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What We’re Into Right Now

January 4, 2021
10 min. read

Things We're Into Right Now

In the marketing department, one great part about our job is researching up-and-coming trends, so we can stay ahead of the curve. We especially love hearing about new books, videos, and shows that feature our rolls and bread! So, this year, we put together a master list of our current favorite things to eat, watch, read, and enjoy in 2021, including input from our Martin’s team members and YOU, our loyal fans!

What We’re Eating…

Our favorite category, of course! We’re always keeping our eye out for new recipes and cooking methods. Check out some of the tasty new trends we’ve tried and recommend.

Cauliflower Butter Bean Soup

  • Comfort food
    • It’s getting cold again, and that means it’s time to break out your slow cooker soups and hearty, wintry meals. Not to mention our all-time favorite comfort food… bread, of course!
  • Box meal kits
    • One great thing that has come out of 2020 is meal kits from your favorite chefs and restaurants delivered right to your door! We’ve even seen a few of these used as means for fundraising campaigns. Particularly, Martin’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, Jackie M., has been enjoying the meal preparation kits from Blue Apron.
  • Gourmet Burgers at Home
    • This past year, we saw many amateur and home cooks learning how to make their favorite restaurant’s signature dish because they couldn’t order it in person, including some delicious gourmet burgers! If you need some inspiration, we recommend starting with this recipe from Alex Guarnaschelli.
  • Meal hacks
    • For many, this past year has led to an increase in home cooking like never before. Experienced and beginner home cooks have been reaching for their trusty cooking appliances and meal hacks to make cooking at home fun and easy. A few of our favorites include sheet pan, air fryer, and multi cooker meals.
  • Jerky and all kinds of creative ways to make it! Like these 36 recipes.
  • Coffee and tea
    • With more time at home and lots of employees around the country still working from home, we’ve noticed an influx of creative ways to make our favorite hot drinks (since most can’t reach for the shared office coffee pot anymore). Some people are even breaking out the old-school methods, such as percolators and classic teapots.

What We’re Watching…

Okay, we’ll admit it. Like everyone else, we found ourselves binging a few shows this past year. But 2021 is the year of new ideas! Below are some of our best (and most delicious) recommendations to spice up your watching habits.

Burger Scholar Sessions (with George Motz) by First We Feast

  • Informative Youtube Channels
    • We’re excited to continue learning and gaining unique skills this year, and there are plenty of YouTube channels to help us do it! One of our favorites is George Motz on Burger Scholar Sessions by First We Feast. Covering everything from fried onions to steamed cheese, this YouTube series will have you feeling much more educated about everyone’s favorite meal.
  • Classic Food Reality Shows
    • 2021 is the year for breaking out our classic favorite television shows that we maybe haven’t watched in a while, including cooking competitions and restaurant features. As a bonus, keep your eyes open for Martin’s rolls on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and Chopped!
  • Chicken Sandwich Tutorials
    • After the year of cooking from home, why not master the fried chicken sandwich next? We think this trendy sandwich isn’t going away anytime soon, so you might as well take some time to learn how to make it in your own kitchen! We recommend Barefoot Contessa’s Fried Chicken Sandwich Tutorial. Also, be on the lookout for Martin’s Chicken Sandwich Showcase blog coming next month!
  • America’s Test Kitchen
    • If you’re just looking for a place to find great entertainment and creative recipe inspiration, this is the place to start. Plus, they love Martin’s rolls!
  • Behind-the-Scenes Cooking Shows
    • We love a professionally-produced cooking show just as much as the next person. But, at the end of the day, these pro chefs are just like the rest of us—with normal kitchens and limited cooking ingredients that eventually expire. And 2020 brought this out more than ever. We’ve loved seeing our favorite chefs like Rachael Ray and the Test Kitchen from Bon Appetit continue filming their shows in their real-life kitchen set ups! Our personal favorite is this Grilled Cheese video!
  • Your Recommendations
    • “I love When Calls the Heart! So ready for the next season!” – Tina G.
    • “The Mandolorian” – Jon N.
    • “The Great Pottery Throw Down. It’s like the Great British Baking Show, but for potters.” – Walker W.
    • “Holiday Baking Championship and Kids Baking Championship” – Crystal N.
    • “Shark Tank” – Friend of the Martin’s team, Nick Lepore // @burger.buff

What We’re Reading…

Got some extra time for reading in the New Year? Here are a few of our favorite books and reading materials (old and new) that we recommend, including a few Amazon best sellers (as of December 2020). Plus, check out a few of our cook book suggestions that feature Martin’s Potato Rolls!

