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Beverage Industry Trends

10 Hottest Food and Beverage Industry Trends – 2024

What’s the biggest prediction for the food service industry as 2024 unfolds? Sales of food and beverages are set to hit a record-high $889.7 billion.

But Why Do You Need Food and Beverage Trends?

If you are looking to stay relevant in the modern food and beverage business or just want to experience something new, you need to keep up with the latest trends. 

Because the idea surrounding food has changed drastically over the last decade. Now, consumers want something more than just the taste. They want something they can share on their social media and get a positive response to. The dish should be Instagram-worthy for it to be relevant today, hence the trends. 

Therefore, it only makes sense to join the trends and propel your business to new heights by reaching a larger audience. Additionally, using trends can help with:

  • Brand Building 
  • Cultural Exchange 
  • Revenue 

So, what are the latest trends in this industry? Let’s find out!

Current Food Trends

Now, food is not just a means to satiate your hunger but a unique tool to help you differentiate from your competition. Just like every year, this year, we have trends that are irresistibly delicious. Here are the popular food trends.

Plant-based Products

Veganism is not just hype anymore, it is a constant trend with great opportunities like Veganuary for businesses to offer plant-based foods. Moreover, the vegan industry experienced a rise of $3 Billion from 2023 to 2024. 

Why is it Trending?

Veganism is trending because more people are becoming aware of the fact that meat, especially red meat, contributes to methane, causing climate change. 

According to a survey, nearly 4% of adults in the United Kingdom switched to a vegan diet in 2023. 

As per Google Trends, a similar story can be seen across the world, i.e., people are searching for “veganism” or “plant-based” in countries like Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Canada, and Switzerland. Moreover, the demand for plant-based foods grew by a whopping 21% from 2020 to 2022, and it is still on the rise. 

Who’s Leading the Plant-Based Trend?

With such a high demand, it is no surprise that a large number of vegan brands are filling up shelves of grocery stores; however, here are the big players:

  • Impossible Foods
  • Beyond Meat 
  • Gold & Green Foods

Why Should You Invest in It?

Unlike other trends that come in and out of existence, plant-based foods have been trending for a long time. Also, as time goes on their popularity is only increasing. It’s only a matter of time, when plant-based will be the go-to diet for most. 

Increasing Spiciness 

Thanks to popular shows like Hot Ones by First We Feast, the popularity of spicy food as well as beverages is on the rise. Moreover, people are now increasing the spiciness of their food and drinks by adding sauces made from Carolina Reapers, Goathorn Peppers, and more. 

Why is it Trending?

Heat is increasing in foods because people are now becoming aware of the potential health benefits of spices in food beyond just flavor. 

For instance, capsaicin, the primary compound that adds heat to chili peppers, is linked with increasing metabolic rate, provides pain relief, and even helps with cardiovascular health. 

Additionally, the spicy challenges and competitions posted on social media are always driving large amounts of traffic. Moreover, an astonishing 82% of consumers are opting for spicy beverages.  

Who’s Leading the Spicy Trend?

While almost every restaurant and packaged food brand offers spicy options, these are the top players providing heat more than climate change:

  • V8 Spicy Hot Vegetable Juice
  • Korean Fire Noodles
  • Paquie One Chip Challenge

Why Should You Invest in It?

Currently, the global hot sauce market is valued at US$ 9.3 Bn and it is likely to reach US$ 15 Bn by 2031. Also, the audience reach and popularity gained by spicy food challenges are a huge incentive to invest in this trend. These types of videos easily gain over 100,000 views and some cross 3 billion views. This is the very reason why Korean Fire Noodles generated US$ 2.3 Bn in 2023. 

Culture of Small Treats 

Similar to the spicy trend, this is also gaining popularity thanks to social media, #littletreat gained immense popularity and traction. Among all the little treats, bubble tea by Gong Cha USA gained the most traction, and it is here to stay. 

Why is it Trending?

Consumers are becoming more health-conscious and want to indulge in snacks without feeling guilty. Little treats provide instant gratification as well which is a huge driving factor for this trend, according to studies

Who’s Leading the Little Culture Trend?

Presently, a lot of brands are rated as “best snack”; however, these are the topping the list:

  • Chatime
  • Cookies by Levain Bakery 
  • Grimace Shake 

Why Should You Invest in It?

From a business perspective, the culture of small treats is an excellent means to generate revenue with not much investment. You’d have to perfect one treat that can rule the market, and that’s it. 

For instance, Grimace Shake became the driving force behind 57.1% of consumers’ decision-making to visit McDonald’s.

One-Dish Wonders

These are the embodiment of trending food. They rapidly gain popularity, hit the peak, and fade out. However, one thing is constant with them: at any given time, one dish is always trending. 

Why is it Trending?

Once again, it is huge thanks to social media. Influencers are always looking for new trends, and One Dish Wonders provides just that. The simplicity, flexibility, and uniqueness of each dish wonders trend. 

Who’s Leading the Single Dish Trend?

A lot of businesses offer a single dish; however, only a few end up going viral. These are the most popular ones:

  • Dindigul Thalapakatti
  • The Avocado Show
  • Le Relais de L’Entrecote

Why Should You Invest in It?

Brand Building. One-dish wonders are excellent at increasing both footfall and online presence. Consumers will associate strictly your brand with a certain dish, and you’ll be the only one providing that fix. In addition to brand building, ODWs streamline kitchen operations and help with inventory management.

Self-service Kiosks

Our lives have become not fast-paced but rapid-paced, and of course, food needs to keep up. This is why grab-and-go services are booming, and nobody does it better than Japan. You can get anything from pizza to sushi from these kiosks. 

