M&S and Young British Foodies reveal 2021 trends with first Food & Drink Innovation Report


On Monday 21 December #TheYBFs – the awards celebrating the rising stars of food and drink – partnered with leading supermarket Marks & Spencer to launch the first ever food and drink innovation report from The YBFs collective of industry-leading talent. The report has been crafted using contributions from industry-leading professionals in hospitality including star-chef, Melissa Hemsley, drinks entrepreneur, Monica Berg, Michelin-starred Chef, James Knappett, and international drinks legend, Ryan Chetiyawardana. Written by YBF co-founder & national food & drink journalist, Chloe Scott-Moncrieff, reveals innovation and peers into the future to predict what 2021 will be serving. 

The headlines 

  • MACRO-TREND: We’re heading into a year of comfort & nostalgia: When times get tough, escapism is the place Brits find happiness and M&S has seen the mini battered sausages chip shop style boxes soar in sales due to our love affair with comfort food.
  • COOKING: Banana Skins are the new JackFruit –  With veganism on the rise and food waste on the decline, the banana skin is the latest substitute for pulled pork. 
  • OCCASION: Dunchfast – Be it brunch or dunch, meals are seamless since we began working at home with the kitchen next door for easy pickings. Breakfast is at 11, lunch or the evening. 
  • SHOPPING: Virtual Dining Goes Mainstream – From cyber imbibers to preekend shopping (that’s Friday afternoon), online grocery sales are sky high. M&S Food launched products online via Ocado in the autumn and on marksandspencer.com sales of food boxes, hampers, wine and online gifts grew by a colossal 300%.
  • TREATS: Posh Waffles are 2021’s Banana Bread: #waffle has shot past other treats, gaining 5 million likes on Instagram. Witnessing this emergence with relish is @FitWaffleKitchen now with more than 259K followers. 
  • HEALTH: COPAIBA is the new CBD: Copaiba – pronounced koh-pey-buh  – is the next cannabidiol. Derived from the resin of the Copaifera tree and featuring an earthy, woodsy flavor, copaiba is an essential oil that shares similar properties to C.B.D. 
  • DRINKS: The New Fizz? Rose Prosecco: Britain’s first ever rose prosecco is arriving, thanks to premium British prosecco brand, The Emissary, which is launching its first rosé prosecco and sales are soaring at M&S. In just 2 weeks 100,000 bottles of Conte Priuli Rose Prosecco flew off shelves.

April Preston, director of food M&S, comments: “As proud partners of The YBFs awards, we are thrilled to have been able to support & be a part of the first ever trends report from a collective of superbly talented individuals in hospitality. As with most, we’ve had to do things a little differently this year, and this report felt like a brilliant way to continue to show our support for the team whilst we wait for the world to open up again to host the next YBF Awards.” 

The Awards 

The YBFs have been championing grassroots talent in the food and drink industry for almost ten years and each year has seen more incredible talent shaping the culinary landscape in the UK. This year, the  entire industry is facing a monumental challenge that no one could have foreseen. It’s more important than ever to support and nurture each other. Everyone has a role to play and through the launch of the report the team at The YBFs intends to continue championing talent and connecting people with aligning ideas and passions, whilst we’re all apart.  

Amy Thorne, The YBFs co-founder, comments: “In an industry driven by innovation and reliant on new tastes and talent, The YBF Awards seeks to find and recognise the British food & drink talent that’s at the forefront of this change. We were incredibly saddened to have to delay the 2020 awards, and hope with this report we can continue to show our support & investment in the food & drink industry, ready to bounce back bigger and better than ever in 2021.” 

The report is available to download from: www.the-ybfs.com.