Food & Drink Key Trends for 2021: Crazy for Cacao & Burnt Basque Cheesecake

Cabosse Naturals

Our Food & Drink strategist team at WGSN shared eight key trends for 2021 from among our Key Trend 2021 forecasts for special attention. These trends have been gathering strength and speed in recent months and are poised to grow more in 2021. Here are two for sweets lovers.

Crazy for Cacao

Chocolate lovers will have more to enjoy thanks to resourceful new products being made from cacao pods. Starting with the antioxidant-rich pulp inside the pod, expect to see chocolate makers launch confections made from chocolate blended with the pulp for sweetness which means less sugar overall. Cacao waters and smoothies, like those from newly launched brand Blue Stripes Urban Cacao in New York, will show off complex aromas and tangy tropical fruit flavours. The specialist has also created unique cacao shell-enhanced pancake and waffle mix, gluten-free bread flour mix and ready-to-eat cookies, showing how to take advantage of the whole cacao pod. Also in view are dried cacao fruit snacks.

With sustainable food production an important quality for both makers and shoppers, using cacao fruit for nutritious and tasty products is a big positive, as is discovering another part of chocolate to love.

Ones to watch: Barry Callebaut Whole Fruit Chocolate, Blue Stripes Urban Cacao, CaPao cacao fruit snacks, Dandelion Chocolate cacao fruit smoothies

Burnt Basque Cheesecake

This buzzy dessert’s oozing, creamy center and intense charred top will move from Instagram comfort-food darling to menu and freezer-case treat in 2021 if the love this cheesecake is getting keeps up. Already hyped in the Asia Pacific region and among bakers for some time, this tallsided, burnt-top, creamy-centered style of cheesecake made famous by La Viña in San Sebastian, Spain many years ago is back just when we need comforting. With more time for social media surfing for baking inspiration, home bakers are discovering this cheesecake with an under-baked center that seeps out and trying it out for themselves, sharing the results in blogs and social feeds. Restaurants, bakeries and dessert cafés are adding it to menus as well with new flavours and accompaniments.

With a global appeal that won’t quit, we forecast this new take on a familiar favourite will turn into a flavour profile for ice cream or soft-serve by summer, with a bitter charred element to balance the mild sweetness as a signature calling card. And keep an eye on that freezer case where cheesecakes are a long-standing classic.

Ones to watch: Bakeshop, Portland, OR; Basuku, San Francisco, CA; Emmer & Rye/Kalimotxo, Austin, TX; Grace Street Korean dessert café, New York City

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