Trend Perspectives by Cynthia Maxwell

Historically, game day food has consisted of bite-sized chicken wings, sausage balls, jalapeno poppers, and various dips. One trend that has resulted from the happenings of 2020 is an increase in creative kitchen time for the entire family. With more time invested in the kitchen, I anticipate that game day foods will extend beyond the norms into photo-worthy spreads.

FOOD BOARDS


Food boards seem the most obvious for an easy game day food as they have been trending for several years now but started booming in popularity this year. Thanks to Instagram and Pinterest, food board styling has become quite photo-worthy. Although the traditional charcuterie boards will be a top option, unconventional food boards bring a food fun element to game day. Dessert boards, taco boards, homemade pretzel boards, and the ultimate creative, team color-coded boards or boards arranged in football, baseball, and basketball designs. Let’s face it if your food is Instagramable, your guests (and social media followers) will be delighted!

CHIPS

Move over tortilla and potato chips! The chip aisle continues to grow with grain-free snacking at its best. Whether you’re hosting a small game day party or if it’s just you and your house dwellers, an extended range of chip selection is a must. Cassava root options continue to explode as an alternative pretzel, tortilla chip, and puff. Beyond that, there are other new chip options that use Tiger Nut and chickpea flours.

As a company taking a healthier chip approach, Vegan Robs goes way beyond the chip-making brief with out-of-the-ordinary ingredients for their puffs, mini waves, and potato chips-- like matcha, jackfruit, brussel sprouts, asparagus, and wild mushroom. The company uses minimal non-artificial ingredients like sorghum meal and nutritional yeast without sacrificing the fun chip effect. Even the spicy hot fry is represented as the ‘Dragon Puff’ and ‘Dragon Crisps.’ The Tumeric Cinnamon Puff is a personal fave-it is both savory and slightly sweet! These new alternative chips will be an elevated addition to the game day spread!

Related: The Influence of Simple and Minimalist Lifestyle on Food and Drink in 2020

DIET-FRIENDLY

Gone are the days where we put raw veggies out for vegetarian guests. Vegetarians are just the tip of the iceberg! Paleo and Keto are huge diet trends, with consumers trying these diet focused recipes even if they are not practicing the diet. Mushroom tacos, burgers, and dips are trendy choices, and of course, cheese and meat will surely satisfy the low-carb/no-carb guests.

Healthy options for everyone are also important. Consumers may pull out their air fryers for the chicken wings and their crock or Insta pots for bean soups. Sheet pan recipes have been a thing for a while and offer a healthier way to cook large amounts of foods like vegetables and chicken.

DIP ALTERNATIVES

With the snack industry booming this year, primarily because of COVID, plant-based snack alternatives will become an even more significant product category into 2021. Besides the chip aisle, the dip section is expanding with delicious plant-based options.

Hummus and plant-based cheese dips have been the go-to vegetarian and vegan dips for a while! So, these new plant-based alternatives are a welcome sight for both every day and game-day snacking. The Delighted By company is famous for their dessert hummus! It’s mind-blowing that these dips contain garbanzo beans in flavors snickerdoodle cookie, brownie batter, key lime, and red velvet flavors.

Kite Hills almond-based ranch and french onion dips don’t quite taste like the originals but still have a good flavor for dairy-free options. Hope Foods offers both sweet and savory dips using almonds and cashews. Chocolate almond and spinach artichoke are just a few of Hope’s yummy flavors.

With so many game day food trends, there is no doubt this year's spread will amp up time spent at home watching our favorite teams. Fun, new, and even healthy ideas that will satisfy everyone in the room!

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Image courtesy of Instagram (@hopefoods).

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