Indulgence and Luxuries are more important than ever
Despite inflationary pressures, product innovation continues to be a key driver of consumer traffic and sales volume. Moving into a fresh year there will be no lack of new and exciting products bursting into the grocery scene. One trend that continues to have staying power is our love of indulgence. In 2024 the definition of luxury will be more subjective than ever and open to consumer interpretation.
A source of pleasure and community, indulgence is completely personal. So, whether it’s an individually portioned decadent dessert or a grass-fed imported cheese to be shared with others, look for brands to bring a delicious (and even functional) offering to store shelves this year. People are also finding comfort in the act of ritual and tradition; while dining together is a treasured activity for any group, emphasis will be put on expanding such social interactions. For example, note the reemergence of the “sundowner cocktail”, a colloquial term referring to libations consumed (with or without alcohol) at the end of the day. Look for brands to lean into this concept to highlight their beverages as more than a means of hydration, but as an experience. Botanical and fruit leaning flavour profiles will prevail, and many will highlight the functional benefits of their ingredients.
Functional Ingredients, for you and the planet
The beauty of the food industry is the constant change it endures, providing ample opportunity for growth. Functional ingredients have not been a stranger to yearly trend lists, and 2024 will be no different. Moving into a fresh year, consumers will be looking to not only nourish their bodies but also benefit the planet. Ingredient highlights for 2024 will include buckwheat, a pseudocereal seed that is commonly used as a cover crop to support soil health, but also a mainstay food in many cultural cuisines. This year, buckwheat has entered the spotlight for its superfood seed attributes with healthy doses of protein, carbs and fiber. Plus, it’s naturally gluten free.
Upcycled ingredients have been on the rise for a few years, and now its cacao’s turn to enter the fray. Utilization of the whole cacao as an ingredient is the next step after the 2023 introduction of cacao fruit powders as an alternative sweetener. Cacao pulp is showing up as a star ingredient in jams, jellies, cereals, bars and teas.
A new definition of global flavours
Consumers have embraced the constant evolution of flavours and ingredients, using this as a compass for their own shopping behaviours. One trend that will carry a significant weight in 2024 will be the new definition of global fusion. What was once considered international foods, such as Italian, Asian and Mexican, have now become mainstream and people are looking for the next global highlight.
With a nod to an increasingly culturally diverse population, consumers are seeking to integrate traditional flavours across regions and cultures. Through this culinary curiosity, people are voraciously consuming the heritage of ingredients and background of techniques, only to rebuild a traditionally crafted dish into a new and inspired meal. Brands are encouraging consumers to expand on their scratch cooking and reach beyond a product’s intended use for a new foray into scratch cooking. Think bulgogi empanadas, carbonara ramen and a savoury Korma bread pudding.