What to Expect from the Food Scene in 2024: Trends and Predictions

One of the biggest food trends for 2024 is the increasing popularity of functional beverages, which are drinks that offer health benefits beyond hydration and nutrition. These beverages include probiotic drinks, adaptogenic drinks, CBD-infused drinks, and mushroom-based drinks, among others. These drinks are designed to support various aspects of wellness, such as digestion, immunity, mood, energy, and sleep.

According to a report by Food Dive, functional beverages are expected to grow by 8.7% annually from 2020 to 2027, reaching $158.3 billion in sales. The report also cites the growing consumer demand for products that can help them cope with the stress and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the rising awareness of the link between diet and health.

Some of the examples of functional beverages that are gaining traction in the market are:

  • Kefir: a fermented milk drink that contains live cultures of bacteria and yeast, and is rich in protein, calcium, and vitamin B12. Kefir is said to improve digestion, immunity, and bone health.
  • Kombucha: a fermented tea drink that contains live cultures of bacteria and yeast, and is rich in antioxidants and organic acids. Kombucha is said to improve digestion, immunity, and liver function.
  • Oat milk: a plant-based milk alternative that is made from oats and water, and is rich in fiber, protein, and calcium. Oat milk is said to lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.
  • CBD drinks: drinks that are infused with cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound derived from cannabis, and are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. CBD drinks are said to reduce anxiety, pain, and inflammation.
  • Mushroom drinks: drinks that are made from mushrooms or mushroom extracts, and are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Mushroom drinks are said to boost immunity, brain function, and energy levels.

The Boom of Botanicals

Another food trend for 2024 is the boom of botanicals, which are plants or plant parts that are used for their flavor, aroma, or health benefits. These botanicals include herbs, spices, flowers, fruits, and vegetables, among others. These botanicals are used to add flavor, color, and texture to food and drinks, as well as to provide various health benefits, such as antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties.

According to a report by Yahoo, botanicals are becoming more popular among consumers who are looking for natural, organic, and sustainable ingredients, as well as new and exotic flavors and experiences. The report also cites the influence of global cuisines, such as Asian, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean, which use a lot of botanicals in their dishes and drinks.

Some of the examples of botanicals that are trending in the food scene are:

  • Turmeric: a yellow-orange spice that is widely used in Indian and Southeast Asian cuisines, and is rich in curcumin, a compound that has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-cancer properties. Turmeric is used to add flavor and color to curries, soups, rice, and tea.
  • Lavender: a purple flower that is widely used in French and Mediterranean cuisines, and is rich in linalool, a compound that has calming, soothing, and anti-depressant properties. Lavender is used to add flavor and aroma to cakes, cookies, ice cream, and lemonade.
  • Hibiscus: a red flower that is widely used in African and Caribbean cuisines, and is rich in anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid that has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic properties. Hibiscus is used to add flavor and color to teas, juices, jams, and salads.
  • Basil: a green herb that is widely used in Italian and Thai cuisines, and is rich in eugenol, a compound that has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. Basil is used to add flavor and aroma to pasta, pizza, pesto, and stir-fries.
  • Elderflower: a white flower that is widely used in British and Scandinavian cuisines, and is rich in quercetin, a compound that has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral properties. Elderflower is used to add flavor and aroma to cordials, syrups, wines, and cocktails.

The Demand for Foods that Support Emotional Well-being

A third food trend for 2024 is the demand for foods that support emotional well-being, which are foods that can help improve mood, reduce stress, and enhance mental health. These foods include foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, vitamin B, and probiotics, among others. These foods are said to help regulate neurotransmitters, hormones, and gut bacteria, which are involved in mood and cognition.

According to a report by Food Insight, emotional well-being is becoming a priority for consumers who are facing the challenges and pressures of the modern life, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, and the social unrest. The report also cites the growing research and evidence that show the connection between food and mood, and the role of nutrition in mental health.

Some of the examples of foods that support emotional well-being are:

  • Salmon: a fatty fish that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain function and mood regulation. Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation, improve blood flow, and balance serotonin and dopamine levels, which are neurotransmitters that affect mood and motivation.
  • Dark chocolate: a sweet treat that is rich in magnesium, which is a mineral that is involved in nerve and muscle function and stress response. Magnesium can help relax the muscles, lower blood pressure, and improve sleep quality, which can affect mood and mental health.
  • Bananas: a tropical fruit that is rich in vitamin B6, which is a vitamin that is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, and GABA, which affect mood and anxiety. Vitamin B6 can help boost mood, reduce stress, and enhance memory and concentration.
  • Yogurt: a dairy product that is rich in probiotics, which are live microorganisms that can help improve gut health and immunity. Probiotics can also help modulate the gut-brain axis, which is the communication between the gut and the brain, and influence mood and behavior.
  • Oats: a whole grain that is rich in fiber, which can help improve digestion and lower cholesterol levels. Fiber can also help stabilize blood sugar levels, which can affect mood and energy levels.

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