5 Nutrition Trends for 2024
Sifting through the available nutrition information has always been tricky. This is largely due to the sheer volume of information and the rise of non-credentialed individuals on social media. It makes it difficult to know what to trust and what information to carry into your own health and well-being practices.
As the year comes to an end, upcoming predictions start to circulate, but are these trends or just another fad?
Trends and fads are terms which are sometimes used interchangeably but mean seemingly different things.
Trends are a general development of change in a situation or in the way that people are behaving. They are often easier to predict, evolve slowly, are longer lasting, reflect progression in time and can lead to long-term change.
Fads on the other hand are styles, activities or interests that are very popular for a short period. They often take us by surprise, come out of nowhere, are short-lived, reflect a specific point in time and don’t usually cause a culture change.
Whilst they are both different, both impact dietary intake in both the short and long term, so it is important to be aware of them (and their differences).
When it comes to nutrition, some trends are pretty fleeting, but others stand the test of time and can have a huge impact on food choices and behaviour. Those that do, tend to evolve before coming mainstream.
Being aware of emerging trends is extremely important for businesses like ourselves, as it helps us steer our product in the direction that consumers want. It involves a lot of innovation and adaptability because as noted, developments in trends can evolve.
Where do trends come from?
Trends emerge from several different avenues, including:
- Companies specialising in trends, insights and market research e.g. Mintel.
- Social Media e.g. Instagram and more recently Tik Tok.
- Food provider insight and consumer research e.g. supermarkets, catering and the food industry.
What predicts trends?
Many trends can be predicted by factors such as:
- Global factors such as war, international events and climate change
- Events a little closer to home, such as strikes, cost of living crisis, the season and weather conditions.
- Trending topics on social media
- What’s on TV
Although predictions can be cast, changes can happen quickly, which causes a large shift in the initial predictions. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a huge shift towards home-baking, family meals and tinned and frozen foods!
5 Potential trends for 2024:
1. Quick, easy recipes
Many consumers are time-poor, but health-conscious, so having quick, easy, but ideally healthy and nutritious recipes is key! A quick online search shows countless releases for December 2023 and January 2024, which shows a clear demand for speedy culinary creations!
2. Energy-saving meals
Budget-conscious consumers are keen to cut energy bills where possible. Consumers seem to be more interested in energy efficiency in the kitchen now, compared to before the pandemic. This shift means a focus on energy-saving appliances, such as air fryers, slow cookers and microwaves, but also more no-cook/minimal-cook dishes, such as salads.
Although these appliances have been around for some time, demand is showing no signs of slowing down. You only need to take a look at your Instagram or TikTok feed to see how their popularity is ever-growing!
3. Unprocessed foods
Mintel released its annual trends report referring to one of three big ideas for 2024 – Trust the Process. This refers to the increasing desire from consumers to know about where and how their food is made and processed (particularly in light of the latest research about the negative health effects of ultra-processed food). Head to the FFF blog here.
We’re undoubtedly seeing growing interest in specific ingredients and nutrients, as customers are looking to support their health and well-being through their food and drink choices.
Mintel suggests that it seems as though there’s growth potential for minimally processed food and drink that focus on the positive aspects of food-processing techniques, such as those that enhance nutrition, inhibit contaminant formation or improve sustainability.
4. Age reframed
Once again, Mintel has revealed another potential trend for 2024 relating to ageing, but in a new light. They suggested that healthy ageing will be redefined by debunking ‘old’ stigmas and prioritising extending consumers’ healthy years.
Healthy longevity is certainly something consumers want to maximise. A good diet is known to be extremely beneficial for your overall health and so can be linked to longevity.
It could be suggested there will be a rise in products which for example, proactively aim to address joint health, fuel fitness routines and maintain healthy sleep patterns.
5. More But Better Plants
Going plant-based, i.e. removing some if not all animal-based products often features in the upcoming trends each year. However, there has been a slowing and some setbacks within the plant-based meat alternative market – companies such as Meatless Farm and LoveSeitan, have recently gone into administration and several others are experiencing declines in sales. All of this suggests that consumers may be looking to move away from products which they view as being ultra-processed and veering towards whole-food plant-based products. These would include ingredients such as chickpeas, beans and lentils.
Essentially it seems as though the market is moving towards more actual plant-based foods and away from ‘fake’ meats, as consumers want more ‘clean’ label products.
These are just a handful of the predictions for next year based on recent events and evolving research. It will be interesting to see how they unfold, both in terms of the ways that brands innovate, but also how consumer behaviour responds. Watch this space!
Fresh Fitness Food provides personalised meal plans delivered straight to your door. We ensure not only that you have the nutrients you need to support your goals, but also that you have the time usually spent shopping, cooking and washing up, to engage in your favourite festive activities. To discuss which nutrition plan is right for you, book a call with our in-house nutrition team here.
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