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#BizTrends2024: Beyond the plate - the next wave of culinary evolution

In 2024, the combination of sustainability, nutrition, taste, convenience, and localisation is poised to shape a new culinary landscape for the future of food.
Renate Singh is the Research, Development, and Applications (RD&A) Lead at Kerry
Renate Singh is the Research, Development, and Applications (RD&A) Lead at Kerry

Consumer attitudes towards food waste are evolving, leading to significant changes in purchasing behaviours.

Research shows that consumers have become more environmentally conscious in their purchasing habits, with 98% actively trying to reduce food waste. Additionally, 70% of consumers want to waste less money, with 46% crediting their general upbringing and lifestyle for their relationship with food.

As we gaze into the horizon of the culinary landscape, nutrition has become a key factor. The future of food is not just about satisfying hunger; it is a shift towards nourishment as a cornerstone of well-being. Beyond superfoods and dietary trends, the focus is on understanding the relationship between ingredients and health outcomes.

From personalised nutrition plans to functional foods that enhance vitality, the future plate is a canvas painted with the brushstrokes of holistic health.

Top trends we can expect to see will include:

1. Local authentic taste: your community on a plate

The future of food speaks more to authenticity, celebrating regional flavours, indigenous ingredients, and the stories behind every dish. Imagine a world where your plate reflects your community, connecting you with the farmers, artisans, and traditions of your community.

2. Nourish & Thrive: opting for quality in every bite

Consumers are embracing quality over quantity, opting for fewer but high-quality, sustainably made goods. This shift involves a conscious choice to support eco-friendly farming practices, reduce food waste, and champion responsible packaging.

3. Next-gen sustainable packaging

A significant shift in consumer consciousness is ushering in an era where every food choice is a statement for sustainability, ethical practices, and social responsibility. As sustainability remains centre stage, we can expect a surge in innovation regarding eco-friendly packaging.

From edible packaging materials to biodegradable alternatives, sustainable packaging will become an integral part of the narrative, aligned to the overarching theme of conscious consumption.

4. Waste not, want not

Enterprises across the food industry are reimagining their practices. Innovations like vertical farming, regenerative agriculture, and closed-loop supply chains are redefining circular economies by replacing wastefulness.

The concept of a circular economy in the food industry revolves around the idea of creating a sustainable and regenerative system where resources are utilised efficiently, waste is minimised, and environmental impact is reduced. This means rethinking the entire life cycle of food products – from production and processing to distribution and consumption.

It is likely that more companies will adopt circular economy practices, contributing to a more sustainable and resilient food industry, as the trend gains traction.

As we enter the next wave of culinary evolution, consumers are signalling a demand for a new paradigm in food experiences. The fusion of sustainability, nutrition, and local flavours is reshaping the gastronomic landscape. It's not just about what's on the plate; it's about the impact on our health, the planet, and the joy of savouring every bite with purpose."

The trajectory of food's future is set to reshape not only dietary preferences but also the way we view, encounter, and impact the world with our culinary decisions. This future culinary landscape aspires to be sustainable, health-focused, and socially responsible, challenging traditional norms and paving the way for a more conscious approach to what we put on our plates.

About Renate Singh

Renate Singh is the Research, Development, and Applications (RD&A) Lead at Kerry – a global leader in flavour, taste, and nutrition. In her role at Kerry, Renate is dedicated to meeting customer needs through the invaluable lens of people insights and real-word context.
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