Cheerful Beautiful Young Couple Preparing Dinner Together, Watch
Cheerful beautiful young couple preparing dinner together, watching cooking blog

Food nutrition and health experts at the International Food Information Council (IFIC) see food and beverage choices centering on emotional well-being, protein fortification, label transparency, and more this year. Here’s what’s in store for 2024, from IFIC’s latest annual food trend forecast.

Supporting mental, emotional health

The majority of Americans (74%) say the food and beverages they eat at least moderately impact their overall mental and emotional well-being. In support of this, IFIC predicts that consumers will be increasingly seeking foods and beverages that promote better sleep, reduce stress, and boost their mood. Expect to see more botanicals used in teas, seltzers, and some foods. 

Hydrating with wellness drinks

Functional beverages are still going strong this year, particularly those that offer “clean caffeine,” aid sleep, and support gut health. Among consumers making an effort to include probiotics in their diet, 23% regularly look for wellness drinks that include probiotics. In addition, IFIC expects that water stewardship will become more important this year, as consumers seek products made with less water. 

Seeking plant-based, protein-powered products

Protein is taking center stage in the plant-based sphere this year, as interest in protein-rich diets grows. According to IFIC’s Food & Health Survey, “high protein” was the top eating pattern in 2023. Expect to see more protein-fortified products, including rice and pasta, baking mixes, nut protein powders, and snacks.

Reevaluating MSG’s role in recipes

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is expected to make a comeback in the rise of third-culture cuisine, backed by scientific studies and efforts to reduce sodium without losing flavor. 

Focusing on label transparency

Looking at the label helps many consumers determine what foods are “healthy” — many believe claims like “fresh” (37%), “low in sugar” (32%), and “good source of protein” (29%) indicate a healthy product. Now, with U.S. food regulators proposing new labeling to make it easier for consumers to identify the healthfulness of their food choices, transparent food labeling will become even more important. 

Doing more with AI

AI-powered platforms like ChatGPT are influencing healthy habits, providing food safety information, and inspiring recipes and meal plans. But it’s not just consumers who will be using AI more this year — “IFIC predicts much of AI’s influence will also reside behind the scenes with the potential for more resilient supply chains, food waste reduction, precision farming techniques, and innovative product formulation,” says Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, RD, MSN, Chief Executive Officer at IFIC.

Leaning on social inspiration

Social media will continue to have an impact on snacking and cooking trends this year. Many Americans say social media content has inspired them to try a new recipe (51%) or a new brand or product (42%), make healthier choices (60%), or reevaluate their relationship with food (28%).

Learn more about IFIC’s predictions in the full forecast.

Supplier Catalog - Software - CAI Software