The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound effect on the way we eat. Here are 2020's biggest food and drink trends, according to Kroger

  • Kroger's list of the top 10 trending foods and beverages of 2020 shows how people's eating habits have changed during the pandemic.
  • People bought premium burger buns and fresh ground beef to prepare their favorite restaurants meals at home, Kroger said.
  • Plant-based foods will be among the top food trends of 2021, the grocer giant added.
  • Scroll down to see Kroger's ranking of this year's top food and drink trends.
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What people ate and drank says a lot about what happened that year – and 2020 is no exception.

As the US was hit by several COVID-19 lockdowns over the year, people adjusted their eating habits. Americans dined out less, and to make up for this they ordered more takeout. They cooked at home more, too.

This is reflected in Kroger's list of the top 10 trending foods and beverages of 2020, which the grocer giant says shows how Americans embraced cooking and eating at home as part of their new routine.

Sales of coffee, fresh deli meat, and artisan bread soared as more people ate breakfast and lunch at home while working or attending school remotely, Stuart Aitken, Kroger's chief merchant, said.

As restaurants closed, people bought more fresh ground beef, premium buns, and shredded cheese to recreate restaurant-style burgers at home.

Zero-calorie soft drinks, unique potato chip flavors, wine, and chocolate were among the most popular comfort foods.

Kroger based its findings on year-over-year sales growth across its business, including nearly 2,800 retail stores and pickup, delivery, and shipping.

"Many of our customers rediscovered their passion for cooking and baking at home in 2020 and aspire to eat more healthy foods and explore more unique tastes and flavors in the year ahead," Aitken said. 

Kroger also expects 2021 to be "a breakout year for mushrooms," and plant-based foods will also boom. Sales of foods with added benefits to support immune, gut and, brain health, energy levels, and stress management are also expected to grow, Kroger said. The grocer linked these forecasts to the "future-proofing" and "biohacking" trends, where people eat their way to better health.

Here are Kroger's top 10 trending foods and beverages of 2020.

10 Black Forest ham

9 Party-size bags of variety chocolate

8 Bulk packs of coffee pods

7 Artisan breads and restaurant-style buns

6 Fresh burger patties

5 Heavy whipping cream

4 Sauvignon blanc wine

3 Flavored chips, in particular hot and spicy, regional, and meal-inspired varieties

2 Four cheese Mexican blend shredded cheese

1 Zero-calorie soft drinks


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