The International Food Information Council (IFIC) has recently published its food trends forecast for 2024 in Food Insight, highlighting several areas in which we can expect to see growth and development in the coming year. Key areas identified include: a greater emphasis on how nutrition supports mental and emotional health, with a focus on supplements for women’s health, and foods and beverages promoting sleep, stress reduction, and mood.
It’s All About Function
Functional beverages are expected to remain in the spotlight, with a shift towards beverages featuring “clean caffeine,” sleep-enhancing properties, and the incorporation of pre- and probiotics for gut health. These are not new trends in the marketplace, as beverage companies have long been looking for ways to boost the health benefits of various offerings. We take a closer look at this in our article in Beverage Daily, “Form AND function: The reasons behind the functional ingredient beverage trend.”
Alternative Protein Takes Center Stage
Plant-based proteins and other protein-centric food alternatives, fortified with protein from unconventional sources, are gaining popularity. In fact, AMC Global’s client partner New Culture
just released a first-of-its-kind dairy mozzarella without the animal milk. This innovation was created to meet the nutrition, dietary, ethical, and environmental concerns of consumers, producing a dairy product with no animals involved at any stage. The industry is continuing to see innovation like this in other areas too, as with the release of new types of plant-based products, such as plant-based seafoods.
Food Labeling Gets a Boost
According to the Food Insight
article, transparent food labeling is predicted to be a significant focus in 2024, influenced by both consumer preferences and FDA actions. Attributes like “fresh,” “low in sugar,” and “good source of protein” are expected to be highlighted on labels. According to Kris Sollid, IFIC’s Senior Director of Nutrition Communications, “Front-of-Package nutrition labeling will be a major focus in 2024 as U.S. food regulators roll out a new labeling proposal to help shoppers make easier, quicker, and healthier food decisions.” Brands will need to do the right market research
to be sure to understand what claims to use, what combination of claims
can pack the most punch on limited package real estate, and how any new regulations will affect package design.
The Digital Landscape for F&B
And it’s not all about what we are going to see on the shelves. Behind the scenes, AI and social will continue to impact the industry in 2024. IFIC
states that AI is anticipated to keep playing a big role in the food industry, affecting information dissemination, supply chain resilience, food waste reduction, and product innovation. The forecast suggests that consumers will increasingly turn to AI tools and continue to turn to social media for information on health, nutrition, and food safety.