Whether you’re ready to tackle the new year or still recovering from the year before (maybe it’s both!), you can be sure of one thing – you’ll need to find ways to excite and delight your customers in 2024.
Let’s get the bad news out of the way. Exciting and delighting consumers isn’t always as easy as it sounds.
But here’s the good news – understanding the market and upcoming trends can help you create products that consumers want and need.
We’ve been digging into the trend reports, and our research led us to these top food and beverage trends to watch in 2024. We hope our picks help guide you to success as you innovate this year.
Here’s your list of 8 top food and beverage trends to watch in 2024!
1. All about healthy aging
The healthy aging movement will grow stronger than ever before in 2024 with a growing number of aging consumers and an increased focus on long-term health from younger consumers contributing to the growth. According to FMCG Gurus’ 2023 Healthy Aging vs. Healthy Living report, 78% of consumers say healthy aging is important to them, peaking at 80% among millennials and 79% among Gen X.
To be successful in this growing category, we recommend that brands look for ingredients that can help them differentiate and are aligned with different generation’s health needs. For example, products that support beauty-from-within or joint health will resonate with “health-minded Millennials.”
More specifically, we suggest searching for ingredients from familiar fruits and vegetables that can be customized into a solution that works well in your application and for your target demographic.
2. Craving the comfort of nostalgia/newstalgia
FMCG Gurus reports that 40% of global consumers say they seek out products and flavors that remind them of the past and simpler times. As a result, consumers will be looking for products that offer a sense of nostalgia by delivering comforting, familiar flavors and formats.
Particularly, 1990s nostalgia will trend in 2024 as members of the Millennial, Gen X, and Boomer generations look to recapture moments of joy from their younger days.1 Product developers can tap into this trend by offering sophisticated or functional twists on classic 1990s food and beverage favorites.
Marketers can also lean into classic 1990s themes to help create a sense of nostalgia around new products and brands. This could look like collaborations with cultural icons from the 1990s or creating new products with flavors popular in that era.
3. Showing your worth
Rising prices are still on our minds as we start 2024, making it critical for brands to showcase that their products offer value. Consumers want to feel that they’ve outmaneuvered higher pricing with purchases that include benefits that justify the spend.
According to Euromonitor, companies can help consumers make the most of their income by offering cost-effective and value-added solutions to their products. Food and beverage brands should look for ingredients that offer multiple benefits that appeal to consumers’ nutritional needs and values like sustainability and transparency.
4. Snacks with benefits
Consumers will be increasing their intake of “functional” foods and beverages in 2024 as they look for healthy indulgence and blurring dayparts. According to Innova Market Insights, 34% of global consumers report having increased their consumption of better-for-you snacks within the past year.
For indulgent brands, this trend means looking for ways to make their products functional through methods like nutrition claims. Food and beverage brands can find success in meeting this trend by further expanding into new and interesting food and beverage products that also target health benefits like cognitive health and energy support.
5. Keep going with your gut
Consumers are increasingly aware of the impact the gut health axis and the gut microbiome have on their bodies. For example, 41% of consumers associate “biotics” (prebiotics, postbiotics, synbiotics) with digestive health and 34% of them associate biotics with immune health.2
As a result, gut health will continue to trend in 2024. Product developers can help consumers satisfy their desire to go with their gut by formulating with dietary fiber ingredients from fruits and vegetables that not only deliver fiber, but also other health-promoting compounds found in these foods.
The key to success will be using fruit and vegetable ingredients in applications that are convenient and tasty (we’re thinking bars and baked goods are a great place to start)!
6. Sustainability and upcycling still matter
We know the planet’s health matters. But as FMCG Gurus noted in their top trends report, “ecofatigue” and skepticism have crept into consumers’ consciousness with the flood of sustainability messaging in recent years. This means people are now looking to companies to create simple and impactful solutions, with “improving waste management” being among the top three.3
We predict this will lead to a growing desire for upcycled ingredients and products that help address society’s food waste challenges. You can stand out in the market and deliver value by including upcycled ingredients in your next formulation. We suggest looking to organizations like the Upcycled Food Association for guidance.
7. Sweet and spice and everything nice
Novel snack options are going to be a hit in 2024 – and we’re here for it! Sweet and spicy. Sweet and sour. Sweet and Savory. What started with several iterations on sweet and spicy (think Hot Honey Chicken) is expanding into new snack choices that bring sweet from desserts into other categories. In 2024, expect to see brands combine sweet and savory pairings into one interesting product.
This new trend creates various opportunities for brands to create functional and interesting products in the snack, bakery, and sauce categories. For example, we expect consumers will find flavor combinations like pineapple jalapeño, cinnamon apple, and fruit and herb appealing.
8. Flavors and formats that meet our moments
In 2024, we want our food and beverages to meet us where we are. Consumers are looking for flavors and formats that satisfy their wants and needs in different moments. Sometimes, this is with innovative, globally-inspired products that appeal to a sense of adventure. In fact, according to Innova Market Insights’ 2024 Top Trends, “almost 1 in 2 of young consumers say ‘I am increasingly looking for cuisines from other countries.’”
Sometimes, we want something that’s a little more familiar. The same Innova Market Insights report shares that more than half of global consumers are looking for locally-sourced ingredients. Plus, with continued political and economic uncertainty, consumers will continue to reach for comforting and familiar foods as a means of escape.
Adventurous flavor combinations (think the pineapple jalapeño we mentioned above), authentic global cuisine inclusions in closer-to-home favorites, and familiar ingredients from trusted sources can help products satisfy this trend and stand out in the market.
How We Can Help
Trend prediction will never be flawless, and flexibility is key to successfully adapting to changing consumer behaviors. But knowing and embracing this year’s trends can help jumpstart your product development journey. Let’s start that journey together with ingredients that deliver value through multiple benefits.
To learn more about how we can partner with you to develop solutions that satisfy top nutritional supplement, functional food, and beverage trends, check out some of our featured ingredient solutions:
1Datassential. “2024 Food Trends Report.”
2Innova Market Insights. “The US Health Renaissance: The Emergence of Functional Ingredients.” 2023.
3Innova Market Insights. “Lifestyle and Attitudes Survey.” 2023.