going to great lengths to reassure us, but the pandemic has also signalled acceleration in online solutions that companies were working on anyway. Science has become the great hope of a society facing impending food insecurity and climate crisis. Gene editing has the ability to make crops more resilient to pests and climatic stresses, as well as produce higher yields. Meanwhile, acellular and cellular agriculture enables us to culture meat and dairy without killing (or sometimes, without even using) animals.

Cuisines: With restrictions on travel this year, it may feel as if the world is getting smaller but, from a foodie perspective, it continues to expand. Well established cuisines, such as Italian, Japanese and Indian, are being explored in more depth, with rising influences from African and regional Indian or Middle Eastern cuisines. Global cuisine is all about fluid creativity, based on a 'no rules' approach to culinary creation, taking formats, flavours, techniques and ingredients from anywhere and everywhere.

For more details, you can download the full report from