Five food trends to look out for in 2024

From the use of burnt butter to the return of the pickled egg, there’s lots to be excited about when it comes to food in 2024.

As one of the UK’s leading food groups, its our job to keep an eye on all the latest food trends, so that we continue to create the most exciting and delicious food.

So, what can we expect from food in the year ahead? Here’s our top five predictions.

  1. Nutty and toasty flavours

Nutty and toasty is a flavour profile that is already beginning to appear in well-known favourites like cookies and hummus, as it adds a greater richness and premiumisation. This is why we’re seeing a growth in the use of ingredients like burnt butter. It’s added to foods to create a more complex, deeper, and nutty flavour and removes the fattiness that butter usually has.

One example of where this is already being done really well is Bubala in London – its burnt butter hummus is exceptional! We predict more foodservice outlets and retailers will start introducing the ingredient to add more depth of flavour to foods, including in pastry.

2. Fermented food

Understanding around health, wellness and functionality continues to evolve. Consumers increasingly have knowledge about the importance of gut health {1} and 7% are now eating food to improve it {2}.

This has brought fermented food and drinks to the fore and has led to an increase in sales for products like fermented condiments, such as kimchi and chilled pickles, which can easily be added to dishes to help consumers manage a regular intake of foods that do good for the gut.

This will only increase in 2024, and its where brands like Vadasz, the UK’s leading chilled pickles and ferments brand, will perform strongly. Its range of vibrant, delicious condiments, including Kimchi and Garlic & Dill Sauerkraut, come in a handy resealable tub, which you can easily scoop and add to sandwiches and salads.

3. Protein, protein, protein!

Speaking of health and wellbeing, another trend that has emerged is eating more protein. No longer viewed as simply a necessity for fitness, protein’s ability to satisfy hunger and stop sugar cravings is becoming better known, and now 10% of shoppers are eating more of it {2}.

Consumers are looking beyond just meat and eggs for protein to other sources that might be better for the planet, like protein snacks with clean ingredients {1}, or how they can cook plant-based options, such as beans and legumes, in new and interesting ways. We can also expect further experimentation with fermented foods, and how we can make plants taste more delicious and offer better convenience through this method.

4. Pickling

Pickling is massive and there’s nothing that doesn’t benefit from some time with a good quality vinegar and some aromatics! One area we are expecting to see an uplift is in a classic favourite – the pickled egg.

However, this won’t be in the chip shop style, but something that has a higher quality, premium twist.

This might be eggs paired with a quality balsamic vinegar, or beetroot infused vinegar to create a beautiful shade of pink. I’ve spotted a particularly interesting example of beetroot pickled egg from Marlow & Daughters in New York, which looks gorgeously vibrant, and tastes incredible.

5. Malaysian cuisine

Food brands, retailers and caterers have all taken inspiration from Asian cuisine over the past decade, and consumers love it too! Whether it’s Thai food, and the popular Pad Thai or Thai Green Curry, or Korean ingredients like kimchi, tangy, sour, salty and spicy flavours have become more commonly used.

One cuisine that still remains relatively untapped is Malaysian. It’s a food culture that feels familiar, but also offers retailers and foodservice outlets a new opportunity to explore. We’re expecting more Malaysian influence in 2024, taken from dishes like Rendang curry, and the use of Sarawak pepper, to create vivid, deliciously complex flavours.

{1} – The Food People 2024 – 2025 Trends

{2} – IGD, October 2023

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