Nourish Food Marketing Releases its Trend Report for 2024

Nourish Food Marketing - Trend Report 2024 Cover

TORONTO — Nourish Food Marketing recently hosted a webinar to mark the release of its Trend Report 2024, which uncovers eight key trends shaping the food, beverage and agriculture landscapes in 2024 and beyond.

A few of this year’s trends include:

  • A New Way of Thinking: AI arrives for the masses at home and across the F&B system

“Restaurants and food manufacturers may soon employ AI tongues that use sensors to replicate how humans perceive taste,” reads the report. “Electronic sensors on the tongues can taste chemicals in a manner similar to how human taste buds work. Combined with AI algorithms, these sensors can analyze food content, quality, authenticity and possibly even flavour profiles.”

Additionally, Jo-Ann McArthur, president and founding partner of Nourish Food Marketing, said, “Personalized nutrition is also talking a giant leap forward, with AI playing a significant role in how consumers make their food choices,” adding that consumers are already wearing CGMs (continuous glucose monitors) from companies such as Levels and Nutrisense.

  • Staying Sharp: Eating for brain health and cognitive performance

Brain health and cognitive performance has become a focus. It’s predicted that the Brain Health Functional Food and Beverage Market will be worth USD$40.3 billion by 2030, with a CAGR of 10.5 per cent.

“This focus on brain-friendly habits is supported by a move to less alcohol consumption,” said McArthur. Food-and-beverage products are being developed with B vitamins and omega-3s and supplements, such as nootropics to support brain health and enhance functionality.”

Choline is another essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in brain health and overall cognitive function and is an ingredient used chiefly in baby and toddler foods. Despite its importance, 90 per cent of American don’t get enough choline, according to research from Arizona State University.

McArthur said an example of this trend in action is MOSH, a brain-health brand founded by Maria Shriver and her son, Patrick Schwarzenegger. Its line of protein bars is formulated with adaptogens and nutrients linked to brain health.

  • No More for Me, Thanks: Alcohol moderation mainstreams without compromise on taste

As consumers prioritize their health and wellness, there’s a continued rise in non-alcoholic beverage consumption as well as the emergence of the low-alcohol segment.

“Low-ABV beverages could finally bridge that gap between health and taste/experience,” reads the report. “While a couple of percentages in ABV may not seem like a lot, it can go a long way to making a beer, wine or spirit more palatable.”

“Looking to the future, several countries have already introduced or are discussing the introduction of warning labels on alcoholic beverages, similar to those on tobacco products, giving consumers further pause about their level of consumption,” said McArthur.

  • New Kids on the Block: Say hello to generation alpha and their unique perspectives

“Generation Alpha is growing up in a world where technology is deeply integrated into their daily life, allowing for more personalization and customization than ever before,” reads the report. “They will be more comfortable with digital devices, which could influence how they access information about food and beverages, order food and even prepare meals using smart kitchen appliances. Personalization or customization may be the norm for this generation.”

“They’re a highly interconnected generation too, with increased exposure to diverse cultures and cuisines through travel and the internet and a more multi-cultural peer group. Generation Alpha may have more adventurous tastes and be open to trying a wider variety of foods and flavours,” said McArthur. “A 2024 kids’ menu should go beyond the usual mac and cheese or hotdogs and include pho and fajitas.”

  • Putting the “Plant” Back in Plant-Based: Re-thinking the approach to meat alternatives for increased adoption

“Expectations are rising in the plant-based space in terms of no compromise on taste or health,” said McArthur. “Consumer curiosity drove the first wave of product trials, but most will not pay a price comparable to meat for a product they view as a disappointing alternative to the real thing. These faux meat labels are less potent with this segment of consumers compared to plant-forward. The overabundance of these products in retail, both refrigerated and frozen, suggests there will be a consolidation of products on the shelf now that we have passed the initial trial phase.”

A shift to shorter, simpler ingredient lists is expected. Mission Barns launched a plant-protein product combined with lab-grown animal fat to create a product that delivers some of the flavour and texture missing from faux meat products. “This type of enhancement role might be a more practical option for the technology,” reads the report.

The Trend Report 2024 is now available online. To download the full report, click here.

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