How we will be eating and drinking in 2021
Food and drink nursed so many of us through the endless endurance test that was 2020. But as our first anniversary of living with covid looms, how might our food fixations evolve over the coming year? From zero waste menus and cannabis cocktails to ingenious meat substitutes and robot servers, here are our hot predictions on what we’ll be tucking into in 2021.
With more and more research warning us about the devastating effect of the meat industry to our planet, and those cheeseburgers harm to our bodies, we’ll see more and more meat alternatives becoming the norm in restaurants and on the supermarket shelves. Advancing tech will mean that plants will be crafted ingeniously to resemble the taste, touch, tingle of meat and if that isn’t good enough, meat will be grown in labs, sparing animals their suffering and carbon footprint; on that note:
Eco-Friendly Fine Dining
Restaurants and food establishments will no longer be able to get away with low standards in sustainability and pollution. With the boomers leading the way, eco-friendly will be the order of the day. Zero-waste, zero-plastic, sustainable and responsibly sourced cuisine will become more prevalent and more of priority. There will also be more edible and biodegradable packaging and it will be expected that everything from cutlery to straws are either reusable or sustainable.
In this socially distanced world of ours, good food is no longer enough to make us leave the comfort of our own kitchens. Discerning diners more than ever will want a strong story, look and feel to the restaurants they grace with their presence. ‘Is it good enough for the ‘gram’ is a sometimes-worrying trend, however it will push food providers to be more creative than ever to lure customers away from their homes.
Thanks to the health-conscious youngsters, more low and no-alcohol drinks will be appearing on our drinks menus. With the decline of good old alcohol, its green distant cousin CBD (Cannabidiol) will provide the buzz many find from wine and cocktails. CBD just about everything will appear on menus, drinks lists, beauty products and so much more.
AI is sure to invade our eating habits, just as it’s changed the way we watch TV and listen to music. Look out for delivery apps and in-store menu boards that will suggest foods and beverages according to your preferences. Face recognition will allow fast-food restaurants to remember and recommend your order. Robots and rovers will serve your food and coffee and digital payment will ensure almost no human interaction from order to payment.
Return to Tradition
All these ‘advances’ will most likely result in an antithetical nostalgia for cuisine and cooking methods of the past. Lockdowns have proven our hankering for traditional baking methods. Slow cooking by fire, authentic recipes from your grandmother, and Baileys may all make a surprise appearance in 2021, just to remind us that new isn’t always better.