Product showcase 2020: The trendsetters leading the way for six of the hottest trend predictions for 2021 and beyond

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

We delve into the biggest trends expected for next year. Pic: GettyImages/ninitta
We delve into the biggest trends expected for next year. Pic: GettyImages/ninitta

Related tags: vegan, low sugar, functional snacks, Sustainability, coronavirus, Spoonshot, Bread & Circus, chickpeas, Cbd, better for you

From Ginger Bakers' vegan cakes, to KPOP's sustainable seaweed snacks and Bart & Judy's 'clean' gourmet chocolate chip cookies, we've teamed up trendsetters with food trendologist Liz Moskow's predictions of the six hottest trends expected to impact product development next year.

Moskow teamed up with food innovation intelligence platform Spoonshot to leverage its massive data pool that processes millions of inputs daily to predict the trends before they happen.

“Both slight and dramatic changes in society, technology, the environment, the economy and in the political landscape shape trends in consumer behaviour,”​ said Moskow, who also serves as principal at independent consultancy Bread & Circus.

“Typically, these factors shift steadily, over the course of several years, manifesting changes in how people purchase and consume food and beverage products. When COVID-19 hit, it caused and continues to drive dramatic changes in the way people view engage in purchase food and beverage. The entire trajectory of consumer behaviour changed almost overnight.“

Sugar rush

Continued mounting pressure from consumers to reduce product sugar content are pushing CPG companies to find a new gold standard of sweetness. The pandemic, too, has completely knocked consumers off track in terms of healthy eating with three in four Americans noting they have gained 16lbs+ in isolation. Now there is a major play to re-prioritise diets, which includes cutting down on sugar.

Trendsetter: Ginger Bakers and Chosan by Nature

Vegan cakes

Chocolate Coffee  Hazelnut Cake Bake - Vegan

With 3.5 million Brits now following a plant-based diet – and numbers expected to rise further thanks to the pandemic – Lake District-baked Ginger Bakers has created a Chocolate, Coffee & Hazelnut Cake Bake to cater for its growing base of vegan and vegetarian consumers.

The handmade cake – made with artisan coffee roasted by local coffee specialist Rinaldo’s – is free from eggs, dairy, gluten and preservatives.

The bake joins the family-run bakery’s existing range of vegan cakes, including a low fat and low sugar Banana & Chocolate Loaf, Lemon & Blackcurrant Cake Bake – made with organic blackcurrants grown by charity partners Growing Well – and a Brazil Nut & Sour Cherry Boost Bar – sweetened with dates). 

“While our vegan cakes are suitable for those choosing a plant-based diet, they are also suitable for those who are interested in reducing their dairy [and sugar] consumption,” ​said Lisa Smith, founder of Ginger Bakers.

“Breadth of choice is extremely important to us … especially as more of our customers are now seeking out more vegan and vegetarian options on shelf.”

Available online for delivery across the UK.

Powered by baobab

Chosan

‘Chosan’ means ‘cultural heritage’ in the Wolof language spoken in The Gambia, and Chosan by nature founder Eliza Jones has done just that with her baobab jams and spreads that pay homage to her rich heritage.

Baobab is known for its health-giving properties, including antioxidants that boost the immune system. The new Chosan collection is also vegan friendly, gluten-free and free from artificial sweeteners and additives, along with a lower sugar content than most jams on the shelf.

It includes a rich Baobab Chocolate Spread (made from baobab, cocoa powder and sweetened with organic raw cane sugar); a spicy and sweet Baobab Jam with Ginger; a zesty Orange & Baobab Jam (packed with vitamin C-infused oranges) and a fruity Banana & Baobab Jam.

All the jams are made without palm oil; raw cane sugar is used because it is less processed and happens to be organic; and fresh bananas, oranges and ginger are used – strictly no extracts or essence. 

The collection is available online for an RRP of £4.50 each or a gift set of four for £20.

Garbanzo: Good to great

The chickpea began its journey to greatness in the early 2000s when hummus migrated from middle-eastern eateries into mainstream … and still features as a top trend for 2021, with far more experimentation with both chickpea flour and aquafaba as consumers clamour for better-for-you plant-based treats.

