WGSN, the global authority on trend forecasting, has announced eight Key Trends for 2021 from its new Food & Drink forecasting platform.

The trends reveal what’s next in plant-based innovation, convenient quaffing, functional ingredients and comfort food. Rapid changes fueled by Covid-19 have affected how consumers shop, eat and gather around food.

“With a focus on inspiring and informing strategic new product design, we used a consumer-first approach to analyze and forecast the trends food makers and brands need to know now for future success,” says Kara Nielsen, WGSN’s Director of Food & Drink and a long-time food trend authority. “Our research points to these trends to meet consumer needs and desires next year and to inspire innovative new products with global potential.”

2021 Trends are:

  1. Make Room for Labriculture – The food-tech arena will surge with lab-grown beef, seafood and dairy joining plant-based meat and dairy by year’s end as alternatives to animal products.
  2. Craveable Vegan – Expect tastier vegan tacos, soul food and indulgent snacks from chefs and creators pairing exciting plant-based ingredients with favorite flavors.
  3. Coffee Convenience – Homebound coffee drinking is yielding more convenient coffee formats like concentrates, steeped, single-serve bags and edible coffee snacks.
  4. Canned Everything – Along with canned wine, cocktails and hard beverages, 2021 will welcome innovation in sustainable aluminum cans to support our passion for portable potables.
  5. Crazy for Cacao – Chocolate lovers will have more to enjoy thanks to resourceful new products being created from cacao pods, and increased attention to cacao’s heritage and preservation.
  6. Burnt Basque Cheesecake – This buzzy dessert’s oozing, creamy center and alluring charred top will move from Instagram comfort-food darling to menu and freezer-case treat.
  7. Brain Food – It’s been hard to focus this year. Brands will leverage the mental clarity benefits of L-Theanine, the amino acid that powers green tea and other nootropics, to help us think clearly.
  8. Sleepy Time Eats – Need some rest? Turn to new food and drink designed to promote a good night’s sleep, from natural botanicals, fruits and other nutritious ingredients.