Hormel Foods is predicting eight food trends for 2021. "It's no surprise that comfort food, sourdough bread and whipped coffee had big moments this past year, as people hunkered down and spent more time at home than ever before," says Heather Vossler, director of innovation and insights at Hormel Foods. "What's interesting is that as we all eagerly look ahead to the fresh start of a new year, we're seeing people still wanting that comfort and nostalgia, but also on a more elevated and focused level, as individuals continue seeking inspired, yet familiar, food choices."

Top 2021 food trend predictions include:

New Routines & Rituals: "Nearly a year into the pandemic, people have created some new routines and rituals that are going to stick in 2021," said Vossler. "The new normal now consists of dining experiences like family happy hour and themed-dinner nights. Deep diving into new cooking skills has lost some of its charm (sourdough bread starters, anyone?). Next year, those family happy hours and themed-dinner nights will continue, but more convenience products will be used instead of starting from scratch."

Intentional Leftovers: Vossler also predicts that because so many meals will continue to be cooked at home, creative home chefs will use dishes and ingredients that can be utilized both now and later.

Hot Honey: No doubt about it, hot honey is hotter than ever! On the new Hormel Foods Heart-to-Table podcast, Chef MacKenzie Smith, two-time Food Network Champ, cookbook author and fan-favorite blogger, gave her scoop that hot honey will be a hot 2021 food trend. From using it as a unique ingredient to spice up favorite dishes, to simply pairing it with savory foods, hot honey will have a sweet spot in the new year.

Creative Charcuterie: First there were charcuterie boards. Then came grazing tables. With the holidays in full swing, gingerbread houses are getting booted in favor of charcuterie chalets. In 2021, home cooks will continue to express themselves with creative meat displays – whether via a board, jar-cuterie, chalet or even village!

Travel by Food: During acclaimed Chef Michael Mina's recent appearance on the new Hormel Foods Heart-to-Table podcast, Mina asserted his belief that – more than ever – people will choose to experience different cultures through cuisine at home while slowly emerging from restrictions brought about by the pandemic.

Drive-by Snacking: Along with drive-by birthday parties and graduation celebrations, 2020 brought forward a new style of snacking whereby people grabbed a quick bite while cruising through the kitchen at different times throughout the day instead of dishing up a full serving. Expect even more grazing in 2021.

Waffling: According to Tony Finnestad, executive chef at Hormel Foods, imagination is the only limit as to what is being "waffled" in 2021. TIP: Almost anything can be thrown on the waffle iron. How about breakfast for dinner, but with a savory twist? Try something creative and different, like waffling potato rounds with SPAM slices.

Wellness: Wellness all around will be a huge focus in 2021 – mental, emotional and physical. Ingredients like antioxidants, collagen and protein are being added to products to provide improved benefits.

About Hormel Foods

Hormel Foods Corporation, based in Austin, Minn., is a global branded food company with over $9 billion in annual revenue across more than 80 countries worldwide. Its brands include SKIPPY, SPAM, Hormel Natural Choice, Applegate, Justin's, Wholly, Hormel Black Label, Columbus and more than 30 other beloved brands. The company is a member of the S&P 500 Index and the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats, was named on the "Global 2000 World's Best Employers" list by Forbes magazine for three straight years, is one of Fortune magazine's most admired companies, has appeared on Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "The 100 Best Corporate Citizens" list for the 12th year in a row, and has received numerous other awards and accolades for its corporate responsibility and community service efforts. The company lives by its purpose statement — Inspired People. Inspired Food. — to bring some of the world's most trusted and iconic brands to tables across the globe.