15+ Top Food and Beverage Trends for 2024

Alibaba.com NOVEMBER 23, 202314 MIN READ
15+ Top Food and Beverage Trends for 2024

It's that time again! Time to review some of the trends in your industry against next year. Just as there are fashion and tech trends, there are also food and beverage trends to help businesses in this industry prepare for the following calendar year.

The last few years have impacted consumers' eating habits and attitudes towards food. What trends are staying and emerging, and what are the current food preference trends? In this article, we round up some of the food and beverage industry trends for 2024, especially what to expect from consumers. Are you interested in staying current with trends in the food and beverage industry? Let’s dive into the top food trends to expect in 2024!

Overview of the food and beverage industry

The food and beverage (F&B) industry generally encompasses restaurants, food manufacturing companies, catering businesses, etc. In other words, the food and beverage industry comprises companies involved in producing, processing, and selling food/beverages. This is a vast market because it includes the farmers who grow ingredients, the manufacturers who process the raw materials, and retailers who supply the food. So everything from raw legumes on the farm to packaged foods at grocery stores and cooked meals at restaurants is a part of the F&B industry.

The food and beverage industry is very competitive, so one of the best ways to stay ahead is by keeping track of trends among consumers. One of the top trends to note in the F&B industry is that many consumers place importance on value. So, even with increasing prices, consumers prioritize value over cheap but low-quality ingredients. Also, consumers have more preferences for plant-based diets, nutrient-filled meals, and occasional treats.1

17 top food and beverage trends for 2024

Trends are a big part of the industry. They determine what grocery stores will put on their shelves, what consumers will add to their carts, and what dishes will feature in restaurants. Trends usually respond to factors like sociocultural changes, economic situations, health concerns, and popular culture. Influencers and celebrities also hold a significant influence, as seen in one of 2023’s biggest food trends, canned fish.2 Let’s look at some of the top food and beverage trends for 2024:

1. Dairy products

Dairy products

(Milk powder)

The dairy product industry is expected to grow by 3.4% in 2024.3 One of the top trends in this industry is using artificial intelligence and automated milking systems to reduce animal stress and improve milk quality. In addition, consumers are now more interested in dairy products with fortified nutrients for health benefits. For this reason, dairy brands should consider introducing nutrients such as probiotics, vitamins, and minerals to their products. Other dairy product trends in 2024 include animal-free dairy, fermented dairy products, and plant-based alternatives.4

Also, there will be an increased demand for milk powder like whole milk powder, dairy whitener, and skim milk powder. One of the reasons driving the milk powder industry is the increased consumption of tea and coffee.5

2. Snacks & instant food

(Nut & kernel snacks, chips, ramen, tuna)

One of the anticipated food industry trends for 2024 is a rise in the consumption of snacks and instant food. The average consumer will resort to convenience foods like chips, ramen, canned tuna, and nut & kernel snacks to fill up the stomach without fresh food. In today’s fast world, people barely have time to take a deep breath, not to talk about cooking three times a day. As a result, snacks and instant food are becoming more popular. It’s, however, essential to note that while consumers want convenience, they also want flavor, healthy options, and high-quality ingredients.

3. Baked Goods

(Biscuits, cake, pizza)

People love occasional treats, and for 2024 food trends, people will prioritize single-serve treats. These include baked goods like biscuits, cakes, pastries, and other sweet treats. The rise in treats results from the self-care culture that encourages rewarding oneself for instant gratification.6 We live in an era of uncertainty, high living costs, and conflicts, so consumers will continue to fall for small comforts like baked goods.

4. Food ingredients

Food ingredients

(Milk tea; citric acid; powder food additives)

Food ingredients will continue to emerge as a major need among food production companies and consumers. Ingredients like milk tea, citric acid, and powdered food additives lend themselves so well to food that they taste richer. Milk tea is especially one to look out for as it’s used in unique recipes like milk tea-filled donuts.

5. Green beverages

(Tea; drinking water)

Beverages are also in the spotlight, and according to the State of Specialty Food Industry, 2024 will boom with beverages like teas, coffees, and other green beverages with ingredients that boost clarity and energy and have a calming effect.15 So consider stocking green drinks with herbs and botanicals and less added sugar or salt. Consumers want beverages low in sweetness, so we should expect a shift from fizzy drinks to green beverages, drinking water, and flavored sparkling water. Another beverage industry trend is sustainable beverages, which include those with sustainable packaging or produced with the environment in mind.

6. Food spices & herbs

(Saffron, pepper, sugar)

Another thing to expect from food industry trends in 2024 is the reign of food, spices, and herbs. The food industry is already experiencing a high demand for spicy products thanks to the increased awareness about their health benefits. Also, there’s a growing interest in food combinations of spicy and sweet flavors (known as swicy), so many people will add spices like saffron, pepper, and sugar to their cart to achieve this swicy flavor.

