We are looking into our crystal ball to determine which food trends will become popular in 2024 and which ones will continue into 2023. Reminisce about recipes that went viral and find out what might happen next by continuing to read our 2024 food trend predictions.
What we loved in 2023
In the past year, we saw increased interest in plant-based eating, affordability, sustainability initiatives, and intuitive eating—a dietary approach that abandons harmful diet culture and prioritizes hunger cues instead. People were also more concerned about their alcohol intake, and many people reduced their consumption by switching to mocktails and other non-alcoholic beverages. The “sober curious” movement originated in 2018. Still, it may have taken off in 2023 due to new Canadian alcohol guidelines published in early 2023 (fourteen weekly drinks were reduced to two) that swept the news.
A few 2023 food trends we watched on Tiktok (a social media platform that hosts videos) include:
- Viral cheesy and meat-baked spaghetti
- Italian deli meat-chopped sandwich
- Watermelon “fries”
- A fruit roll-up with ice cream and frozen grapes
This is the tip of the iceberg regarding viral videos on TikTok. Most creators produced recipes that were either nutritious, comforting or budget-friendly (sometimes all three, like delicious tofu coconut curry). One thing is for sure: if you need meal inspiration, TikTok has millions of options you can try at home.
What will carry over into 2024
With more evidence showing the health benefits of adopting a plant-based diet, we predict this eating pattern is here to stay. Health benefits linked to a plant-based diet include:
- Decreased risk of illness, including cancer
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Fewer digestive issues
- Tighter weight management
Another persuasive argument for more plant-based eating is the high cost of meat and animal products in grocery stores. Beans, tofu, and other plant-based proteins are more affordable (affordability was another 2023 trend), which is essential for consumers feeling the pinch on their grocery bill.
We also predict people will continue to limit their alcohol intake as they become more invested in managing their health. For a long time, alcohol was a key driver for socializing at parties and events, but people appear to be satisfied with less drinking in their lives. The topic of hydration was hot in 2023 as many people bought massive drinking vessels to stay on top of their water intake (another viral trend on TikTok #watertok). After investing in large portable canisters, people will probably remain mindful of their fluid consumption. We predict this trend will carry forward into the new year.
New trends for 2024
Ready for our top guesses for future trends? Obviously, we can’t know what will happen next year, but here are our food predictions for 2024.
1. Meal prepping
Meal prepping is already popular, but more and more people are choosing to cook meals at home to improve their health and stay within their food budget. There are an increasing number of videos online to inspire others to start meal prepping at home, and you can invest in bento box-style lunch boxes or other compact kits. You can start by planning a weekly menu and dedicating an afternoon to cooking two or three meals. Store them in the fridge and enjoy your pre-made meals without dirtying a frying pan all week.
2. Spice is in
A trendy YouTube channel interviews celebrities while eating increasingly spicy foods. We think many people want to explore different types of chili by making chili oils and condiments at home. Popular hot peppers include jalapeño, habanero, cayenne, and Sichuan chili flakes. Most peppers have antioxidants, and adding spice to your foods increases the flavor without relying on a salt shaker.
If you’re going to start making products at home, be sure to wash and store your canning tools thoroughly. They need to be 100% sterile to be food-safe.
3. Functional foods
Certain companies, like Olipop, create food products that deliver nutritional advantages. Their product is an example of a functional food (they produce a soda that includes plant fibers, which are digested and serve as prebiotics for your gut). Other functional foods include fortified cereals, grains, eggs, and even soy products to help people increase their nutritional intake from food.
4. Nostalgia will inspire flavor
After fruit roll-ups came back, it’s exciting to think about which other foods from the past will have their moment in 2024. Nostalgic foods extend beyond candies and sweets and include other memorable flavors from the past, such as marzipan, pear, blue raspberry, and ranch. These flavors are popping up in non-alcoholic beverages, including sparkling water and mocktails.
5. Hormone friendly meals
Hormone-driven conditions, such as PCOS, are on the rise. We expect to see more foods and meals on the market catered to these populations, including supplements (always ask your doctor before starting a supplement). You don't need to follow a fancy diet to improve your hormone level, but you should include anti-inflammatory foods to manage symptoms, including berries, omega-3-rich fish (salmon, trout, etc.), dark leafy greens, and other fresh produce.
6. Homegrown foods
Homesteading and growing your own produce may take off next summer. Between at-home grow kits and vertical growing systems (hydroponic plant towers), there are more options than ever to grow food at home, even in small spaces. Growing foods at home also reduces your grocery bill, and it’s rewarding to be self-sustainable.
You can partake in food trends or skip them altogether if they don't appeal to you. At the end of the day, these products (or sometimes behaviors) are meant to be fun and inspiring, and you can choose to participate or not. You certainly don’t need to follow the trends to follow a nutritious and healthy diet. If you’re motivated to make food changes in the new year that support your health goals, you should reach out to your doctor or a dietitian and develop an actionable plan to get closer to your objectives.
Food trends are preferences for products, meals, or recipes over a specific period of time.
Noteworthy 2023 food trends that will carry into 2024 include plant-based eating, meal prepping, and decreased alcohol consumption.
New trends we predict for 2024 include spicy dishes, nostalgic flavors, and hormone-friendly meals.
- Missouri Medicine. A Look at Plant Based Diets.
- Movendi International. How the Sober Curious Movement Disrupts the Alcohol Norm.
- Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences. The Prevalence of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.