Why is it Trending?

Unlike restaurants with long waiting lines, kiosks help customers cut long lines with easy payment options, making the entire experience streamlined. This is why it is used by 66% of the consumers. 

Who’s Leading the Kiosks Trend?

These self-serve kiosks are the way of the future; however, today, these are leading the market:

  • froYo
  • pâtisserie OKASHI GAKU
  • Pizza Self 24

Why Should You Invest in It?

Kiosks are amazing business models that enhance customer experience and help you save money. These do require a large investment; however, they can generate decent revenue, especially if they are placed in a busy location. 

Current Beverage Trends

This is an industry where new trends are emerging every single day. Consumers are constantly searching for the “next big thing.” Here are popular beverage trends.

Functional Drinks 

With people’s focus shifting towards health, the demand for health drinks is growing. These types of drinks offer vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other benefits to our overall well-being. Some examples include nutraceutical beverages, probiotics, energy drinks, and sports drinks. Many brands are emerging in this category; however, Ultima Replenisher, an electrolyte and hydration powder, is topping the list. 

Why is it Trending?

Health is the primary driving force behind this trend. If you go to Instagram and search “healthy drinks,” you’ll be bombarded with smoothie recipes and detox drinks. According to Packaged Facts’, 38% of people purposefully seek healthy drink options. 

Who’s Leading this Trend?

From caffeine alternatives to CBD-infused beverages, these are leading functional drink brands:

  • TRIP
  • Ultima Replenisher 
  • Plants by People

Why Should You Invest in It?

This market is growing rapidly, and people are seeking alternatives to their favorite beverages, opening room for endless possibilities. Just a pro tip, if you are venturing into functional drinks, begin with Asia-pacific, as it is the leading market for this trend. 

Unsweetened Drinks 

Beverages packed with high fructose corn syrup and sugar are the leading cause of diabetes in the United States. People want something that can quench their thirst without putting their health at risk. This is why huge brands like Coca-Cola and Pepsi offer zero-sugar or low-sugar products. 

Why is it Trending?

In combination with the FDA’s new policy of clearly marking calories on the labels and people increasingly becoming health conscious, unsweetened drinks continue to rise in popularity. 

Who’s Leading Sugar-Free Trend?

Unsurprisingly, huge brands are the top players in this trend. 

  • Diet Coke
  • Liquid Death 
  • Fresca 

Why Should You Invest in It?

The sugar-free drink market is expected to become a US$ 65 Bn industry by 2029. With the right marketing and promotion, you can achieve trending unsweetened drinks like Liquid Death. 

Reduced Alcohol 

Interestingly, youngsters are consuming less alcohol in the United States than two decades ago. Because it can be difficult to limit alcohol intake, that’s why low-alcohol drinks like kombucha and no-alcohol options are on the rise. 

Why is it Trending?

Increased calories and health concerns are the reasons behind this trend. Unsurprisingly, this trend is vastly popular among GenZ, with over 41% opting for low-alcoholic beverages

Who’s Leading Low-AlcoholTrend?

Among all the brands, these are the most popular:

  • GT’s Living Foods
  • Vietti Cascinetta
  • Carlsberg Lite

Why Should You Invest in It?

Yes, brewing alcoholic beverages require immense investment and care. However, it also returns great revenue. For instance, GT’s Living Foods, the highest-selling kombucha brand, made over $300 million in revenue. 

Dairy-free Alternatives

With a massive surge in the demand for plant-based drinks, the beverage industry is developing dairy-free alternatives to cater to this audience. Examples include soy milk, coconut milk, and more. 

Why is it Trending?

An alarming number of people are experiencing allergies and food tolerance issues. This is where plant-based drinks come into play to replace traditional milk. For people with lactose intolerance, these are amazing alternatives. 

Who’s Leading the Plant Milk Trend?

Currently, there are over 17 types of dairy-free beverages, and these brands are at the top:

  • Planet Oat
  • Alpro
  • Silk

Why Should You Invest in It?

The vegan industry is expected to be worth US$31.4 bn by 2026. Also, producing plant-based milk is significantly less expensive than producing plant-based food. All you have to do is find the perfect balance between shelf life and nutrition. We can help you with that. 

Cocktails by AI

Similar to other industries, AI is taking over mixology as well and it is the hottest trend in the beverage industry. From providing beer brewing techniques to customizing your favorite beverage, AI is here to help. 

Why is it Trending?

AI is the hottest trend in the world right now, and it only took a properly functioning AI model to combine alcohol and AI. Unlike a normal recipe, AI mixology provides truly customized drinks. It is only a matter of time before we have an AI bartender. 

Who’s Leading the AI Mixology?

Similar to other industries, a lot of AIs are popping up; however, the most popular and most useful AI model in this category is BarGPT. It is based on ChatGPT, which offers Personalized Inventory, Bookmarks and Lists, and Perfect Your Cocktail Recipes.

Why Should You Invest in It?

Given the effectiveness of AI, it is only a matter of time before other businesses opt for it. Currently, BarGPT is the only usable AI for cocktails, so hop on this trend. Here’s a free idea: beer brewing AI. 

Make Your Trending Food Idea a Reality 

Do you have a food and beverage idea that can break the internet and become the next big thing?

Then, reach out to Food Scientist for Hire. We are a team of passionate foodies and food scientists who can bring your food or beverage idea into a reality. We specialize in baking goods, vegan items, fermented products, spreads, sports nutrition, and sauces.

Moreover, we service globally with a focus on Europe, the USA, the UK, and Australia.

So, ready to make your food trending?