2024 food and drink trends

6 December, 2023

From inventive fusions to a heightened focus on holistic health and wellbeing, the food and drink landscape is continuing to adapt to accommodate diverse tastes and preferences.

Influences such as the cost-of-living crisis, sustainability concerns, and health consciousness are shaping consumer approaches to food.

Regency supply partner, Bidfood are predicting five key food and drink trends that will shape out of home menus in the UK in 2024. These include:

  1. Flavours Less Travelled with an emphasis on authentic representation of Mexican, Caribbean, and Eastern European cuisines
  2. British Fusion which looks at how British dishes are being pepped up with flavours from around the world
  3. Mind, Mood and Body which focuses on the sorts of healthier choices that consumers are now looking for
  4. Let’s Play which is all about playful flavour contrasts and playful cocktails
  5. Rustic and Rural which captures the way that menus and venues represent provenance in dishes and decor.

Some of the key ingredients that sit behind the food and drink trends expected to emerge include:

  • Caribbean: Dishes like jerk, patties, curries or stews that contain fish and seafood, chicken, goat, and tropical ingredients like sweet potato, mango, pineapple, lime, coconut, and chilli
  • Mexican: Dishes like tacos al pastor, elotes or esquites (corn-based dishes), torta, mole or gorditas (flatbread sandwiches) contain ingredients like: corn, tomatoes, avocado, pinto beans, limes, chilli, coriander and cheese
  • Eastern European: Dishes like stews (e.g. goulash, paprikash, bigos) , soups (like borsch), meatballs, dumplings, pretzels and cakes or pastries. These include ingredients like smoked sausages and meats, sauerkraut, gherkins, sour cream, mushrooms, herbs, paprika, potatoes, cabbage, pickles, apples and berries
  • British Fusion tends to adapt traditional British cuisine formats like roast dinners, pies, pasties, sausage rolls, full English breakfasts and pep them up with spices and flavours from other cuisines
  • Flavour Contrasts involve blending sweet with sour, spicy, salty or savoury ingredients, for example the trending burger gelato; examples of contrasts might include hot honey, chilli and chocolate, salted caramel, feta and watermelon
  • Provence continues to be high on consumer wish-lists with over three in four UK consumers preferring dishes that use British ingredients, so menus with a focus on local and regional (and now also 'glocal' - the seamless integration between the local and global) provenance will continue to be of importance.

Download the full 2024 Food and Drink Trend Guide

It's worth noting that, while many factors driving consumer choices are almost universal, such as the desire for value for money, healthier and sustainable choices, authenticity, quality and provenance, not all trends are suitable for all food and drink outlets. However, with an understanding of consumer behaviour and preference, you can effectively tailor, tweak and adjust your menus to meet consumer demands and deliver exceptional experiences.

If you’d like to discuss your menus, food trends or explore new food and drink concepts, please get in touch.

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