One of the reasons for the demand for spices is the increased call to experiment with flavors from different parts of the world. People become more aware of unique and obscure spices that improve food flavors as they explore.

7. Candies & Chocolate

Candies and Chocolate

Chocolate and candies will continue to be a trending food in the F&B industry because consumers crave decadent flavors. However, in 2024, there will be a preference for sugar-free sweets and chocolates.

8. SeaFood

(Eel, crab, sea cucumber, fish ball)

According to a study, seafood consumption should grow by 4.6% in 2024.7 This means options like eel, crab, sea cucumber, and fish balls will be in high demand. Seafood carries a lot of health benefits, including aiding weight loss and improving heart health.8 Also, plant-based seafood is becoming a trending food. Some seafood brands now produce plant-based seafood with texture and flavor similar to actual seafood.

9. Honey & honey products

(Honey, royal honey, beeswax)

The global honey market size is expected to have a growth rate of 5.3% between 2023 and 2030.9 High demand for nutritious products and ingredients is one of the prominent factors driving the industry. Honey contains nutrients like vitamins, antioxidants, calcium, and minerals. This magical food also has anti-bacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties, making it a product consumed as food and medicine. In addition, honey is very versatile. It’s suitable as a sweetener for beverages and processed foods. It’s also used to make valuable honey products like beeswax (used for cosmetics) and royal honey (used to enhance vitality).

10. Plant & animal oil

Plant and animal oil

(Cooking oil, vegetable oil, animal oil)

The edible oil market has been growing steadily due to their need for food preparation and their health benefits. Meanwhile, there is a shift in consumption patterns towards healthier cooking oil, vegetable oil, and animal oil options. With rising interest in healthier meals, healthy oils such as virgin olive and plant-based cooking oil are trending in this segment.10

11. Fruit & vegetable products

(Dates, dried fruits, vegetables)

Climate-conscious food, especially fruits and vegetables, will be popular in 2024. The forecast shows that grocery carts will have options like dates, dried fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, legumes, and other plant-based meals.

12. Meat & poultry

(Chicken, beef, meat)

In a recent study by Innova, 42% of consumers mentioned that protein was the most essential ingredient in their meals.11 Unfortunately, there was a drop in the global trade for poultry meat due to economic conditions. Consumers are replacing meat & poultry with cheaper chicken options, ground beef, and ground pork. Instead of the usual breast meats, consumers are buying deboned thigh meat or leg quarters from private-label brands. Meat and poultry trends in 2024 will be mostly about finding cheaper alternatives to fill consumers’ protein needs.12

Other food industry trends for 2024

13. Sustainability

Sustainability

Another significant trend to note in 2024 is the environmental impact of food processes and packaging. One of the growing concerns of consumers is the use of sustainable and eco-friendly food packaging to reduce the effect of climate change. Also, brands that practice regenerative agriculture (products made from food waste) and emphasize how they are combating climate change are likely to win consumers’ hearts.

14. Fancy faux fish

In light of the increased environmental concern, the faux fish trend will be popular among plant-based consumers in the coming year. Faux fish is a plant-based seafood with a texture and similar taste to fresh fish. These fish are not just an eco-conscious alternative to fish but also a healthy alternative for vegetarians.

15. Plant-based food

Plant-based food is one of the biggest trends in 2024; one of the drivers of this food trend is the growing awareness about climate and environmental issues.13 According to a report, worldwide sales of plant-based products will grow by over $35 billion in 2027.14 As many embrace vegetarian lifestyles, businesses are creating interesting veggie dishes and recipes (think plant-based burgers!). It’s a move towards a sustainable lifestyle, and companies may need to lean towards plant-based food alternatives to reduce meat consumption. You, too, can capitalize on this trend by offering more plant-based food products.

16. Women’s health food

Female-specific products made specifically to boost women’s physiological and reproductive health needs are expected to be one of the top food and beverage industry trends in 2024.1 This trend is informed by health experts and associations acknowledging food as an effective method for supporting women’s health during period, pregnancy, postpartum, and menopause.

17. Mushrooms

We can’t end the list of food industry trends without mentioning the top trending food: mushrooms! They are fast becoming a favorite in the food and beverage industry and are bound to be bigger in 2024.11 Mushrooms contain many nutrients, making them suitable ingredients in food products like snacks and spices. It also helps that many restaurants are including mushrooms as an ingredient on their menus.

How to sell food and beverage products online?

