Trends 2021 - Food & Beverages

Trends 2021 - Food & Beverages

At the end of 2020, together with our Culture + Trends team, we looked at how the exceptionally bizarre 2020 would affect consumers in 2021. Based on our model of 7 universal human drivers to maximize happiness, we conducted qualitative and quantitative research with leading-edge and everyday consumers in 16 markets worldwide. In this series of articles, I will deep-dive into a selection of sectors to showcase which trends are strongly manifesting and how to leverage these for your brand. This week, the Food & Beverages industry.

Home sweet home

Various lockdowns and many hours spent within our four walls have made us hyper-aware of the importance of a restful, luxurious home. I recently read in an interview with Tijs Van Elderen, CEO of Brabantia, how their company grew by more than 50% in the past year, and they are far from the only sector that benefits from a crisis. German brand Frankfurter Brett expanded its kitchen range by capitalizing on the trend of more luxury and self-indulgence in home cooking. Magnum just brought out the Double Gold Caramel Billionaire edition, and Bacardi created ‘Twistails’, kits for home-shaken cocktails, for the German market.

By now we’ve installed our home spa or home fitness, adopted a pet, and upgraded our home cinema a bit. The fine line between media and food is getting thinner, leading to the ‘eatertainment’ trend. For the launch of Raya & The Last Dragon, Disney partnered with Omsom for a seasoning mix for Asian sauces, and seltzer brand Sanzo gave a 15% ‘Raya‘ discount. Sony Pictures and Uber Eats brought Los Pollos Hermanos (Breaking Bad) to life as a delivery restaurant.

We wish to culinarily indulge ourselves at home, as well as our most loyal roommate. Ben & Jerry’s introduced the Doggie Desserts, Woofboard advertises its ‘Dogcuterie board’ on Instagram, and Bonne & Filou serves luxurious 100% natural dog macarons…


Wild & Weird

This may all seem a bit bizarre to you, but then again wild & weird is a trend that will continue in the aftermath of the pandemic. Like the way disco in the ‘70s made us digest the oil crisis with frantically colorful and bizarre fashion, exuberant music… and mirror balls. The #PlayWithPringles campaign on TikTok reached 230 million views in less than three weeks. The challenge: get creative with the famous Pringles cylinder, in a dance, with music, and dress up as… your favorite packaging. It was the second most successful brand campaign in Germany in terms of views on the video platform.

Packaging designers are increasingly trading in the safe 50 shades of green for food products, for more colorful design and fonts. In addition to fluorescent drinks, Urban Lemonade also shows colorful spheres on its label, and the snack Good Fish, made from salmon skin, comes in a dark blue bag with red-letter print.

Astrology is also back, even though it was never quite gone. Beer brand Skol launched 12 brightly colored Beats Zodiac varieties, one for each zodiac sign.


A good neighbor

The pandemic has boosted our sense of solidarity and ‘neighborness. Farmer markets became trendy again, and we visited the local bakery and butcher more often or supported local restaurants with take-out donations.

In France, Burger King bought a surplus 200 tons of potatoes to help local farmers and prevent food waste, repackaged them and gave them to drive-through customers, that could use them to make the potato recipes on the Burger King website. In Roubaix, Coopérative Baraka encourages both sustainability and the connection of neighborhood residents – in the shared central city garden, residents can grow fruit, vegetables and herbs that are incorporated into a daily dish; they also exchange books, clothing and furniture. Comunità Frizzante in the Italian Alps is working with a community of local farmers, experts and chefs to come up with new drinks and flavors. At Australian supermarket Coles Local in Sydney, 96% of the range is grown locally.

Wish to learn more about these and other consumer trends? Get your free download of our 2021 global trend report!

2022 Consumer Trends Report

2022 Consumer Trends report

As experts in people-centric future thinking, we identified 10 consumer trends for 2022, and we validated these with 15,000 consumers in 17 markets around the globe. This report shows the emerging trends that are shaping the 2022 consumer.

More info

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