My 2024 food trends forecast – part one

My 2024 food trends forecast – part one

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It is that time of year again when trend predictions are everywhere. For over a decade, my business has been identifying and sharing health, nutrition, food and agriculture trends. In 2024, we will continue to navigate a complex global economy including high food price inflation. This is shaping many aspects of our lives including how we spend our food dollars. Let’s explore my 2024 food trends forecast – part one.

Ingredients taking the spotlight

Since 2014 I’ve been writing a series about unique ingredients called “What the heck is…” for my Grow with Nutrition blog. Similarly, for the past few years, I’ve been writing an ingredient spotlight for my client Canadian Food Focus. Now in 2024, among the top food trends, ingredients are in the spotlight with consumers.

Lu Ann Williams, Global Insights Director at Innova acknowledges that for many families simply finding the food they need at a price they can afford is the prime challenge. “But our research with consumers and across the products they buy tells us that other considerations are coming into play, and will feature more prominently during 2024,” she says. Topping Innova’s list for 2024 is the way that particular ingredients are Taking the spotlight’.

“A third of the consumers we polled said they respond positively to certain key ingredients being flagged up,” Williams explains. “This may be for reasons of flavour or texture, for example, or other positive associations – not purely because of any better-for-you benefits,” she says. “Those associations might echo other well-loved products, snippets picked up from social media or potentially many years of online information on healthy ingredients from ‘superfruits’ to gut-friendly bacteria.” In two examples from Innova’s global research, 42 per cent of consumers said that ‘protein’ was the most important ingredient, while main meals featuring mushrooms (or specific mushroom types) as an ingredient grew 12 per cent year-on-year between 2018 and 2023.

Gut health

Gut health is a long-time topic (for over two decades) of interest for me. From presenting on Breakfast Television to writing articles including for Food in Canada, the studies and emerging research on gut health makes it top of mine for consumers.

Puratos, a leading ingredients innovator in the bakery, sweet goods and chocolate industry unveiled industry trends and consumer preferences at its two-day conference, Taste Tomorrow 2023, held in Austin, September 19 and 20. Using cutting-edge data science and AI to transform raw data into actionable insights, Puratos identified the latest industry and consumer trends including the “Gut Feeling” Trend: Demanding gut-friendly delights for everyday meals. “By monitoring emerging trend signals and predicting their growth trajectories, we are able to gain insight into the future of our industry,” said Jaina Wald, vice president marketing, Puratos USA.

“Our goal is to remain at the forefront of innovation and ensure that our partners and clients stay ahead of the curve. By understanding consumer needs, motivations, moments and narratives, Puratos delivers a holistic understanding of the current landscape and envisions the future of food.” A substantial 76 per cent of North American consumers recognize the essential role of improving gut health for overall health – from a boost in immunity to enhanced mental well-being. In fact, 66 per cent express interest in food products designed to enhance and enrich gut health.

“This striking interest in gut health among North American consumers is translating into a demand for multipurpose gut-friendly foods that offer holistic health benefits and enhanced energy,” said Wald. This increased focus on gut health has prompted a surge in demand for bakery, sweet goods, and chocolate products infused with probiotics, prebiotics, and fibre.

Eighty-four percent of North American consumers acknowledge the positive effect of fibre on digestion. Sourdough emerges as an unwavering symbol of this trend, holding its position as one of the most popular goods in this category among consumers. Sourdough fermented bread stands out for its superior digestibility, a result of its extended fermentation process. This slow fermentation unlocks an array of advantages: increased release of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, contributing to an overall enhanced nutritional content.

The blue economy

At SIAL Canada 2023, I presented a general overview of the blue economy and opportunities for the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth while ensuring our oceans remain healthy. Additionally, I addressed the consumer trend of healthy for me, healthy for the planet. This included environmentally friendly foods such as sea vegetables which were trending at SIAL and could be sampled on the show floor. Likewise, rounding out Innova’s top ten trends for 2024 at number eight is Oceans of possibilities.

As we rethink agriculture for 2024 and the future, the blue economy is a concept that refers to the sustainable use and management of ocean and coastal resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and environmental sustainability. It includes a wide range of sectors, such as fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, renewable energy, shipping and marine biotechnology. It can contribute to economic growth by creating jobs and generating income for local communities. This can be through various sectors such as fisheries, aquaculture, tourism and renewable energy.

The blue economy can also improve the livelihoods of people who depend on ocean and coastal resources by providing food security and economic opportunities.  Sustainable management of ocean and coastal resources can help preserve marine biodiversity and ensure the long-term health of ocean ecosystems.

Final Thoughts for My 2024 food trends forecast – part one

Although none of us have a crystal ball, as an industry thought leader and health professional for over two decades, I am convinced these trends for 2024 will thrive. Also, stay tuned for part-two.

Contact Jane and her team to partner with you on your 2024 projects
and speak at your upcoming events including podcasts.

Copyright © 2024 Jane Dummer | All Rights Reserved

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