2021 will bring renaissance of Indian regional cuisines: Report

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By Puja Gupta
New Delhi, March 18 (IANSlife)
We’ve been moving toward a regional renaissance in Indian food over the last decade, that 2020 accelerated, says a new report.
The fourth edition of the Godrej Food Trends Report 2021 lists down the top 12 trends predicted for 2021 in Dining-in, Dining-out, Beverage, Dessert, Kitchen Design, etc. within the food industry.
The report covers over 200 experts who have shared their insights, top picks, and detailed opinions which are combined and analysed to finally arrive at the evident predictions for 2021.
The top food trends predicted for 2021 are:

1. Breakfast Will Be Served, Reimagined

The experts predict increasing innovation in the category, from ground-breaking packaged solutions to innovative artisanal offerings from home entrepreneurs and restaurants.

2. Burgeoning Interest in Flavor

2021 will see the consumer exploring flavors and nuances thereof in a quest to keep feeding the hunger for new flavors. From ingredients, spices, cooking fats, ferments, coffee, tea, alcohol, to investing in the acquisition of knowledge around particular topics via cookbooks, cooking videos, LIVE discussions, cooking classes, discussion groups and more.

3. Deeper Explorations of Indian Ferments

Traditional wisdom and the perceived health benefits of fermentation and a rising interest in the cuisines of north east India are all fueling a deeper exploration into the rich repertoire of fermented foods in India. 2021 will bring a lot more Indian ferments into home kitchens, on the shelves and on restaurant menus.

4. Ghar Ki Rasoi Will Take Centre Stage

In 2021, the home kitchen will rule dining decisions both in and out of the home. From restructured mealtimes to ingredient sourcing, menus and how food is cooked and served, to dictating the design of kitchens, dining areas and home gardens. Beyond that, the home kitchen will also govern what the food industry will offer in terms of innovations in appliances and products and offerings on restaurant menus.

5. Home Delivery Will See Unprecedented Innovation

2021 will bring unprecedented realignment in this sector across the food industry as it works to survive and adapt to the new order. It will also be the year delivery will become premium, experiential and personalised as hospitality players polish in-home dining experiences, and technology is stirred into the mix to track diner preferences and arrival time of orders, provide for WhatsApp assistance, and more.

6. Homegrown Will Rule As Mindful Eating Gains Traction

Conversations around health, sustainability and, farmer welfare that brought millets into consumer focus in the recent past have sparked a similar interest and revival of all things indigenous, from ingredients to flavors. Consumers will be ‘vocal for local’ to support homegrown food producers and businesses.

7. Indian Food Will Find Brag Value on Instagram

In 2021, social media will continue to be a popular marketing channel, and all things Indian-regional cuisines, indigenous ingredients, traditional cookware and stories about food — will enjoy brag-value or shall we say become instagrammable.

8. North-east Cuisines Will Offer Homegrown Exotic

The culinary culture of north-east India has been consistently garnering interest in the past few years. With a unique flavor profile and indigenous ingredients unlike the rest of the country, the cuisines of the North-East offer homegrown exotic we are only just learning to value. 2020 accelerated the discovery of the region with the emergence of home-cooks, small businesses and culinary experiences, offering us a chance to explore these unique flavors through offerings that were a click away. The cuisines of Assam, Nagaland and Mizoram are already creating conversations and 2021 will see Indians exploring north-east Indian cuisine like never before.

9. Proactive Wellness, Food as Self-Care will Drive Individual Diet Choices

A growing interest in Ayurveda, rising curiosity in nutrigenomics and personally optimized diet options show that consumers will look for solutions that best align with individual lifestyle choices in 2021.

10. The Renaissance of Indian Regional Cuisines

2018 was the year of Indian regional cuisines, 2019 was about micro-cuisines and 2020 sparked a cooking revolution, inspiring exploration of Indian cuisine like never before. With our sphere of activity drastically restricted, Indians learned to appreciate ‘homemade’, gained a newfound respect for ‘local’, and acquired a heightened awareness and interest in ‘regional flavours’, Home kitchens rediscovered and reclaimed their histories through their community cuisines while restaurant chefs used this time to travel and discover ethnic cuisines of different micro-regions. 2021 will bring the renaissance of Indian regional cuisines with the legion of home chefs and mini enterprises poised to unleash a smorgasbord of offerings.

11. The Rise of Culinary Self Reliance – DIY

Time, curiosity, and a need for individual expression led to investment in elaborate DIY projects. Everything from roti to sourdough, kombuchas to rai-paani achaar, perfecting culinary skills to DIY kitchen décor, aquaponics to urban gardens were explored. The year 2020 prompted a pivot to culinary self-reliance and DIY across the board, and it’s a habit that will stay with us through 2021 and beyond.

12. Take Me Halfway — Home Kitchens Will Want Mindful Convenience

Convenience cooking has shown a steady rise in adaptability and respectability over the last few years. There is industry-wide innovation underway to provide solutions for ready-to-cook, ready-to-eat and everything in between to support new work-life systems in 2021.

Speaking about the report, Sujit Patil, VP and Head Corporate Brand and Communications Godrej Industries Limited and Associate Companies, said, “The Godrej Food Trends Report is a unique compilation of trends and insights that is collated basis inputs from some of the best food experts in the industry consisting of top chefs, restaurateurs, chroniclers, reviewers and thought leaders. Thanks to the continued support of close to 200 regular and first-time respondents, the report has been steadily growing over the years with deeper and more diverse insights. The Godrej Food Trends 2021 Report aims to be a key addition to every food professional’s reading list and is available for download at Vikhroli Cucina.”

(Puja Gupta can be contacted at puja.g@ians.in)

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