It may seem futile to predict food trends for the next 12 months given the year-long blindside that was 2020, but there are interesting directions developing in the F&B industry that have emerged from our Covid-19 experience. An emphasis on healthy, sustainable options and individualised menus are two, as well as – of course – ordering restaurant food to eat at home. Donald Trump’s spending habits: from haircare to landscape gardening Restaurant models rethought In 2020, the traditional restaurant model has proven to not be sustainable in the face of the pandemic, as evidenced by the closure of so many restaurants worldwide. Emerging from the fire though are new models, often providing curated groceries alongside dining facilities. In Hong Kong, a few restaurants had already had the foresight to do just that, such as Bones & Blades, Feather & Bone and more recently, Tate Dining Room, which converted its on-site cakery into a lifestyle store, expanding to include high-end food and wines. Is Michelin biased? Why don’t more Chinese restaurants get stars? Then there’s Castellana Restaurant, which has an online store called Owl of Minerva Hong Kong offering fine Italian food and wines. This model, according to trendsetters, is the future for a successful restaurant. Where to eat white truffles in Hong Kong – 6 restaurants to try Transparency If you have been a regular at fine dining eateries over the past few years, you will be aware of our next trend – sourcing transparency. Many high-end restaurants list the source of their ingredients on the menu, whether the scallops are from Hokkaido, the Wagyu from Kobe or Hyogo, or the vegetables from a small organic farm in China or New Zealand. This trend is growing as more consumers become interested in where food comes from and how it is made, according to the Innova Consumer Survey 2020. Food labelling has gone beyond simple flagging of organic or additive-free produce to consumers wanting to know more about how sustainable and humane a product is. Pastis Tapas: Elegant waterfront dining in Tseung Kwan O More plant-centric The success of Beyond Meat and Impossible with their plant-based “meats” and other protein alternatives in recent years has helped bring plant-based food into the mainstream. Plant-based food and beverage businesses grew 36 per cent last year as the demand for them grew globally. More local restaurants are offering plant-based alternatives: most recently Mott 32 launched a plant-based menu, and Ovolo Hotels went vegetarian throughout its group. Beyond Impossible? Cellular cultured meats only work for environmentalists “Healthier” cocktails, mocktails and sourcing spirits According to online drinks stores, there has been more demand for alcohol-free spirits as well as for low-calorie alcoholic beverages. One example is hard kombucha – with higher proportions of sugar, tea and starter culture and fermented longer to produce more alcohol – but don’t expect it to help your gut like regular kombucha is said to do, as the alcohol can counter the gut-friendly probiotics, some experts say. The work-from-home crowd are ordering more home-made craft cocktails too, while spirit lovers have been getting more concerned about exactly where their favourite drinks come from. In Hong Kong, independent bar Coa has been ahead of the crowd, sourcing artisanal mescal, tequila and other Mexican spirits from small suppliers, resulting in a 41-page menu of tipples, all of which they can introduce to you in detail right down to the town from where the drink comes. Hong Kong’s first ‘sustainable’ bar Penicillin – from the team behind The Old Man Dining in Delivery will be king – not just for restaurants, but for online groceries too. Delivery services are predicted to increase by 40 per cent in the coming year. Everyone cooking at home more over the past 12 months has given rise to virtual cooking classes via Zoom, which will continue to be popular, say industry experts. Chefs are not missing out though, as there has been a rise in chefs jarring up their special sauces and condiments for the shop shelves – move over Jamie Oliver. And there has also been an increased interest in spices as home cooks diversify into cuisines they haven’t tried before. Have you tried these two popular Asian desserts? Dining out People will be dining out less – just for special occasions in the near term, according to industry insiders. So diners will be seeking out unique experiences, not just the same old menus. Many fine dining restaurants in Hong Kong have long since changed their menus seasonally to keep diners interested, and this will be seen even more worldwide. Small-scale private dining options in intimate spaces will also be popular, as diners ease themselves out of this socially-distanced era. Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .