9 Food & Beverage Predictions for 2024

24 January 2024, 17:59 GMT
By New York Times

In 2024, food and drink trends are expected to revolve around the concept of “hi-lo,” combining boldness and maximalism with a desire for value. Key points include:

Snack Hype

Snacks will take center stage, offering a low-stakes way to explore new cuisines and cultural hybrids. Expect innovative collaborations, such as French’s mustard and Skittles or Milk Bar and Taco Bell.

Hydration Focus

Water trends will surge, with the rise of #WaterTok and increased interest in premium hydration. Water sommeliers, wearable hydration sensors, and sustainability in water stewardship will become more prominent.

Buckwheat’s Rise

Buckwheat is predicted to be a significant ingredient in 2024 due to its versatility, health benefits, and climate-friendly attributes. It will be featured in various dishes and drinks.

Meal-Flavored Cocktails

The trend of umami-heavy drinks that taste like specific dishes will continue to grow. Expect cocktails that mimic the flavors of meals, such as Waldorf salad or Thai beef salad.

Real Ingredients

There will be a growing concern over elaborate food processing methods, leading to a preference for natural fermentation, cold-pressed oils, and unprocessed ingredients. Ingredient descriptions will become more transparent.

Nuanced Heat

Heat in food will become more nuanced and multidimensional, moving away from intense spiciness to complex flavors paired with sweet and sour elements.

Technology Integration

Artificial intelligence will play a significant role, bringing changes like tighter supply chains, reduced food waste, and precision farming. AI-driven systems may enhance kitchen efficiency and dining experiences.

Floral Flavors

Flavors like peach, cherry blossom, and violet will dominate, accompanied by an abundance of wildflowers. The focus is on lightness, femininity, and metrics like kindness and cooperation.

Dish of the Year: Soup

Soup is expected to be a standout dish, offering cross-cultural mash-ups and a canvas for experimenting with new flavors. It aligns with the rising popularity of Southeast Asian cuisines.

These trends reflect a combination of adventurous culinary exploration, health-conscious choices, and a desire for value and authenticity in food and drink experiences.

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