From ‘travelling through taste’ to cognitive health: The 2024 trends predicted to shake-up food and beverage

In recent years, the food and beverage industry has observed a rise in ‘healthy indulgence’ – allowing consumers to have their (healthier) cake and eat it. But in a recent interview​ with a food futurologist, it was suggested the ‘healthy indulgence’ trend is becoming outdated in 2024.

“Healthy indulgence seems contradictory, and we will see plenty of decadence alongside the nutritionally clean options, but any combination of the two speaks of a time gone by,” Dr Morgaine Gaye then told this publication.

But indulgence, and separately, health, continue to be very much on the radar, according to ingredients suppliers who are predicting food and beverage trends ranging from comforting flavours to adventurous formats and a growing interest in cognitive health.

Adventurous consumers: ‘Travelling through taste will be key’

Consumers have lived through at least a couple of tumultuous years of late, most obviously throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-2021. In one respect, the pandemic prompted consumers to turn to safe, comforting flavours; and now early signs suggest adventure is back on the cards.

“After the pandemic, consumers are really expecting…comforting flavours that provide a bit of safety from a mood-balance perspective,” according to Bastian Hörmann, global marketing director, Sweet Food, Dairy, Specialised Nutrition, ADM.

That means consumers are more likely to turn to well-known brands from their childhood, as well as flavour and taste experiences that create a feeling of ‘safety’ amid the unsafe times ‘we are all facing’, Hörmann told FoodNavigator at the recent Food Ingredients Europe (FiE) event in Frankfurt, Germany.