As we enter the 3rd quarter of 2020, our team are shifting their focus to the 2021 global food trends driving consumer demand.

As COVID-19 has impacted significantly on both international travel and restaurant dining, consumers are increasingly seeking accessible global cuisine. Our team have explored 2021 global food trends and have pinpointed a few delicacies from around the world that we anticipate growing in popularity.

In Thailand and Vietnam, Sriracha sauce is a well-known spicy dipping sauce, and demand is steadily rising here in the UK. Traditionally made from chilli peppers, sugar, garlic, distilled vinegar, and salt, the sauce is incredibly versatile and works well combined with many flavours including honey and chicken. 

Another popular chilli offering is Harissa paste, originating from Northern Africa. Garlic paste, caraway seeds, coriander seeds, and cumin are added to the peppers to bring depth, with many local variations including a rose petal harissa. Mainly associated with Tunisia, harissa paste is used to spice up a variety of dishes and is quickly becoming a kitchen staple in the UK.

As the country was once a trade hub, Sri Lankan cuisine incorporates many influences from as far away as the Netherlands. Curry, rice and coconut play a central role in Sri Lankan cuisine with coconut sambol being especially popular. As they are mainly vegetable-focused and free from dairy and animal fats, Sri Lankan dishes are becoming more mainstream in the UK with many recognising the potential health benefits.

Caribbean cuisine is known for its fusion of herbs, spices and vegetables and continues to grow in popularity in the UK. Jerk is one of the more well-known cooking styles in the region, native to Jamaica. Although the main ingredients are allspice and Scotch bonnet peppers, other elements can include garlic, sugar, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. A global rise in the popularity of jerk flavouring has increased the variety of uses away from chicken and pork dishes.

With a distinct citrus flavour and aroma, Makrut lime leaves are a vital ingredient in Thailand as well as other South-East Asian countries. Not only do makrut lime leaves add an aromatic addition to a range of dishes, but they are said to bring additional health benefits. The leaves are increasing in notoriety in the UK, with some even adding them as a gin and tonic garnish. 

Katsu is a Japanese staple with rising prevalence in the UK. Traditionally made from thin slices of pork, covered in panko breadcrumbs and fried, chicken and beef alternatives are common with vegetarian and seafood options also emerging. Katsu is versatile and has become a favourite in dishes as diverse as curry and sandwiches. 

Zahtar is a Middle Eastern herb blend used traditionally in flatbreads that is being increasingly sought after by UK consumers. With a raft of impressive health benefit claims ranging from boosting the immune system to increasing circulation, zahtar has a myriad of uses ranging from bread flavouring to popcorn topping. The standard blend features oregano, thyme, sumac, ground sesame seeds and salt, but can also include other herbs. 

Think of Moroccan cuisine, and aromatic spices and fruity flavours come to mind. Potent, sensual blends of spices are complemented by meat and fruit flavour pairings. In the UK, tagines are among the better-known offerings, combining spices such as saffron, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, ginger and fennel with dried fruit, and either beef or chicken. The unique flavour combinations are becoming more mainstream as a result of increasing consumer demand. 

For further information on this article or to learn more about how Uren can support your plans for 2021, please contact sales@uren.com.