Mintel top trends to watch for in 2024: Processed foods, climate change, healthy aging

In the webinar, Zegler broke down the trends to watch for in 2024 into four distinct categories, including Trust the Process; Climate Changes, Comfort Endures; Age Reframed; and Eating, Optimized. In each category, CPG companies have responded to the challenge with new product innovations to meet the growing trend.  

While price and value are top of consumers’ minds today, Mintel left them off the 2024 trend list because they are less a trend to watch and more of a concern embedded in the shopping experience now, she added. 

“We know that value is incredibly important to consumers right now. And so much so that we felt that it wasn’t necessarily a trend all its own for 2024. It really is something that is built into every one of these trends, and quite honestly for many people, especially in the US and Canada where we’re dealing with high rates of inflation [and] high food and drink prices. This is something that is an everyday necessity.”

1. Trust the process means boosting processed food transparency  

As the debate around processed and ultra-processed foods continues, consumers are asking more questions about processed foods and their health, which is the top trend Mintel is watching, Zegler said. 

Only 34% of US adults say highly processed is the top concern, excluding price and taste, when purchasing food and drinks, according to a July 2022 survey of 2,000 US consumers, she shared. Increasingly, consumers are asking questions about processed foods, and CPG companies have an opportunity to educate consumers on the role of processed foods and innovate around less processed products, she added.