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Food trend predictions: Which flavors, ingredients and menu items will 2021 serve up hot?

Predictions for the new year include an optimistic mix of chills and thrills in the food service space in an uncertain landscape.

In other years, we’ve compared our trend prediction stories to gazing into a crystal ball. But this year, with everything that’s gone wrong, casually invoking supernatural forces seems just too risky. With our collective luck this year, the more appropriate tool would probably turn out to be a cursed Ouija board.

So, with a cautious optimism, we are looking at trends that could turn out to be bright spots in the dining landscape, which by now pretty much qualifies as bleak. Chefs and foodservice operators do have a knack for finding the silver linings—comfort food!—and more importantly, getting to work to feed their community when the going gets rough. It’s likely that things will be takeout, delivery and virtual events for a while.  

So please allow these trend predictions—from birria to bao and unexpected mashups—to provide a spark to light the way for a nourishing, enlightened and full-of-flavor year ahead.

Contact Tara at [email protected].

Follow her on Twitter @Tara_Fitzie.

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