Trendsetter: My Sweet Chickpea

Nibbles of delight

Dark Chocolate

The brand’s Roasted Chickpeas Coated with Chocolate are packed with protein and good-for-you chickpeas, but also tick the indulgence box with a unctuous chocolate coating.

The snacks come in three flavours – Dark Chocolate, Coconut & Dark Chocolate and Cappuccino & Dark Chocolate – and are vegan, gluten free, dairy free and free from 14 common allergens.

My Sweet’s chickpeas are always roasted, never fried, meaning they contain significantly less fat than other leading free from chocolate snacks. Packed in handy 100g pouches, which are, of course, recyclable.

Available in the UK from The Health Store and Tree Of Life for an RRP of £1.25 per 100g pouch.

CBD adjacent

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that around 300 million people around the world suffer from an anxiety disorder, a number that is expected to soar in light of COVID-19. People are dealing with high levels of anxiety, depression, lack of motivation and immense stress and are looking for products that can help them better cope.

Consumers are also demanding more functionality from their snacks, like added protein for energy, and fibre for gut and immune health.

Trendsetter: Myprotein

Crushing it

OcadoBootsTradeLaunchCarb crusher-fudge brownie_

The sports nutrition brand is expanding in both the grocery sector and the high street, with new listings in Boots.

Rollouts include Myprotein 6 Layer Bars (60g) and Myprotein Carb Crusher Bars (64g), both in Fudge Brownie and Peanut Butter variants, along with Myprotein’s award-winning Clear Whey in retail-focussed tubs of 10 servings (Peach Tea and Orange & Mango).

The products are available both online and in store across the UK, with online grocer Ocado also listing 16 Myprotein and Myvegan products across a variety of ranges, including Myprotein Birthday Cake and Chocolate Sundae Layered Bars and Myvegan Baked Cookie in Double Chocolate.

“Current data gives a strong indication of the increasing popularity of consumer behaviours and trends towards healthier habits,”​ said Matthew Moulding, CEO and founder of Myprotein brand owner, The Hut Group.

“Myprotein is leading innovation within this market and we now have an opportunity to expand our reach to even more consumer-friendly audiences.”

Climatarians are coming

Climate change is top-of-mind for food predictions for 2021. It seems the world is in dire peril and the time to change course is now. Vegans have been doing their part to combat climate change by avoiding meat for years, but a more comprehensive approach is coming, from sustainable diets to products with a smaller footprint, upcycling to eliminate food waste and snacks with a story.

Trendsetters: KPOP Foods and Soozy’s Grain-Free

Sustainable seaweed

snack2_1200x800

KPOP Foods has launched a Kimchi Flavoured Sea Snack that brings all the marine goodness to life in a snack, including the swath of vitamins and minerals packed in seaweed, at only 20 calories per pack.

Kimchi adds an extra flavour dimension and punch to the guilt-free indulgence.

According to the producer, since its launch on Amazon earlier this month, the product has been receiving rave reviews, with reports of a 20-pack disappearing within a matter of minutes.

KPOP’s snacks can be enjoyed as a standalone snack and can also add flavour to rice or soup dishes, tacos and sandwiches.

Going grain free

Soozys

Gluten-free, plant-based and low-carb are just some of the standouts of Soozy’s Grain-Free breakfast and sandwich staples.

The nutrient-dense baked goods innovator is launching a new line of breads and bagels, exclusively available in the gluten-free frozen section of at Whole Foods Market stores across the US. The SKUs expands upon its current portfolio that includes muffins and donuts, sold in the frozen aisle, and grain-free, plant-based cookies, which are shelf stable.

Soozy’s keto-friendly Original Sandwich Bread and Superseed Bread is available in two variants – Original Sandwich Bread and Superseed Bread – packed with powerhouse ingredients like almond flour, coconut flour and avocado oil. Each slice contains less than 8g of net carbs per serving.

The Original Bagels are plant-based, egg-free and dairy-free, made with almond flour, cassava and flax.

All of Soozy’s Grain-Free products are Non-GMO Project Verified, Certified Glyphosate Residue-Free and made without sugar alcohols, gums and stabilizers.

The bread is sold in half loaves (11.1oz) for an RRP $5.99, while the bagels (14.1oz) are sold in a 5-count bag, with an RRP of $8.99.

