Taste of Home Names the Food Trends Headed for Your Kitchen in 2021
Our food trends report shows that home cooks are out front, leading the way on what’s new and exciting in food. Check out our 10 trends to get a sneak peek at 2021.
Here’s a Sneak Peek at 2021
When we started collecting data to forecast our 2021 food trends, we were fortunate to start with the inside track. Over the last 25 years, Taste of Home has built a vibrant community of home cooks that share their treasured recipes with us, all tested in our professional Test Kitchen. Add to that our trove of content on cooking, baking, cleaning and entertaining, and we’ve long been a trusted source for home cooks everywhere. So as home kitchens became the primary source for what’s new in food in 2020, we didn’t have to look further than our own community to understand how cooking, cleaning and shopping have changed—and to feel confident that many of these changes are here to stay, at least well into 2021.
The trends evolved on our website and social media, were reflected in the recipe submissions of our contributors, in the answers we received in our audience surveys and the questions posed to our editors.
Home Cooking Is the New Dining Out
Move over, trendy restaurants and culinary schools. The real story about what’s new and exciting in food is coming from home cooks. The renewed interest in preparing and sharing creative foods from scratch, ignited during the pandemic, shows no sign of slowing down. Home cooks are innovating new flavors, techniques and ways to make their takeout favorites at home as they rediscover the magic that can be found in their own kitchens.
Get in on the trend: Make one (or a bunch!) of our best restaurant copycat recipes.
Baking on the Rise
Time to flour-dust those rolling pins and loaf pans: Home cooks love creating their own sourdough breads, shaping baguettes and rolling out flaky croissants. Gateway bakes like these breads lit the fire, and home bakers continue to branch out with extravagant cakes that look like anything but, delicious cookies and perfect pies to take advantage of every baking season.
Grocery Shopping Re-imagined
Online shopping is quicker, simpler and more widely available as home cooks get groceries delivered to their doorstep with updates at every step along the way. Stores will want shoppers back, so expect in-store experiences to evolve, including more direct opportunities to sample brands through hands-on demonstrations and classes.
Get in on the trend: Learn which supermarkets near you offer grocery delivery and pickup.
Eat Your Way Healthy
More people are reaching for fermented foods that promote a healthy gut, protein-enriched foods for a more balanced diet, and plant-based products that offer a wider range of nutrients and flexibility. Consumers are looking for family-friendly meatless or vegan recipes that aren’t short on protein. They want mixes, prepared snacks and frozen foods that have the promise of ingredients that boost nutrition and are compatible with their busy lifestyles. Even Starbucks is adding essential vitamins and turmeric to coffee.
One Appliance Does It All
Small appliances are increasingly becoming utility players by offering multiple functions all in one device. Many brands are offering some version of a product that serves as a convection oven, air fryer, pressure cooker, slow cooker and more. Large appliance manufacturers are offering more options, too, adding steam ovens and indoor grills to traditional ranges.
Get in on the trend: These multicooker recipes will put your Instant Pot to work.
Smart Kitchens Get Smarter
Many brands are creating smart technology that allows home cooks to preheat their ovens, peek inside their refrigerators when they’re not at home and have dishwasher detergent delivered to their doors automatically when they run low. Smart coffeemakers help you “order” your favorite brew from your smartphone in the morning. Faucets turn on with just a touch, and new ovens use built-in cameras to check on your roast, letting you keep the door closed.
Get in on the trend: You won’t believe these smart kitchen gadgets are real.
Scroll, Cook, Repeat
Social media platforms with video capabilities, like TikTok, Facebook and Instagram, specialize in catching users’ attention with all things fascinating and bitesized—including food. From whipped coffee to focaccia bread art to “I-can’t-believe-it’s-a-cake” cakes, social media is getting home cooks on trend. Making culinary works of delicious art is a skill that begs to be shared, and our audience is playing along.
Get in on the trend: Add these whipped drinks to your beverage rotation.
Distilled zero-proof spirits are being welcomed by bartenders around the world who are mixing them into unique cocktails. Hotel chains and restaurants that once offered few nonalcoholic options are not only embracing this trend but are now making it a focal point of their beverage plans. It’s only natural these spirits are making their way into our homes, allowing everyone the ability to mix up something special any night of the week and still feel good the next morning.
Heightened awareness around food safety and a desire for healthier, often locally sourced, food show no sign of slowing down. Protecting the planet by avoiding single-use products provides for a more sustainable future. An increased interest in gardening is part of this trend, with growing food at home becoming the smart thing to do.
Get in on the trend: Dig into these tips for gardening on a budget.
Global Flavors Go Mainstream
While quickly getting a healthy and nutritious dinner on the table is still a priority, home cooks are finding and including ethnically diverse recipes in their meal planning. Younger generations, seeking something new, are reaching to the past with a desire to master the recipes previous generations enjoyed. Always eager to experiment, home cooks incorporate international and regional ingredients and cooking techniques into family-favorite recipes, creating unique and delicious mashups, such as Spanakopita Spring Rolls, Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup and Moo Shu Sloppy Joes.
Get in on the trend: Check out our global recipes hub to take your taste buds on a trip.