What’s in Store for Food & Nutrition in 2021?

By Richard Larsson, AW360

It’s safe to say that 2020 was a shock to the system on all fronts, not the least of which is in matters of health. Now that 2021 is well underway, consumers everywhere are seeking knowledge and practical advice on how to better themselves and their health after a rocky year under quarantine and stress. To that end, we’re pleased to offer this 2021 Food & Nutrition Forecast, a report from our friends at Healthline Media.

Among the highlights in the report:

  1. Healthline found that Hybrid Diets are on the rise, with an increase of 156% interest in Flexitarian meal plans among consumers. Flexitarian diets offer a less-restrictive approach to achieving long-term health vs. other, quick-fix solutions. Brands that position themselves as champions of sustainable wellness would do well to align themselves with flexible food and nutrition options this year.
  2. High-protein breakfasts and gourmet coffees follow in consumer interest with a 50% spike in search for breakfast recipes in the past year. With the added time many of us gained from working from home vs. commuting, it’s no surprise that we’re treating the “most important meal of the day” with the respect it deserves.
  3. 30% of consumers have an increased interest in reducing their carbon footprint by way of their diet through sustainable eating trends, using tools like climate change food calculators as a means of helping the planet’s health while meeting their own dietary goals. Additional measures such as food locality are key as consumers flock to nearby supply chains available in their own backyards.

  4. For families with children, an increased interest in vitamins, nutrients and probiotics are the order of the day in 2021. Healthline Media found a 63% year-over-year increase in searches for children’s vitamins and related topics, as well as a +160% increase since the onset of COVID-19 just a year ago.
  5. A rise of 47% in searches for Meal Prep since March 2020 also can’t be ignored. Consumers that want to feel in control of their mealtime routines are planning ahead in ways we haven’t seen in quite some time, and they’re increasingly looking for brand assistance in feeling prepared and productive.
  6. Finally, families are looking to food and meals for connection, no doubt due to their reduced personal connections throughout the pandemic. Brands that help consumers feel seen and understood, as well as those that help spark positive memories and celebrate our individual backgrounds and identities will be the winners in the coming year.

To read the full report, containing all of this and much more, click here.