10 Foods and Drinks You’ll See Everywhere in 2021

Food Network Magazine gives you a taste of what's to come this year!

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January 05, 2021

One of the things we love most about the beginning of a brand-new year is all the delicious and unexpected food and drink trends that come along with it. From big, diner-style breakfasts to candy-covered gazing boards, 2021 is sure to be filled with fun finds absolutely everyone can get behind. As part of their newest issue, Food Network Magazine searched high and low for all the newest foods and drinks you’re sure to see everywhere in the upcoming months, and boy, oh boy, are we excited! Keep reading to see Food Network Magazine’s Hot List for 2021 and to discover what flavor their editors dubbed “Flavor of the Year.”

Breakfast: Batter Up!

More time at home could change our breakfast habits for good. Instead of scarfing down granola bars on the go, many of us now have time for a proper first meal, even on weekdays. Companies like Krusteaz and Kodiak Cakes have seen an up to 50 percent surge in demand for pancake and waffle mixes, while cereal sales — which had been declining for years — are getting a sudden boost. Start your morning off right with our easy pancake recipe!

Sweet Stuff: Mochi Moment

Mochi doughnuts are popping up everywhere, and that’s great news for doughnut lovers: The pastries are made with glutinous rice flour, so they’re light and chewy — and they’re highly Instagrammable, thanks to the flowerlike “pon de ring” shape popularized in Japan. Here are 13 spots where you can find them — a baker’s dozen!

Plant-Based Foods: Cheesy Impersonators

Dairy-free cheese was once a rare health-food store find, but now it’s everywhere — and it’s remarkably similar to the real stuff. The startup RIND recently won a Specialty Food Association award for its Classic Cambleu, a vegan cheese that mimics a Camembert–blue cheese hybrid (it even grows mold!). Meanwhile, grocery stores are stocking more cheese-like crumbles, slices, shreds and spreads, as sales of plant-based cheese spiked 50 percent last year, according to Nielsen. Check out what’s new:

Fizzy Drinks: Hard Seltzer 2.0

Look out for a new generation of light fizzy drinks as the hard seltzer trend grows. Unlike White Claw, Truly and other malt beverages, many of the latest launches are canned versions of popular mixed drinks: distilled spirits like vodka and tequila cut with carbonated water.

Sustainability: One Person’s Trash...

Here’s a fun way to reduce food waste: Eat it. Upcycled foods, made with scraps that typically get tossed, have gained popularity over the last few years, but they’re poised for a bigger boom than ever thanks to a new label from the Upcycled Food Association. The seal comes out in the spring, but you can try these in the meantime:

Restaurants: Climate-Friendly Cuisine

The latest diet trend isn’t low carb, it’s low carbon. To help the environment, a new wave of dieters called climatarians are cutting down on foods like beef and lamb, which contribute to high levels of greenhouse gas emissions. Restaurant chains are taking note: Just Salad and Panera have started labeling items with low-carbon footprints. Don’t worry, the broccoli cheddar soup passes the test!

Social Media: Sweet Boards

Charcuterie and cheese are great, but the next big grazing trend is all about dessert: boards loaded with artfully arranged candy, cookies and s’mores ingredients. Check out #dessertcharcuterie on Instagram and follow @boards_by_afenyn10, @seecandycook and @thebakermama for inspiration.

Alcohol: Good in Paper

Diageo, the company behind alcohol brands like Smirnoff and Guinness, has created the first-ever plastic-free, paper-based liquor bottle. It’s a big step toward making packaging more eco-friendly: Other paper drink containers, like the ones used for milk, are coated with plastic resin. Look for paper bottles of Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky this spring and nonalcoholic PepsiCo drinks later in the year.

Viral Bites: TikTok Food

Instagram has been turning us on to over-the-top foods like rainbow bagels and crazy milkshakes for years, but TikTok is taking food trends to another level. There’s a new edible sensation every week! We’re not sure what’s coming next, but here’s what seems to hit it big:

Fancy Coffee

It’ll be hard to beat @imhannahcho’s dalgona coffee tutorial from last year, but someone will probably try!

Booze Hacks

Home mixologists keep pushing the limits with tricks like blending White Claw with frozen fruit.

Dinner Shortcuts

We all need more dinner hacks like TikTok’s “nacho table” of tortilla chips with all the fixings.

Restaurant Re-creations

Chipotle fans loved the chain’s cilantro-lime rice tutorial; Starbucks fans are sharing pink drink ideas.

DIY Cereal

First came bowls of tiny flapjacks, followed by mini cookies, doughnuts and waffles.

Flavor of the Year: Hot Honey

Hot honey might have sounded strange a few years ago, but now it’s one of Amazon’s best-selling sauces and a staple at more than 2,000 restaurants across the country. It began as an unlikely pizza topping: In 2010, a guy named Mike Kurtz started making chile-infused honey for the pizzas at Paulie Gee’s in Brooklyn. Sales of Mike’s Hot Honey have doubled every year since, inspiring other brands to launch similarly fiery honeys. Use some to add a sweet-and-spicy kick to sandwiches, cocktails and even ice cream.

Story Credits:

Introduction written by Michelle Baricevic for FoodNetwork.com.

Food and drink trends written about by Francesca Cocchi for Food Network Magazine.

Photo Credits:

Pancake Stack photo by Charles Masters.

Mochi Doughnut and Good Vodka photos by Philip Friedman.

Dessert Board photo by BOARDS_BY_AFENYN10.

White Claw Smoothie photo by Lauren King/Getty Images/EyeEm.

Pancake Cereal photo by Mollie Kingsbury.

Nacho Table photo by Vaaseenaa/Getty Images/iStockphoto.

Dalgona Coffee photo by Zarzamora/Shutterstock.

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