Experimentation emerges as the defining trend in the ever-evolving landscape of food and beverage trends we foresee in 2024. More people are exploring global cuisines in their kitchens and seeking novel gastronomic experiences in restaurants. Customers are eagerly embracing variations when it comes to their favourite time-tested products. There has been an explosion of international viewership in influencer-led food travel videos across platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. In other words, a widespread global curiosity exists to unearth the next ground-breaking culinary innovation.
This significant shift in perspective has led businesses to jump on the food experimentation bandwagon in a big way. Many new products have hit the shelves with either fusion takes on traditional food or completely innovative products that have carved a niche for themselves. This strategic approach has demonstrated remarkable success.
As a food innovator, Symega consistently stays on top of the latest trends set to dominate each year. Here, we present the top six food and beverage trends that will capture the attention of every business operating in the culinary space in 2024.
Trend 1- Snack Aisle is Getting Hotter
Drawing inspiration from the rising popularity of Korean Ramen, the culinary spotlight has shifted towards spicy foods globally. This shift, propelled by diverse content like spicy wings videos, hot sauce challenges, ‘Every Spicy Dish I Ate in a Day’ videos, and even the movie on the infamous ‘Flamin’ Hot Cheetos’, has ignited a zeal for spicy cuisines worldwide. As a result, brands have been turning the heat up on their snack offerings to meet the customer’s affinity towards experimenting with global peppers. Lays’ Sizzlin’ Hot Potato Chips, Master Chow’s Spicy Chilli Crisp, Too Yumm!’s Bhoot Chips and Maggi’s Korean BBQ Veg Ramen are prime examples of major brands riding this trend.
Trend 2- Little Luxuries
The demand for affordable gourmet food options is on the rise. While customers enjoy delving into diverse global cuisines, they don’t necessarily want to break the bank. Consequently, they gravitate towards brands that offer premium snacks or ready-to-eat meals at competitive prices, often influenced by the social media buzz. Grocery store and snack haul videos have played a pivotal role in emphasizing this trend. Additionally, the allure of experiencing these foods within budget adds to the appeal of exploring these culinary delights.
Trend 3- Snackification
While this next trend is not new, there is a growing resurgence in this nutritional approach. Busy lifestyles and an increasing emphasis on healthy eating have steered individuals towards healthy snacking throughout the day rather than consuming three full meals. Portable, ready-to-eat snacks are slowly replacing meals because they offer quick energy boosts, simplify portion control, and effectively manage cravings. This mindful approach to eating has shifted the spotlight to foods abundant in proteins, fibres, and vitamins commonly found in nuts, seeds, and dried fruits.
Trend 4- Regional Cuisines Go Global
The fusion of global and local culinary elements, often termed ‘Glocal,’ has led to new innovative dishes gaining immense popularity. Indians are relishing Korean, Thai, Mexican, and Japanese cuisines from the comfort of their homes. There’s a notable emphasis on adapting and refining local dishes from one part of the world to suit the taste preferences found elsewhere. The outcome? Fascinating new combinations like birria ramen, sashimi tostadas, tandoori masala paste, wasabi/kimchi mashed potatoes, and Vietnamese po’boys. Indian flavours are also making a mark, emerging prominently among the cuisines widely embraced and experimented with globally.
Trend 5 – Bring Out the Unguilty Pleasures
Amidst the increasing health consciousness over the past decade and further accelerated post-pandemic, customers are seeking to indulge their cravings without compromising their well-being. Consequently, food producers are zeroing in on products that cater to this demand. There’s a noticeable shift away from foods laden with sugars, added preservatives, and potentially carcinogenic ingredients, moving steadily towards organic and wholesome options that offer maximum nutritional value.
Trend 6 – Novel and Emerging Flavours
Gochujang, Matcha, Yuzu, Dragon fruit, Key Lime —relatively unfamiliar ingredients just a few years ago. The internet and social media have played a pivotal role in piquing interest in these new and previously unheard-of flavours. This trend has led to incorporating these lesser-known ingredients into myriad unique beverages, seasonings, and desserts. The more exotic and uncharted an ingredient, the greater the interest it tends to evoke.
In conclusion, these trends have unveiled a trove of innovation and culinary exploration opportunities, particularly for businesses daring enough to explore new and unconventional territories. The market stands ready, thriving, and eager to experiment with the latest products lining the shelves. It’s a matter of how effectively businesses can harness these trends and leverage their momentum.
At Symega, we eagerly seek like-minded and adventurous culinary partners to co-create thrilling new products. If these trends resonate with you and you’d like to learn more, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.