Cloud kitchens, vegan foods & more, experts share trends likely to emerge this year

Cloud kitchens, vegan foods & more, experts share trends likely to emerge this year

Gurnaaz Kaur

We cooked more than ever before in 2020! Family dinners or catching up with friends wasn’t about going to a restaurant; it meant dishing out something special in your own kitchen. Food became the source of joy and togetherness, and being healthy a priority. Now, in 2021, what will the world of food look like? Industry experts share the forecast on all that will set the stage for dining trends.

Among the food choices, clean eating became a world phenomenon due to the pandemic. And it will continue to grow. “Due to Covid-19, a majority has refrained from eating meats, so there will be many quick vegan recipes that make use of easily available ingredients,” says chef and food blogger Anukriti Jhamb. Reiterating the thought is Bharat Bhandari, food expert and restaurateur, “Organic produce, Vegan foods and plant-based diets are all going to be on the rise for a while.”

Diet-based trend

In 2020, dieticians not only prescribed what to eat when, but also provided the meal for their clients. Angad says the trend is here to stay, “Meals prepared by experts, as per one’s health and requirements, will be a hit.”

Safe at home

Likewise, in eating out versus eating at home, the latter wins. “Eating at home will be the trend. A lot of people will resort to cloud kitchens primarily because the investment is low and also because food deliveries are going up,” says Angad Singh, brand consultant, The Right Knife. “I believe it will be a mix of the two, eating at home when you can and eating out whenever convenient, but with all the precautions,” explains Anukriti.

Industry analyst Gunkaran Singh thinks whoever is doing ‘niche’ food is going to do well. “The city is opening up to international cuisines like sushi, barbeques, pork and stuff. At the same time, the demand for vegan and fresh food industry is also coming up in a very strong way. People are now actually focusing on salads; the need of the hour is some decent breakfast places.”

He adds, “In the last two-three years, everybody wanted to open up a night club or a lounge. Nobody focused on food.”

Serve good food

According to Bharat, the most important trend to look out for is not just the cuisine but the PR with customers. “Tricity has become a much more evolved market where consumers can distinguish between right and wrong. The need of the hour is to focus on the primary goal of a restaurant — serve good food.”

People have gone back to coffee and pizzas in a big manner. Angad says, “People have realised that they do not have to go out just for the three meals, they choose to go for a cup of coffee as well. And they are choosing neapolitan pizzas and are willing to pay a high price for it.”

On the beverage menu this year will be a lot of cocktails. “People are becoming familiar with the traditional old-school cocktails. We might be looking at state-of-the-art gastro pubs with experimental cocktails as entertainment,” says Bharat. And Anukriti says this is the year for ciders. “Many local brands have launched numerous flavours in ciders, which cater to the Indian palate,” she says.

In a nutshell

  • Health and wellness will be the focus of 2021 and therefore clean eating, vegan food and plant-based diet will be a hit.
  • Eating at home will shift to dining-out post March 2021.
  • We will see niche cuisine restaurants gaining popularity.
  • For large gatherings and celebrations, micro-catering at home with a limited number of guests will continue to be in demand.
  • Good food, good service and hygiene will become the deciding factors for restaurants.
  • Neapolitan pizzas and coffee are the new go-to snack for people.

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