Mixtape Potluck Screenshot - amazon
Photo of Mixtape Potluck from

  • Atomic Habits by James Clear – #2 Best Seller on Amazon
    • “Currently our executive book club group is studying a book called Atomic Habits. No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving–every day.” –Scott H., Martin’s VP of Finance and Administration
  • Modern Comfort Food by Ina Garten – #21 Best Seller on Amazon
    • listed this cook book as one of the “Best new cook books for hunkering down during the pandemic.” Need we say more? In this cook book, Ina “channels us all who despair at recipes that call for hard-to-find ingredients by providing helpful recommendations on specific brands. To wit: ‘2 cups beef broth, such as College Inn, ¾ cup fine cornmeal, such as Indian Head, 4 sandwich potato rolls, such as Martin’s.’ She includes details like these on nearly every page, items easy to find in an average American grocery store.”
  • Air Fryer Recipes: 600 Effortless Air Fryer Recipes for Beginners and Advanced Users by Jenson William – #11 Best Seller on Amazon
    • Remember that air fryer trend we called out in the first section? If you’re looking for a great way to get acclimated to this oh-so-popular device, check out this all-encompassing cook book!
  • Hamburger America by George Motz
    • You’ll love this exhaustive “state-by-state guide to great burger joints” around the country, written by friend of the Martin’s team and self-proclaimed burger expert, George Motz.
  • Mixtape Potluck by Questlove
    • In this cookbook packed with recipes from some of your favorite celebrities, Martin’s Potato Rolls are listed as the first ingredient in Jimmy Fallon’s Air Fryer Chicken Burgers recipe! Check out the Tonight Show interview about this recipe here:
  • Strange Planet by Nathan Pyle – #40 Best Selling Comic on Amazon
    • “This hilarious comic series about the adventures of lovable aliens and their ‘offspring’ has transformed into several books, a planner, a card game, and even a subscription box! Every page of the comic is sure to put a smile on your face, which has been great for 2020.” –Stephanie L., Martin’s Marketing Coordinator
  • The Chicken Chick Blog
    • After the unprecedented grocery shortages of 2020, many people turned to more homegrown ways to supply their groceries. So, if you’re raising chickens, like our Director of Strategic Initiatives, Jackie, we recommend the blog

What We’re Listening To…

On Twitter, 50% of our polled fans told us they’ve been listening to some new music that they love. And we don’t think our Twitter users are the only ones. In fact, we predict that many of the new music trends of 2021 will include not only new music, but more niche genres arising in the charts. And, as folks start to commute to work again, we’re guessing you’ll see an even greater rise in podcast listening this year. Give your playlist a refresh with some of these great audio recommendations!

Beyond the Plate Screenshot
Photo from @onkappysplate on Instagram

  • Beyond the Plate Podcast with Andrew Kaplan
    • Of course we have to start out by recommending Beyond the Plate! Martin’s is sponsoring the next season of this behind-the-scenes culinary podcast, hosted by Rachael Ray’s staff member and friend of the Martin’s team, Andrew (Kappy) Kaplan!
  • Yacht Rock –Suggested by Martin’s Marketing Manager, Wendy C.
    • One of the niche upcoming genres we’re already seeing is Yacht Rock. This genre is exactly what you think—all your favorite songs from the 70s and 80s that you’d want to listen to on a boat in the middle of summer. It’s a very timely genre for a world full of people nostalgic for live concerts and warm vacations. You can find this music as a playlist on Spotify and other streaming platforms.
  • Virtual Concerts
    • Okay, we’ll admit. This new trend made us do a double take. But it’s true! Like professionals in almost every other industry, musicians are finding a way to adapt to the virtual world of 2020 and have taken their music to the (very) small screen. Check out the New York Times’ list of 10 Best Quarantine Concerts Online.
  • An Oral History of the Office with Brian Baumgartner
    • “2020 was the year of podcasts for me. I actually had almost twice as many listening hours with podcasts than music! Some of my favorites are Office Ladies, Girls Night with Stephanie May Wilson, The Pause Podcast, and An Oral History of the Office.” – Stephanie L., Martin’s Marketing Coordinator
  • Lo-Fi Hip Hop
    • has already claimed this increasingly popular chill music genre to be a rising star in 2021, with more artists joining the bandwagon every day. (Including Will Smith!) What does Lo-Fi even mean? According to Discovery Magazine, “’Lo-fi’ means ‘low-fidelity,’ a term for music where you can hear imperfections that would typically be considered errors in the recording process.” Reminiscent of playing music on a record player, experts say the ability to hear more of the environment during recording makes this music feel more accessible and down-to-earth.
  • Audio books
    • Remember those books we mentioned above? We also love the trend of listening to your books. So, if that’s your method of choice, try searching for those selections on your favorite audio book application.
  • Your Recommendations
    • “Anything Lauren Daigle sings.” – Jarrod
    • “Tyler Childers music is awesome.”
    • “Billy Strings and his amazing bluegrass music!” – Cole M.
    • “The Smartless Podcast” –Terrence C.

What We’re Doing…

We think the New Year will be a time for learning new skills and trying new activities. In fact, we talked about all the new things we’re excited for this year in our most recent blog. Here are some of the specific ones we’re loving.

Burger Buff Pop Up

  • Visiting burger pop-ups
    • These days, you don’t need a whole restaurant to be a burger chef! Some of our best burger buds have hopped on this trend and set up camp at several different locations with just a griddle and their key ingredients to serve up burgers to (literally) hundreds of people! A few of them are listed in our Smash Burger blog here.
  • Outdoor recreation and exercise
    • Martin’s VP of Finance and Administration, Scott H., is a huge advocate for these activities, especially during quarantine. In 2020, Scott trained to run three Ironman races across the U.S., all of which were cancelled. He is hopeful there will be a chance to participate in the near future. He continues to train by running a half marathon every week!
  • Learning new hands-on skills
    • We love (and admire!) the trend of learning old-school hands-on skills, like woodworking, baking bread, tying macramé, gardening, and even knitting, like Martin’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, Jackie!
  • Backyard activities
    • In 2020, it became much more important to make the most out of your own space, including your backyard! We found enjoyment in simple backyard games like corn hole, ladder ball, or even a simple game of tag or catch! P.S. Once warmer weather starts up again, keep an eye out for these games in our Martin’s Summer Fun Season sweepstakes!


What are you into as we enter the New Year? Tell us below or on social media!

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