Mintel announces Global Food and Drink Trends for 2024

October 2, 2023

Mintel, the experts in what consumers want and why, has today (2 October 2023) announced three key trends that will shape global food and drink industries in the years ahead. In 2024, expect brands to help consumers live longer, healthier lives, balance their needs for health and pleasure and unlock new conveniences from technology.

Trust the Process

Clear communication will become necessary to help consumers make informed decisions about how processed and ultra-processed food and drink fit into their diets.

Age Reframed

Healthy ageing will be redefined by debunking ‘old’ stigmas and prioritising extending consumers’ healthy years.

Eating, Optimised

A new era of convenience will emerge as technology streamlines meal planning, shopping and cooking. 

Jenny Zegler, Director, Mintel Food & Drink, discusses how food and drink brands can help consumers balance their needs for health and pleasure, prepare themselves for longer, healthier lives and gain new conveniences from technological advances:

Trust the Process

“Scrutiny of processing use in the food and drink industry is intensifying. Fuelled by discussions about highly, overly or ultra-processed food, feelings about processing will inspire consumers to look more closely at ingredients, nutrition and production. A growing awareness of different levels of processing will make way for greater 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. Brands offering minimally processed products should share how processing improves their products, such as enhancing nutrition, increasing shelf life or reducing environmental impact. While those producing ultra-processed food and drink products will need to remind consumers of the joy and comfort they offer. Expect to see a growing interest in less processed food and drink made with upcycled ingredients rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre, protein and other nutrients.”

Age Reframed

“Generation X * is pioneering a new approach to healthy ageing that includes products that will help them thrive in their diverse lifestyles now and for decades to come. Consumers aged 40 and over account for the most significant share of food and drink spending in many markets globally,  meaning brands cannot ignore this forgotten generation.  Learning from the ‘menopausal revolution’, brands should consider their various nutritional, physical, mental and emotional health needs and innovate products and formulations for issues such as cardiovascular health, brain health and stress. They can help promote healthy ageing by ensuring nutrient-rich food and drink is affordable, accessible and convenient for all ‘active agers’. Consumers will welcome brands that ease the stress of caring for multiple generations;  the winners will be those who offer convenient products and helpful tools for caregivers and those they care for.” 

Eating, Optimised

“Convenience has always been an evolving concept, but the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated consumers’ desires to find shortcuts to quality food and drink experiences in their day-to-day lives. Technology like AI and AR will exist on a spectrum, helping them find their ideal balance between the occasions when they desire to create truly innovative and engaging dishes, drinks and snacks and when meal planning, shopping, cooking, or even eating can be put on autopilot. AI, AR and other technology tools are set to become nonnegotiable time savers in the kitchen. For retailers, developments will come in the form of real-time shopping assistance, such as push notifications, personalised alerts and AI that could help consumers find ingredients or products while in stores, in transit or shopping online. Localised data could unveil new opportunities for customised vending selections that respond to the needs within a community, such as the desire for quick, hot meals on college campuses.”

 *Consumers born between around 1965 and 1979.

Interviews with the Mintel Food & Drink global analyst team are available on request from the Mintel Press Office. Mintel’s 2024 Global Food and Drink Trends are available for free download here.

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For the latest in consumer and industry news, top trends and market perspectives, stay tuned to Mintel News featuring commentary from Mintel’s team of global category analysts.

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