Sous Chef’s 2021 Top Food Trends

Subscription boxes, sous vide cooking and San Marzano tomatoes! We've predicted the food trends for next year based on top search trends and customer favourites.

The top trends for 2021:

  1. Upgrade the basics
  2. The slow-food movement
  3. Cookbooks are back
  4. Cult branded chilli
  5. Food subscriptions
  6. Grow your own
  7. Sous vide cooking
  8. Miso
  9. Edible insects
  10. No and low-alcohol drinks
  11. Products built to last
  12. Sustainable brands
  13. Say no to food waste
  14. Outdoor eating
  15. Plant-based dining

The top 6 ingredients for 2021:

  1. Kampot Black Pepper +700% versus last year
  2. Miso +500% versus last year
  3. Tahini +400% versus last year
  4. San Marzano Tomatoes - our #1 top selling product by units in 2020
  5. 00 Flour - flour was our #1 search term on the site this year, and 00 flour outsold every other variety
  6. Sriracha +700% versus last year

1. Upgrade the basics

Tinned tomatoes, pasta flour and black pepper, you're upgrading the basics to create even better meals at home. You might be staying local, but you're eating globally. Buy the sweetest Italian tinned tomatoes and delicate Kampot Pepper to create pizzas as good as you'd eat in Naples, and pepper crab as good as you’d taste in Cambodia. 

2. The slow-food movement

The slow-food movement

We thought we’d seen sourdough peak, but the slow-food movement has become a part of day-to-day life.

2020 has seen a larger proportion of the population working from home, and nurturing starters throughout the day has become a ritual. For every sourdough kit we sold in 2019, we’ve sold 80 in 2020! 

3. Cookbooks are back

Cookbooks are back

Step away from the screen and enjoy paper again. You're reaching for books to recreate your best-loved restaurant dishes at home. Get inspired with our Cookbook and Ingredients Sets.

4. Cult branded chilli

Things are heating up for 2021. Cult branded chillies have seen huge growth over the past 12 months, with sales of bestselling LGM Crispy Chilli in Oil up 1600% vs 2019. Traditionally served with Chinese dishes, the oils cult status has seen its popularity grow in Western cooking, whether that’s drizzling it over steamed sprouts or oozy fried eggs. 

5. Say yes to food subscriptions

Food subscription boxes are growing in popularity, with a demand for high-quality ingredients conveniently delivered direct to your door. We saw a gap in the market. Getting everything portion packed takes away from the joy of local sourcing and seasonal fruit and vegetable boxes. The Sous Chef Tasting Box is an exciting treat, inspiring you to discover new flavours, while still giving you the freedom to plan recipes yourselves.

6. Grow your own

Sous Chef's 2021 Top Food Trends


San Marzano tomatoes, strawberries and spearmint, 2021 will be the year we grow everything from scratch. The therapeutic effect of gardening has boomed in 2020. You don’t need a garden, our Piccolo seeds are perfect for balconies and small urban spaces.

7. Sous vide cooking


Sous Vide Cooking
Sous Vide will give you perfect results, every time. You set the water temperature and cooking time, and you'll have salmon, steak and even creme caramels as good as you’d eat in the world's top restaurants.


8. Everyone loves miso

2020 was the Year of Miso, and our love of the fermented bean paste is set to continue well into 2021.

It’s at the heart of the Japanese cuisine, but miso’s umami flavour means it’s being used in sweet and savoury recipes across the globe, whether that’s adding it to caramel, crème brûlées or creamy pasta.

9. Edible insects going mainstream

Move over crisps, there’s a new snack on the market. Edible Insects are widely considered to be the food of the future for their environmental and health benefits, with our sales up 500% year-on-year. When it comes to protein, insects are almost on par with a steak with an average of 205g/kg protein compared to beef’s 256g/kg - some insects even weigh in at 80% protein.

From a sustainability standpoint, farming insects requires far less energy than cattle. Insects are cold-blooded, which is far more efficient than traditional livestock in converting feed into edible body mass. This also means that less land and water is needed to farm insects - and therefore fewer pesticides. There’s another massive benefit - insects can also feed off animal waste or food that humans cannot consume, so there is a huge reduction in waste.

10. It’s all about alcohol-free

Low and no-alcohol drinks have been on the rise for the past year, with people choosing to sip Crodino instead of Campari. We introduced a stunning Stoneware Kombucha Jar so you can make your own fermented tea at home.

11. Products built to last

Products built to last


Customers have made a real shift towards products that are built to last. There’s a demand for high quality cookware that comes at a higher price point and will last for decades. From Swedish Cast Iron Spice Grinders to French Copper Pans and Dutch Leather Aprons, you're investing in the best.

12. Brands big on sustainability

Not just a trend but a change in mindset, a sustainable approach to life is only going to become more important. We work with brands that make great products and do great things for the world.

Sous Chef's 2021 Top Food Trends


Willie’s Cacao buys single estate cacaos directly from the farmers, paying never less than $500 a tonne over world cocoa prices (the fair trade premium is $200 a tonne). Mymouné is a family-run business making artisan Lebanese specialities. All the ingredients they use are handpicked in the picturesque village of Ain El Kabou. France-based cleaning tools producer Andree Jardin uses locally sourced beech and heat-treated ash from sustainably managed forests. The bristles are made of natural materials – white hog bristle, horsehair or plant fibres.

13. Say no to food waste

Casa Marrazzo

We’ve discovered brands that are making incredible products out of food waste. In 2020 we began stocking Casa Marrazzo products. The Italian family-run business preserve heritage fruit and vegetables that would have otherwise been destroyed by turbulent weather. By following ancient preserving techniques they produce jars of zingy Amalfi lemon jam, sweet tomato purees and broccoli friarielli in oil.

14. Outdoor dining all year round

Sous Chef's 2021 Top Food Trends

Another challenge COVID-19 has thrown at us is indoor dining. We have an impressive range of BBQs, smokers and outdoor cookware, ideal for hosting al fresco dinners. Cook whole roast chickens, sides of salmon and even paella on the bestselling ProQ Frontier Elite 3in1 BBQ Smoker, or slow-cook casseroles and stews over fire with the Skeppshult Traditional Cast Iron Dutch Oven 5.5l.

15. Plant-based dining

The rise of plant-based dining shows no signs of slowing down, with customers considering the environmental impact of eating meat. When we launched the Sous Chef Tasting Box in November 2020, over 50% of you gave feedback requesting it to be vegetarian or vegan. We listened, so salami is out and tongue-tingling Sichuan pepper is in.

Shop all miso, and read our sourdough guide.


  • Hi Susan, that is so lovely to hear, I’m so pleased you’ve discovered us! Have a great day

    Ellie @ Sous Chef on

  • Hi there, my friend gave me a voucher for Christmas and i decided to try things that i haven’t before! ive even got my 93 year old mum into Ramen Soup!!! maybe you should do a sideline in cookery lessons!! i am hooked on your website and intend to continue the experience…… Thank you. x

    Susan Hyland on

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