How to sell food and beverage products online

What job is better than selling food products and feeding the masses? If you are ready to start your own food business, here are some steps to help you realize your dreams:

Decide on a niche:

The best businesses are those that specialize in a specific niche. One of the first things you need to figure out as a seller in the food and beverage industry is a niche. Do you want to sell frozen chicken, packaged nuts, or non-alcoholic beverages? These are some of the things you need to figure out. If you don't have a product idea, you can browse the current food trends to find one. According to Whole Foods, some of the trending food products for 2024 are organic ingredients, gourmet instant noodles, vegan food, baked goods, and buckwheat.2 Remember to go for a product with high demand and a large customer base.

Conduct a market research

The next step is to test the viability and profitability of your chosen niche by conducting market research. As I mentioned, it is a competitive industry, so you need to research to know more about the industry, find hidden trends in your niche, and know what you can do differently to stay ahead of your competitors. You can check for food trends on social media (especially TikTok), YouTube, Google Trends, and Statistica.

Find a supplier

Now that you have a niche and know a little about your industry, it’s time to find a reliable supplier to provide items you’ll sell to your audience. Choosing the right supplier is very important because it will affect the direction of your own business. Imagine that a supplier ships you goods with an expired shelf life.

When searching for a supplier, please consider their costs, return policy, reviews, and certifications. Once you find a supplier that meets your needs, reach out to them to collaborate, negotiate, and arrange for the delivery of the food products you want.

Create an online store or find an e-commerce platform

There are three primary ways to set up an online store for your food products business- a website builder, WordPress, and eCommerce platform. Website builders and WordPress involve creating your online store and then integrating an eCommerce theme suitable for displaying your food products. The other option is e-commerce platforms, which already have built-in features to display your products and find customers. Both options have pros and cons, but as a food and beverage industry beginner, it’s best to go with the e-commerce platform option. E-commerce platforms like Alibaba.com and Amazon offer the opportunity to create your online store and tap into the existing customers that use them.

Showcase and promote your food products

Once you have an online store, you can showcase your food products on your website to attract customers. One secret about selling food products online is that images and presentations matter greatly. It would help if you displayed high-quality pictures to motivate customers and help them understand what you are selling. Also, include unique and detailed product descriptions to give your audience a better idea of what they want to buy.

contact with alibaba.com

Setting up your online store and showcasing your food products isn't enough to attract many customers. You must go all out to promote your food products and make them irresistible. You can do this with social media, ads, email marketing, and other digital advertising techniques. Other great marketing ideas to sell your food online include selling through B2B companies like Alibaba.com, offering amazing discounts, and sharing great content on social media/your website.

Sell on Alibaba.com

The online food business can be exciting and profitable if you get the right products, steps, and marketing strategies. Also, the key to a successful business year is to keep track of trends and changes in consumer behaviors. In other words, if you intend to stay ahead of your competitors and boost your sales, keeping track of food and beverage industry trends is crucial. For 2024, plant-based food products will gain momentum alongside other trends like eco-friendly packaging, instant snacks, and milk powder. All these trends align with consumers' preference for healthier options and convenience. Businesses striving to adapt to these trends will position themselves for a successful business year in 2024.

Remember that the food industry is very competitive, so you need a great e-commerce platform like Alibaba.com to increase your chances of success. Alibaba.com is excellent for beginner and professional sellers who need to find new customers, showcase their products to a bigger audience, and increase sales. Join Alibaba.com today to reach millions of customers for your food business!

References
1. https://media.wholefoodsmarket.com/whole-foods-market-forecasts-top-10-food-trends-for-2024/
2. https://www.thedailymeal.com/1272881/tinned-fish-had-its-viral-moment-and-experts-say-its-here-to-stay/
3. https://www.statista.com/outlook/cmo/food/dairy-products-eggs/worldwide
4. https://www.startus-insights.com/innovators-guide/dairy-industry-trends/
5. https://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/5022267/global-milk-powder-market-2020-2024
6. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/01/style/yes-you-do-deserve-a-little-treat.html
7. https://www.statista.com/outlook/cmo/food/fish-seafood/worldwide
8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34311902/
9. https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/honey-market
10. https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/fats-oils-market-6198812.html
11. https://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/24894-innova-sees-popularity-of-protein-mushrooms-accelerating-in-2024
12. https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3A+foodnavigator-usa+egg+prices&rlz=1C1GCEA_enUS1037US1037&oq=site%3A+foodnavigator-usa+egg+prices&gs_lcrp=EgZjaHJvbWUyBggAEEUYOTIGCAEQRRg60gEINzE3OWowajmoAgCwAgA&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
13. https://www.ktchnrebel.com/new-concepts-foodservice/
14. https://www.statista.com/statistics/877369/global-meat-substitutes-market-value/
15. https://www.specialtyfood.com/news/article/top-2024-food-and-beverage-trends-revealed-specialty-food-association-trendspotter-panel/

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