5 in 5: Food Trends of 2021

Padilla stands at the intersection of people, culture and brands to bring you five stories that you can read in five minutes. This week, the Food + Beverage team rounds up five of the hottest food trends from 2021.

  1. Superfood Powders

What’s Up: Although the superfood trend dates back to the early ’80s, we have definitely seen it explode this year among the health-conscious. This trend is ever-evolving, with new superfoods added every year. The latest craze? Superfood powders, like maca root (the ancient South American superfood), cacao, ground turmeric, and mushroom powder. Why We’re Clocking It: The high vitamin and mineral content found in superfoods can help your body ward off diseases and keep you healthy. When incorporated into a well-balanced diet, these foods can promote heart health, weight loss, improve energy levels and even reduce the effects of aging. [Integris Health] [Touch Bistro]

2. Cooking Crafts

What’s Up: TikTok has had a huge impact on many individuals’ cooking and eating habits this year. These cooking crafts featured on TikTok started gaining our attention at the beginning of the pandemic when many of us began experimenting with our home cooking skills and has continued into this year. Some trends we saw in 2021 were the feta pasta, salmon rice bowl, pesto eggs and spicy tuna on crispy rice. Many of these trends have even sold-out grocery stores of specific items! Why We’re Clocking It: Cooking at home has multiple benefits ranging from being a great stress reliever to being a lot healthier than ordering food or eating ready-made meals. [Like to Cook]

3. Plant-Based Diets

What’s up: Plant-based diets have been around for ages, but it may have been a part of fad diets over the years. Today’s plant-based offerings have become a part of the natural landscape rather than a short-term trend. Why We’re Clocking It: Did you know, the number of Americans following plant-based diets has surged 300% in the last 15 years? [Vegan News]

4. A Return to Comfort Foods

What’s up: “Instead of chefs and restaurateurs struggling to find an exciting new ingredient or outlandish new promotion, this year we have seen a strong focus on getting back a sense of balance. People just want to gather and socialize while feeling safe—so instead of obsessing over a rare new item, restaurants moved forward by providing guests with feel-good food and genuine hospitality, filling the need for comfort and warmth during these extraordinary times.”Elizabeth Blau, Owner, Honey Salt and Founder/CEO, Blau + Associates in Las Vegas. Why We’re Clocking It: In unprecedented times like these, even people who love change tend to enjoy the things that are familiar to us. Check out this Thanksgiving Pinterest board, filled with great comfort food holiday recipes and inspo. [PureWow and Martha Stewart Living]

5. Coffee-Based Cocktails

What’s Up: Coffee-based cocktails have definitely made a comeback in 2021. In the first six months of 2021, “the rate of mentions of espresso martinis in U.S. food and restaurant reviews is up nearly 300 percent from the same period three years earlier,” according to a representative for Yelp’s data science team, which traces trends through mentions of dish names in reviews from users. Why We’re Clocking It: Although coffee-based cocktails may be delicious, they aren’t the best for you health wise. For starters, coffee and alcohol are two of the most dehydrating drinks out there. Additionally, “coffee is a stimulant and alcohol is a depressant, so your body is doing different actions simultaneously, which may not be ideal,” said Frances Largeman-Roth, a registered dietitian nutritionist and author of “Eating in Color: Delicious, Healthy Recipes for You and Your Family.” [HuffPost]

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