As consumers, we have a lot of power. Our preferences help drive trends within the food and agriculture industries. Since so many of us care about sustainability and our health, those values are shaping the food and beverage trends expected in 2024.
Managing food packaging waste
While the population is increasing in several parts of the world, companies are looking to alternative proteins to help provide enough food. The plant-based protein market continues enhancing taste, texture and ease of cooking, and this space grew from $14.7 billion in 2022 to $16.22 billion in 2023. This trend is thanks to concerns about protecting the climate and environment. Cleantech Group says Europe remains the biggest alternative proteins market at $3.3B, while Latin America is the fastest growing with a 36% annual rate.
Alternative meat and seafood aren’t the only proteins in this space. Cheese will join this trend too. Thanks to precision fermentation, cheese can be made with yeast instead of animal-derived milk.
Cultured meat and fish are now on the scene thanks to the ability to cultivate animal fat and muscle cells to produce these alternative proteins. It’s been dubbed by some as lab-grown meat and the U.S. joined Singapore in allowing its sale.
As technology continues to advance, this space will be one to watch to see what’s developed next.
Alleviating the impact on the environment is top of mind for many. That’s why there will be more of a focus on the way food is grown. The trend favors locally and regionally-produced food to help cut down on emissions produced from transportation. We’ll likely see more restaurants source ingredients from local producers or grow their own vegetables and herbs to use in their dishes.
Managing Food and Packaging Waste
Food brands and restaurant owners are looking at ways to reduce waste in landfills. They’re focusing on reducing single-use plastics and using compostable materials in their packaging. In 2024, we’ll hear more about companies that create sustainable packaging for their products.
Personal Nutrition and Wellness
We’re looking beyond nutritional labels and want food that contains health benefits. So, it’s believed stress-reducing ingredients and CBD-infused foods will grow in popularity.
Whether you like them or not, expect to see more mushrooms used in your food and beverages. Their flavor and texture make them an alternative ingredient in pizza crusts and coffee.
As we focus on a healthy digestive system, you can expect to see more probiotic and prebiotic-enhanced products.
With the growing focus on personal nutrition, there will be more low-alcohol and alcohol-free cocktails you can try.
Food and agriculture have seen technology play a large role in their advancement. As companies look to remain competitive, they’ll use technology to gain an edge. The whitepaper “How Technology Will Change the Food Industry in 2024 and Beyond”, says we can expect to see new developments as a result of automation and AI. These advances will likely help improve waste management, food safety and production planning.
Our preferences and demands will continue helping the food and agriculture industries evolve. It will be interesting to see if these trends stick around for the long-haul or change annually. Are you excited about any of the trends?