The at-home food revolution has impacted, how, what and why we eat

(Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for NYCWFF)
(Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for NYCWFF) /

Predicting 2021 food trends can be uncertain, but the at-home food revolution has sparked quite a change.

In the past several months, the at-home food revolution has changed how, what and why people eat. At the beginning of 2020, few people would have ever thought that they would have mastered a sourdough starter or learned to sous vide a short rib. Still, that time in the kitchen offered the comfort that everyone needed.

Looking ahead to the 2021 food trends, the past nine months will have a big impact both the food people prepare, the food that people crave and the food that people buy. All those cooking skills will not be forgotten like high school algebra. Everyone will keep putting that cooking knowledge to use.

Recently, Nestle released its food trend predictions for 2021. While the food predictions cover a variety of topics, one aspect seems to tie them all together. That at-home food revolution will continue to impact the food choices in the home and on the table.

From online grocery shopping to social media’s influence on purchases, it seems that the idea of shop and stroll has been replaced by scroll and click. In some ways, this evolution is changing the many types of food that arrive on the table. Whether it is a food trend, lifestyle choice or even just a curiosity about food, the screen holds the shopping inspiration.

While consumers seek to explore, they still turn to favorite, quality brands that they have come to trust over the years. Although value comes into consideration, the trusted brands offer that comforting food that people crave.

Even recent collaborations between brands show this idea at work. From beverage and candy brands creating a signature beverage to other food brand mashups, consumers are more willing to try something new from a brand that they trust versus venturing out into the unknown.

Still, consumers are looking to food as a way to boost their feelings. While that extravagant bucket list trip might be postponed, consumers can indulge in that luxurious chocolate from that far away country. In some ways, the small indulgences will become the new splurge.

For example, premium chocolates can be that little treat to make them feel better. Or, people are becoming that at home barista to satisfy that elevated coffee craving. Even if it is just a little bite, that special taste brings joy.

In a way, consumers and brands are adapting to the constantly changing environment. Whether it is easier at home shopping methods, product innovations or creating better value, nothing is stagnant. Companies, like Nestle, are always looking for a way to make the process, the offerings and the solutions fit consumers’ needs.

While everyone is adapting, Nestle continues to look ahead. It is more than just creative foods and flavors. It believes that making sustainability a priority will resonate with consumers. Beyond the changes in packaging and transparency, consumers want to associate with brands that hold a similar point of view.

For example, Nestle seeks to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In addition, it looks across its entire process to find ways to foster responsibility. From working with farmers on sustainability measures to 100% recyclable packaging by 2025, each aspect looks to put the company on the path towards a better future.

By aligning with consumers’ own beliefs and consumers’ desire for transparency, the at-home food revolution is a working relationship between brand and consumer. From making purchasing easy to responsible business practices, each element aligns together. It fosters brand loyalty while furthering a goal.

As one year comes to a close and another begins, food trends are more than just creative ingredients and bold flavors. For Nestle, it is about the bigger picture for brand and consumer. From seed to plate and beyond, that brand loyalty will spark more than just a revolution.

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What do you think 2021 will hold for food trends and brands?