5 Wellness Trends Coming in 2021

by Molly Hembree, MS, RD, LD

Last Updated: November 30, 2020

2020 was quite the year--full of surprises, learnings, challenges, and more time at home. As we embark on a fresh new year, we have some ideas about what wellness will look like in 2021. Here are some wellness trends that we expect to see in the New Year.
  1. Plant-based foods.
    Plants continue to take center stage on our plates more than in years past. The rise of mock meats, dairy-free cheese, milk alternatives, and even bean-based “eggs” have led the pack when it comes to plant-based options that rival traditional animal-based fare. At the core of plant-based eating is showcasing recognizable ingredients in familiar products, but with a twist. Take Simple Truth Plant-Based Cauliflower Dips, Treeline Treenut Cheese, Savory Wild Portabella Jerky, or Simple Truth Organic Red Lentil and Quinoa Pasta, for example. You may find plant-based alternatives in their own section, like natural foods, or integrated throughout the store near conventional products. Look for unique alternatives such as margarine made without milk, dairy-free creamy dressings, non-gelatin “jel” desserts, or vegan frozen pizzas. However, remember to reach first, for plants in their original form as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.
  2. Emphasis on cooking.
    This year, millions of households are working from home and spending time in the kitchen more than ever. This trend is expected to continue in the new year. Find easy meal ideas or recipes to add to your arsenal with Kroger Recipe Collections or find ways to bridge the gap towards food preparation via meal kits like Home Chef if you’re used to only ordering takeout. Be on the lookout for more virtual ways to learn about food, from online cooking demos to even more cooking-centric streaming shows and inspiration via social media from home cooks worldwide.
  3. Food safety.
    There was heightened awareness in 2020 about where food comes from and demand for improved food safety practices. Transparency in growing, sourcing, packaging, and transporting food will continue to be important to many of us in 2021. Be an informed consumer and seek out more information about how your food was produced and take extra precautions at home to ensure proper handwashing, cooking, cooling, and food storage techniques are commonplace.
  4. Telehealth.
    The advancement of expanded telehealth services in 2020 has helped many of us receive care when it might have been inconvenient or unsafe to venture out to various healthcare settings or offices. Kroger Health® offers access to 1:1 telenutrition appointments with registered dietitians for people throughout most of the country while operating The Little Clinic that provides virtual care visits with a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant to address minor ailments or concerns. Enroll in Kroger Pharmacy “My Prescriptions” to auto-refill, pay online, and receive digital notifications when your medications are ready. Also, consider when making an appointment with your primary care physician if their office staff agrees the visit could be effectively conducted remotely to address your particular health concerns.
  5. Mindful eating.
    There are a lot more reasons behind eating what we do than just for nourishment. We may eat when we are bored, stressed, upset, frustrated, or even happy or celebratory. Mindfulness practices that also extend into our eating habits will be a topic of discussion in 2021. It’s important to dietitians not only what you eat but also why you eat. There are many ways to cope with things in our lives that may feel out of control, but gently moving away from food being that answer may be the right solution for you. Set up a visit with a registered dietitian to explore it further if this topic resonates with you.

As we flip the calendar over to a new year and reflect on “Hindsight 2020”, be prepared to see these wellness trends over the next twelve months. You may want to consider if an increased focus on plant-based foods, cooking, food safety, telehealth, or mindful eating could be useful to you.

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.

Molly Hembree, MS, RD, LD

Molly Hembree, MS, RD, LD

Molly can help you simplify eating, all while building excitement around good food and freeing up time for all the things that really matter in your life. With a knack for food labeling and regulations, weight management, food intolerances, and plant-based eating, Molly is ready to help you make sense of food again. When not on the clock, Molly can be found hip-hop dancing, cuddling up with her two mischievous cats, playing trombone, or honing in on her food photography skills.