To kick start 2024 FoodE is looking at the biggest and most exciting upcoming food trends for the year ahead. From umami to AI – this blog will help you digest what’s happening in the world of food and drink.

With some consistency from our food trends blog this time last year (Food Trends 23/24) and some new entries, we’ve picked out some of thefoodpeople‘s predicted trends to look closer at:

1. Consuming the power of AI

You heard us right – AI is even making its impact on food! From AI powered chefs to the creation of plant based fats and optimal fruit ripeness, there is suddenly a huge development in the world of food & drink. Earlier this year, Coca Cola even introduced an ‘AI Flavour’ which was totally unique and co created with artificial intelligence, as well as the packaging design too. It’s incredibly likely that over the next year we will see even further AI development for a huge variety of reasons, and perhaps it will help us develop sustainable food even faster.

2. Retro throwback

Here’s a blast from the past: Reliable classics are making a return. It’s no surprise that this trend will continue to rise, as we’ve seen it across design trends too. Retro dishes making a comeback include starters like vol au vents and prawn cocktails, mains such as coronation chicken and meatloaf, and classic desserts like banana splits and peach melba. The trend also extends to beverages with a revival of cocktails including classics like the French 75 and Espresso Martinis.

3. More and more umami

Mouthwatering savoury dishes are here to stay. Traditional ingredients like parmesan, anchovies, and Marmite are being combined with contemporary ones like miso and XO sauce to create new and diverse dishes. There is just something about rich umami flavours that always leave people wanting more, and here at FoodE we think this trend will be here to stay.

4. Awesome ambient

Room temperature storable foods in tins, jars and powder form are certainly on the rise, and with a gourmet makeover too. Producers are using quality ingredients and innovative flavours to allow home cooks to experiment with diverse combinations. There is also a rise in powdered food and drinks due to affordability, convenience, and sustainability, with no need for artificial preservatives. Certainly a trend that could develop even more.

5. Simple gourmet

As we continue to watch the pennies we can opt for simple dishes that are cooked to perfection.. Dishes as simple as fish and chips, burgers, fried chicken and tacos are finding themselves finessed and enhanced as we crave those savoury and well cooked meals. This has evolved from last year’s ‘Savouring luxury moments’ and proves that we simply love good food.

Other notable trends: 

  • ‘Like the real thing’: There have been huge improvements in technology to create healthy plant based alternatives that have everyone fooled.
  • Ultra processed impact: ‘You are what you eat’ is becoming a theme in the modern era, with people paying more attention than ever to what goes into our food.
  • Sweet pastries: Indulgences that don’t blow the budget are sought after more and more, especially treats like the humble croissant! 
  • Full fat goodness: ‘Proper’ dairy is making its own comeback, celebrated for its taste and its nutrition. Cheese in particular is incredibly popular right now.

FoodE’s conclusion:

To summarise, in 2024 we will see a focus on wholesome and health conscious foods, including some retro comebacks and traditional staples. Every year we see a development of trends and some tie-ins to the years gone by, but its safe to say that it is our love for food which continually drives us as consumers. Good tasting and quality products prevail.

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