A Taste of What’s to Come: 2021 Food Trend Predictions

Stay ahead of the game and uncover what we think will be the top food trends for 2021

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From whipped coffees, TikTok dances and making copious amounts of sourdough bread to at-home workouts, banana bread bake-offs and lots of bonding with quarantine pals, 2020 birthed a lot of different trends. Last year was also an emotional rollercoaster for the entire world, and jolted us into a new norm—OK, we promise we won’t say that again—and a lot of people looked to food for some sense of comfort in chaos. 

Our own consumer behavior changed drastically: 71% of Gopuff customers shopped more online in 2020 than in the previous year, while 68% of customers looked to takeout or food delivery more than usual—and we saw a renewed emphasis on wellness and self-care

But 2020 is behind us now, and we’re all on to bigger, better things for 2021. So, what 2020 food trends do we see carrying on into 2021, and what new food trends do we predict in 2021? Let’s dig in.

Emerging Health and Wellness Trends in Gopuff Orders

The practice of staying healthy and focusing on our well-being will likely spill over from 2020 into 2021, with healthier drink options making their way into customers’ carts during the last few months of 2020 and into 2021.

Customers have flocked to newcomer OLIPOP, an alternative beverage to traditional sodas. Arriving on the Gopuff platform in December, the low-sugar fizzy treat was that month’s best-selling drink in our Better For You category. In the last quarter of 2020, Gopuff also saw an increase in orders for orange juice and organic milk (more on our predictions for this below).

Another trend we’ll predict for this year: hydration and hangover prevention. After a tumultuous 2020 and a newfound love for spiked seltzers, people are looking for ways to rehydrate their bodies with brands like More Labs and Liquid I.V. 

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Emphasis on Breakfast Recipes

Remember the orange juice and milk we mentioned above?  In the last quarter of 2020, we noticed an increase in Gopuff orders for orange juice and organic milk—breakfast staples—so we can only assume that’ll continue. Expect to see breakfast gaining more popularity in 2021.

Many people are still spending much of their time at home, which means there’s no longer an excuse for skipping the most important meal of the day. In 2020, we saw a rise in breakfast food trends—like whipped coffee and pancake (and donut!) cereal—so we think people will continue to focus on making breakfast fun. Expect to see some unique breakfast sandwiches and other savory foods making their way onto plates for the first meal of the day. 

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Virtual Cooking Classes From Your Favorite Chefs

Per RealSimple and Food and Wine, a trend that’s sure to take over kitchens everywhere this year is virtual cooking classes. These remote classes from our favorite chefs will give at-home cuisiniers the opportunity to level up their cooking game and perfect their culinary skills for when they can finally host dinner parties again. 

Photogenic Plates 

Once home cooks have mastered their favorite dishes in virtual cooking classes, they’ll want to show them off. From plating like a pro to garnishing meals and drinks with style, home chefs will be looking to take their meals to the next level of Instagram-worthiness. Pinterest reports a 55% increase year over year in food garnish searches, and a 105% year-over-year increase in gourmet food plating searches. 

Food Boards

The crew at Delish is predicting a trend that we’re definitely on board with: food boards.

Are nacho boards a thing? What about pasta boards—can those happen? Based on the data, we say, why not? Pinterest reported seeing a 155% year-over-year increase in searches for Mexican charcuterie boards as well as double the searches for candy charcuterie boards. Sign us up!

From the already trendy pancake and breakfast boards of 2020 to your favorite classic charcuterie board options, we’re excited for some surprising new trends in how to construct these deconstructed meals in 2021.

Kombucha with a Kick

At Gopuff, we watched orders for kombucha jump over the last half of 2020. With the growth in demand for this bubbly wellness drink, we expect to see customers exploring how they can make it a part of their everyday lives in more than one context—and yes, that includes putting it in cocktails.

Whether you’re using kombucha as a mixer with your favorite liquor or simply seeing more of the top brands produce spiked kombucha drinks, bet on this increasingly hip, versatile drink making its way into more coolers around the country in 2021.

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Basque Burnt Cheesecake

Remember the fluffy, jiggly cheesecake trend of 2017? Well, this is its bigger brother—and it’s already been named the 2021 flavor of the year by The New York Times. This cheesecake features a, well, burnt outside—with no crust and a soft, creamy center. The Basque burnt cheesecake originated in San Sebastian, Spain in the 1990s, and is now appearing in Michelin-star restaurants, bakeries and home kitchens all over the world.

Keep your eyes peeled for this delicious dessert to start taking over your social feeds and TikTok streams in 2021. There’s sure to be some fun flops as novice and pro cooks alike try to perfectly burn the outside of this cheesecake while still baking the center to perfection. 

Plant-Based Proteins

While we aren’t predicting everyone will be going completely vegetarian or vegan, we do think a lot of customers will be reaching for more plant-based protein. Hemp and tofu will be appearing in more of our favorite recipes, and chickpeas will likely become a healthier ingredient to work into our diets more often. Think chickpea-based pasta and snack foods. 

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Spicy Surprises

Folks are looking to spice up their lives in 2021. Pinterest has seen double the searches year over year for jalapeno pepper jelly, and a 155% increase in searches for hot honey. Professional chefs and home cooks alike will experiment with adding some heat and stronger flavors to their plates this year. We also think this food trend will appear in the form of spicy condiments on fancy charcuterie boards and in some classic burger recipes.

Whetting Your Appetite for 2021

While a lot of things in 2021 remain uncertain, one thing’s for sure: These are the food trends we expect to be hitting plates and stomachs this year, and we’re sticking to them. How many do you expect to try?


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