Everything in moderation

Recent consumption seems to exist at opposite ends of the healthy eating spectrum as consumers seek solace in these unprecedent times. However, 2020 will usher in a year of foodie bipartisanship - animal vs plant and decadent vs functional.

Trendsetter: Bart & Judy's Bakery

Still room for indulgence

Bart and Judy's

Los Angeles-based Bart & Judy’s Bakery is resetting indulgent snacking with Bart & Judy’s Natural Gourmet Chocolate Chip Cookies.

According to the producers, chocolate chip cookies – which were first invented in 1938 – are the highest volume cookies sold in America. However, to maintain an affordable price point, most of the shelves are loaded with artificial ingredients and preservatives.

“Bart & Judy’s Natural Gourmet Chocolate Chip Cookies fill the gap that no other cookie has been able to fill,”​ said owner Bart Greenhut.

“Today, consumers are seeking more natural, products but, until now, ‘clean’ chocolate chip cookies have been out of reach for the average family.”

Bart & Judy’s cookies are produced with real-food ingredients, such as creamery butter, dark Belgian chocolate and Madagascar vanilla, and contain no preservatives, artificial ingredients or chemical additives.

Available in 2oz and 3oz ‘snack packs’, the cookies are shipped fresh and have a 12 month shelf-life.

Ghosting restaurants to ghost kitchens

COVID-19’s impact on foodservice has been felt far and wide, but enterprising restaurant entrepreneurs and chefs are not taking the situation lying down. Expect to see a lot more innovation come out of the foodservice industry and into the snack aisle in the coming year.

Trendsetters: Butt Foods and Milano

Expanding into retail

Baked Earth Naans 1 SMALL SIZE

Specialist naan bread and flat bread bakery Butt Foods has expanded into the retail sector with its Baked Earth brand as part of its plan to diversify and to overcome the challenges of the pandemic.

The third generation Nottingham-based company – which is celebrating 30 anniversary supplying the food service sector – has won listing with five major retailers in the UK, supplying around 2,100 stores, as well as a deal with a company that has more than 600 stores in mainland Europe.

“The [food service] sector was obviously badly hit during lockdown, but fortunately for Butt Foods, we had begun to diversify into the retail sector just before the pandemic started – a process that we accelerated during lockdown,”​ said Dan Butt, MD of Butt Foods.

The Baked Earth branding has been given a refresh, now sporting a black and white family photo of Dan’s parents taken in the early days of the business. The company has its roots as the first curry house in Nottingham, opened in 1973 by the Butt brother’s grandfather. It was Dan and Taz’s father, Mazhar, who launched the bakery.

The bakery produces a range of naan breads – in various shapes, sizes and flavours, including Plain, Garlic & Coriander – and flatbreads, such as the rectangular folded flatbread.

Last year, the bakery gained Vegan Society accreditation for its core range of naan and flatbreads, which come in various formats, sizes and flavours.

Coffee, anyone?

Milano x Tan France Image 1

Not strictly serving only the food service sector, but still entrepreneurs diversifying to continue attracting consumers during the lockdown, Milano has partnered with Queer Eye’s Tan France for National Coffee Day today (29 September). 

Spoonshot analyses billions of data points, across 22 different types of data, spanning more than 12K long-tail data sources, including scientific journals, niche food communities and social commerce platforms. The agency connects seemingly disparate dots between these data sets using AI and food science domain expertise to uncover innovation opportunities.

Milano cookies is making ‘me-time’ extra special on Coffee Day this year, by releasing a limited edition Milano x Tan France Cup & Sauce set with a limited-edition Milano x Tan France Cup & Saucer set, crafted to make nibbling on cookies even more indulgent. 

“Now more than ever, it’s important to appreciate and reflect on wins big and small – and I personally enjoy doing so while curling up with my favourite cup of coffee and having a Milano cookie,” ​said the self-made style star and TV host.

“[The set has been] specially designed to add a little extra sweetness to your daily routine. Whether you’ve accomplished a huge work goal or simply need a break from all that is 2020, what better way to celebrate than to have a cookie?” 

Each set includes a bag of Double Dark Chocolate Milano cookies, which the biscuit producer will be giving away in select numbers on National Coffee Day. To win, follow @Milanocookies on Instagram and tag with whom you’d like to #HaveACookie. 

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