Following the uncertainty of 2020, forecasting the future of the food and drink industry is challenging to say the least. But rather than dwelling on the negatives, it’s time to take a moment to look forward at all of the exciting things to come. 

Below, we’ve gathered the top four food trends that we predict will redefine the way we eat in 2021.


The impact that our food has on our planet has been at the forefront of the industry’s mind for quite some time. This year, it’s time to take things seriously and start acting.

Consumers are now beginning to understand the environmental cost of what we eat and are opting for plant-based alternatives. As their demand continues to grow in 2021, restaurants and pub chains need to take note and add even more vegan options to their menu – which will have a knock-on effect for the manufacturers they work with.

Supermarkets will follow suit where they haven’t already; Tesco has started to introduce a range of vegan ready meals, and we expect to see similar plant-forward products grace the shelves in the near future. 

Smaller vegan businesses including Allplants are also challenging the status quo. They deliver 100% plant-based frozen meals to homes across the UK and have recently launched a ‘lighter menu’ just in time for Veganuary.


  • Buying for mother nature

Buying for mother nature doesn’t just mean eating plant-based products – it means buying from food companies that source sustainably.

The ongoing and unpredictable COVID-19 crisis, in addition to environmental disasters, has drastically altered the way people buy and consume food. Consumers – particularly Gen Z and millennials – now want to know where their food and drinks come from. More specifically, they want to know that they aren’t contributing to the problem. 

As such, many of 2021’s consumers will support local growers and producers where possible. Farmdrop, an app that connects consumers to over 450 producers ‘who are committed to making food and drink to the highest environmental and animal welfare standards’, have seen incredible growth over the course of 2020. They expect demand to continue as they look to expand further.


  • Eco-conscious packaging

Every year, more than 8 million tonnes of plastic are dumped in our oceans. By 2050, experts believe that there will be more plastic than fish. How do we prevent this? By opting for eco-conscious packaging

With the issue of global warming and climate change on everyone’s mind, this year is sure to see an increase in the number of companies producing environmentally friendly packaging and alternatives to single-use products. 

Many businesses have already started to respond to concerns over the negative impact of their plastic waste; items like straws and drink holders are beginning to disappear from places like Wetherspoons, McDonald’s and Burger King. We expect more companies to join them in the race to zero waste.


  • A focus on the immune system

The pandemic has also strengthened the focus on health and wellbeing, with consumers now seeking out foods that are beneficial for the immune system – including those that contain zinc, as well as vitamins D and C.

Tetley, for example, recently revealed that their ‘Super Fruits’ and multivitamin teas saw a huge spike in sales in March 2020. We expect this trend to progress into 2021 and beyond, as consumers continue to look for ways to support their ability to heal and fight disease.


Stay ahead of the curve with Silven

One thing is clear: manufacturers that invest in product development stand to reap the rewards in 2021. So whether you’re looking for permanent additions to take your business forward or interim staff to help you keep up with market changes, we can support you.

Silven have been sourcing talent for food manufacturers big and small for nearly a decade. If you’re looking to hire, you can be sure that we’ve seen it all before. To start the conversation, get in touch with our team by calling 0161 832 7463 or emailing