Global consumer food trends 2021 – Where we are going?

The world is changing faster than ever. How do you fill out your shopping cart today and in the future? Valio Global consumer food trends 2021 report provides understanding of trends that affect food and eating.

The world is changing faster than ever. Globalisation, digitalisation, urbanisation and individualisation, not to mention the covid-19 pandemic, are shaping consumers’ behaviour, needs and preferences around the globe. Our Consumer Insight Team constantly examines changes in how we behave and make decisions, resulting in our Global Consumer Food Trends 2021 report. This analysis enables a holistic and clear understanding of global and domestic trends affecting food and eating. Here is a summary of our more extensive analysis.



Growing demand for food that is ethical The more consumers learn about the effects of food production on our planet, animals and societies, the more they wish food to align with their conscience

Our sustainability promise


Food & health are merging From gut health & immune boosts and longevity, consumers’ interest in food as an enabler of health and wellbeing continues to grow, causing the line between food and medicine to blur.

Holistic health and wellbeing


Where & how food is produced matters more From farmer’s markets, organic products, craft & artisan food, the desire to know the background, history and content of food is driving interest in provenance and transparency.

Transparent supply chain


Food must fit ever busier lifestyles From snacks to pre-prepared meals, consumers are looking food solutions that help them free up time and energy, whether at home, work or while on-the-go.

Food and active lifestyle


Food is becoming a lifestyle marker As food becomes intertwined with, ethics, health & wellness, social media, provenance, culture and storytelling, food is increasingly becoming a way of expressing identity & values.


Digital tools/interfaces enable new habits Whether it is cooking instructions on YouTube, inspiration on TikTok, or getting diet advice from AI, digital tools and touchpoints are giving rise to new food and eating habits.

Digital future of B2B sales


In addition, this years’ report provides a view on the effects of covid-19 pandemic on consumers’ food behavior and how the pandemic influences food and eating trends.

Gained importance

  • In-home cooking & baking
  • Health, wellbeing & immunity
  • Plant-based foods
  • Comfort & indlugence
  • Local & domestic
  • Online shopping
  • Big, safe and familiar brands

Reduced importance

  • Out-of-home and on-the go
  • Novelty & Experimentation

Diverging importance

  • Snacking
  • Sustainability
  • Price sensitivity

Understanding trends

How to think about trends? The starting point is to approach these trends with an open mind; challenge your own beliefs and ask questions. Trends rarely exist independently; they overlap, can be region-specific, conflicting, and can either grow, evolve, or die. Look at your own surroundings and think about how these trends influence how you make decisions and how they drive your use, desire and enjoyment of food.

Our analysis 2021 was carried out with a panel of both Valio professionals and international experts. This diverse group had backgrounds in food science and nutrition, consumer science, and economics.

_Key sources: Mintel, Euromonitor, SITRA (The Finnish Innovation Fund), New Nutrition Business, Trendhunter, Food & Friends Trendspotting, YouGov Nordic Food and Health, Valio Consumer Insight Proprietary Research. _