Food, drink and wellness trends for 2021

Tenna Annette, co-founder and raw food expert at Purearth, discusses food, drink and wellness trends for 2021.

Never has there been a greater awareness of the importance of fuelling our body with quality food and drink to help achieve optimal physical and mental health and wellness. Immunity-boosting ingredients will play a significant role in the coming year, while research and interest in the role of the microbiome and personalized nutrition as ways to strengthen immunity will accelerate further.

  1. Healthy gut as a gateway to wellness

Over 25% of global consumers suffer from digestive health issues, and 50% of those say it impacts their overall health. As we move into 2021 we predict a huge shift in people’s appreciation of good gut health and a healthy microbiome for immunity, energy, bloating and physical and mental wellbeing.

Mover over kombucha – expect to see more prominence given to Water Kefir, the fermented drink that has been shown to help boost the immune system and aid digestion. We will see a significant move from the health food aisles into the mainstream as consumers look to reap its rewards.

  1. Immune boosting snacks  

The global pandemic saw a huge increase in consumers seeking out nutrition to protect their immune system. 54% of all consumers care more about the value of their food and beverage choices in 2020 than they did in 2010. This is set to continue into 2021, with drinks and snacks containing superfoods and probiotics, as well as broths and sauerkrauts, all containing ingredients like vitamin C and adaptogen-rich herbs. Whether it’s vegan broths for a snack or green juices in our kids’ lunch boxes, the immune system will continue to be a focus for the whole family.  

  1. Transparency is everything

A knock-on effect of the emotionally challenging climate we’re enduring has led consumers to seek more transparency from the products they consume. Brands will need to show increased credibility behind any nutritional and scientific claims, engaging scientists and experts with specific knowledge to reinforce their products. Brands will also need to be even more transparent when it comes to the provenance of ingredients, but also ethical, environmental and clean label. Over two thirds of consumers want the products they buy to have a positive impact on the environment. Aspects include human/animal welfare, supply chain transparency, plant-powered nutrition and sustainable sourcing.

  1. Hard ‘live’ drinks

Wellness conscious consumers are looking for healthier ways to consume alcohol with hard alternatives to their favourite soft drinks. By adding gin, vodka or tequila to nutritious and beneficial drinks such as kombucha and water kefirs, people can create delicious and refreshing cocktails that have an added health benefit. Water kefir flavours such as hibiscus, lemon and ginger really elevate when mixed with a neat spirit and ice.

  1. Hormone ‘levelling’

Many are starting to adopt a natural approach to hormones, specifically focusing on the endocrine system, which takes care of our hormone levels. The gut has a significant influence over our endocrine system and tackling hormonal imbalance can help with issues related to PCOS, insomnia, fertility, menopause, digestive issues, skin and weight management to name a few. Diet and nutrition can play a vital role as specific nutrients and foods help support a healthy endocrine system, foods such as fresh fruit and veg are also great. Purearth has designed a medicinal cleanse with adaptogens that support adrenals and the endocrine system by re-balancing the body to improve hormonal imbalance.

  1. Juice cleanses are back, and in a big way

Previously consumers associate detoxing and juice cleanses with weight loss. However, cleanses are back and in a big way. Not targeted at consumers to shed the pounds, but a more holistic approach is taken with many smart juice cleanses on the market, tailored to people’s needs. Juice cleanses can improve alkaline levels, alleviate fatigue and boost immunity. As well as this, they can aid preparation for conceiving, remove heavy metals from the body, improve skin health and balance hormones. Juice cleanses and detoxing will be back on the menu for 2021.

  1. Weight watching for wellness, not aesthetics 

While in previous years people were more likely to engage with a weight loss plan to change their appearance, the pandemic has shifted our focus. We are seeing more people coming to us because they want to reset their digestive system or boost their health. Weight loss is about being healthy to withstand whatever the pandemic might throw our way, making our appearance seem less important.

  1. Sexual wellness

What was once a taboo is fast becoming a booming industry, with growing conversations regarding female self-pleasure, orgasms and sexual health which can dramatically help with stress levels and overall health. Femtech alone is set to be huge, with the global sexual wellness market forecast to be worth £30 billion by 2024 (this category escalated in lockdown, with sales of self-pleasure products going through the roof). Brands are now taking note, with more products aimed at female sexual health – it’s a category here to stay.