Understanding the changing marketplace and building future trends into your strategic planning and menu innovation are key to understanding your target customer base and maintaining competitive advantage. At thefoodpeople this is our bread and butter, here are the 10 big trends for 2024 that we have expect to see…
1 – Harnessing AI
AI will transform all aspects of food and drink from how it can be leveraged alongside human intelligence, how it can speed up science, how it can elevate consumer experience as well as drive cost and efficiency.
2 – Awesome Ambient
Ambient food is awesome food! A renewed focus on tinned, dried and shelf stable produce has encouraged creativity, gourmet elevation and innovation in the category, driving even greater relevance.
3 – Pillars of Protein
We in industry and consumers continue to expand our knowledge base around how protein impacts us and the world we live in. From animal agriculture, cultivated meat, precision fermentation, biomass fermentation, plant-based eating, blending technologies, even protein from air!
4 – Umami 3.0
We can’t get enough of all things umami, so much so that we’re seeing a 3rd wave that we’ve called Umami 3.0. Professional and home cooks alike are getting even more adventurous, creative and bold in search of that ultimate mouth-watering drool – koji, garums, kombu, fermentation, XO, savoury cocktails.
5 – Simple Gourmet
Consumers are watching the pennies, but they want meals that guarantee satisfaction and deliciousness in simple gourmet. This is all about simple guaranteed results but with elevated culinary practices and principles applied – handheld gourmet, American & French.
6 – Regenerate Land and Sea
‘Regenerative’ is poised to replace ‘Sustainable’ as the way to describe environmentally and socially desirable business models. In part this is because ‘sustainable’ tends to have the connotation of maintaining the status quo while regenerative evokes restoration, circularity and positive change.
7 – Retro Throwback
An amalgamation of seeking comfort in difficult times as a result of the cost-of-living crisis, along with consumers yearning for simpler, happier times with retro throwback, even its not your era you can borrow it! This is about unabashedly retro dishes from the 50s through to the 80s being back in vogue.
8 – Smart Plants
Plants can be smarter than you think! Indeed, start-ups and scientists are turning them into ‘protein factories’ through molecular farming, and others are using gene-editing technology to give plants different advantages.
9 – Hack My Health
Consumers are leveraging the power of genetics, neuroscience and nutrition to ‘hack’ their unique biology – it’s not about just living longer, but BETTER optimized living. It’s more about proactive intervention – biohacking, eating for life stage, budget is key, weight management, food from the blue zones etc.
10 – Ultra Processed Impact
The debate around ‘ultra-processed’ foods continues to gain momentum, as we begin to understand the links between what we eat now and our long-term health down the road. The way forward is about leveraging our knowledge to unite industry in ‘better processing’, where there is absolutely opportunity for everyone.