2023 brought about savvy shopping as consumers navigated rising food prices and retro revamps. Fermented foods were everywhere – hello kimchi. We delved hard into nostalgic eats as a form of escapism. Who even were you if you weren’t tracking your protein goals. And, of course, the air fryer’s relentless home invasion ramped up several notches.
But what will be hot in 2024? The air fryer is going nowhere and we’ll still love a throwback. But there are plenty of new stories to tell this year. We’ve brought together all our insight to share the top five 2024 trends food & beverage brands need to know about. Let’s jump in.
1. Tropical & tangy flavours
2024 is all about embracing the citrus notes that remind you of warmer climates, bringing a burst of freshness and excitement to the food and beverage scene. From classic cocktails like piña coladas, to Hawaiian chicken tray bakes, Pinterest has reported a significant increase in searches for recipes taking tropical inspiration, a trend largely being driven by boomers and Gen Z1.
We’re continuing to turn to food for joy and as a form of escapism, and these vibrant ingredients are the perfect antidote to uplift and energise. Recipes and limited-edition NPD are ideal to leverage this trend.
2. Dinner parties
Dinner parties are back, but with a modern twist. Formal, crowded, and lavish is out. Small, casual and intimate is in. Weekends are also out, as midweek soirées have had a resurgence, attributed to having more times on our hands in the week thanks to hybrid working. Perhaps the casualisation of the dinner party can also in part be down to the TikTok romanticisation effect and finding magic in the mundane. Regardless, these gatherings are fuss and rule free and designed to be moulded and personalised to meet the needs of the attendees. Brands can capitalise on this trend through dinner party recipe inspiration (more on this below) and savvy influencer engagement – a hard-working paid partnership where a creator puts your brand at the heart of their at-home supper club can help your brand own this trend.
3. Big sharing dishes
And what does every dinner party need? A showstopping centre piece to share with guests. Purse strings continue to be tight and big sharing dishes offer the value for money we all continue to seek while bringing theatre to the table. There’s an added bonus if the dish is visually appealing for allowing guests to capture that attention grabbing snap for their next Instagram photo dump. There’s an abundance of variety of the sharing plate on social – from aesthetically pleasing and painstakingly crafted platters, to the American ‘potluck’ (everyone brings a dish), there’s ample room for premium and mainstream to have fun with this trend.
4. Affordable luxury
Often referred to as the ‘lipstick effect’ but dubbed the pudding effect by Waitrose2, during times of economic difficulty we often look to little treats as a way to indulge and boost our mood. While as a whole shoppers will continue to reduce non-essential purchases to keep costs down, there will be room for occasional cost-effective indulgences such as splurging on specialty coffees and premium spirits3. This is a great opportunity for everyday brands fighting a battle against own-label to carve out their place in the trolley through consistent quality and taste messaging.
5. Holistic hydration
Staying hydrated is the trendiest thing you can do in 2024, but you’ll need to be consuming more than just water. Smart water will evolve as a category as we turn to water options with added benefits. Whether that’s added electrolytes post workout, or added collagen for the skincare benefits4, this year we’ll see expectations shift to water being more than just plain old H2O. Your vessel of consumption is also just as important as TikTok dubs the influencer stalwart, the Stanley Quencher Cup, THE accessory of the moment. The functionality trends calls on brands to ensure their comms have a broader outlook than traditional foodie avenues. Consider healthcare and wellbeing platforms for hard-working earned and owned opportunities.
Looks like another pivotal year for the industry ahead and we can’t wait to be there as how and what we eat continues to evolve.
Want to chat about how to leverage these trends within your PR or social strategy? Then Pier We Are.
- https://business.pinterest.com/en-gb/pinterest-predicts/2024/tropic-like-its-hot/ ↩︎
- https://www.johnlewispartnership.media/news/waitrose/20102022/waitrose-reveals-how-the-nation-has-navigated-a-year-of-seismic-events?brand=waitrose ↩︎
- https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20240104-little-luxuries-the-affordable-treats-driving-consumer-spending ↩︎
- https://dam.hollandandbarrettimages.co.uk/composer/_raw/5a5891b4-89a0-4ae3-b95b-fdf7daefa1eb/Wellness_Trends_Report_2023.pdf ↩︎