- On January 24, 2024
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- 2024, Beverage Manufacturer, Business Strategies, Cell-Based Options, Clean Labels, CoMan, Consumer Behavior, consumer preferences, Contract Manufacturing, Copacking Traits, Cultural Experiences, Economic Fluctuations, Emerging Product Categories, Food Trends, Food Trends 2024, Generational Spending Patterns, Hydration, Industry Insights, Inflation, Market Trends, SFA Winter Fancy Food Show, Small Producers, Specialty Food Products, sustainability, Sustainable Practices, Tagging, Trendspotting, Winter Fancy Food Show Recap
Food Trends 2024
As the Softengine team returns from the 2024 SFA Winter Fancy Food Show in Las Vegas, we are thrilled to provide our annual trends recap!
2024 Food Trends reveal a nuanced understanding of the current consumer landscape and the intricate dynamics shaping the food industry. Keep reading the Softengine Trends Report from the incredible Winter Fancy Food show and gain key insights into trending drinks, foods, topics, behaviors, and all things specialty food!
Evolving Consumer Behavior
Over the past 18 months, consumers have undergone a transformative journey in their buying habits. The aftermath of the pandemic has led to a significant portion (1/3 to ½) of consumers reporting dissatisfactory experiences while dining out. This discontent has sparked a noticeable shift as consumers actively seek alternative options for their household needs. Understanding these changing preferences is crucial for businesses looking to adapt and meet the evolving demands of their customer base.
Importance of Hydrating Trend Drinks and Clean Labels
A key player in food trends 2024 is hydration options! Hydration has emerged as a pivotal factor influencing consumer choices, contributing significantly to the surge in beverage sales. Beyond mere thirst quenching, consumers are now gravitating towards beverages that offer additional health benefits. Clean labels and a transparent understanding of ingredients have become paramount, with consumers expressing a strong desire to comprehend the sustainability practices employed in the production process. Brands that embrace transparency and prioritize clean, sustainable practices are likely to capture the attention of this discerning consumer segment.
Sustainability at the Forefront
Sustainability has transcended its status as a mere trend; it is now a central consideration for consumers. This holistic approach to sustainability spans environmental, social, economic, and personal issues. Consumers are not only demanding sustainable end products but are actively seeking companies that align with their values. The return on investment (ROI) for businesses lies in offering products with proven sustainability, with consumers making purchasing decisions that align with their ethical and environmental concerns.
Impact of Inflation on Consumer Behavior
Inflation has introduced a layer of complexity to consumer spending habits. While 50% of consumers have adapted and changed their buying habits in response to economic pressures, the remaining 50% have maintained their pre-existing spending patterns. Understanding the nuances of these changes is crucial for businesses strategizing their market approach, as consumer spending continues to evolve in response to economic fluctuations.
Generational Spending Patterns
Generational disparities in spending patterns have become more pronounced, with Gen Z and Millennials emerging as leading consumers of specialty food products. Despite the challenges of the past 18 months, people are gradually returning to in-store shopping, with individuals opting for a weekly shopping routine. Understanding these generational dynamics is key for businesses aiming to tailor their products and marketing strategies to effectively engage with different age demographics.
CoMan/Copacking Traits and Industry Insights
There are indispensable traits emerging for successful CoMan/Copacking relationships. Operational transparency, functional alignment, cultural compatibility, structural collaboration, strategic outcome alignment, and common value metrics are the pillars supporting these partnerships. The Contract Manufacturing industry is poised to reach $156 billion by 2028, propelled by the need for enhanced capacity, efficiency, innovation, and speed to market.
Emerging Product Categories
These include beverages, immunity-boosting snacks, hydration solutions, alternative sweeteners, ice cream, soups, mushrooms, and coffee with added benefits. Noteworthy in food trends 2024 is the anticipated rise of cell-based options, driven by their sustainable and ethical production methods. Understanding and capitalizing on these emerging categories will position businesses at the forefront of consumer preferences.
Cultural Experiences through Food
Small producers are playing a pivotal role in delivering cultural experiences through food. Consumers, now more than ever, seek value in the products they purchase, particularly in the context of their financial considerations. Understanding and embracing this desire for cultural authenticity and value will be essential for businesses aiming to resonate with their target audience.
The 2024 SFA Winter Fancy Food Show highlights a dynamic and intricate consumer landscape. Businesses that meticulously analyze and adapt to these trends stand to not only survive but thrive in this ever-evolving market. The intersection of evolving consumer behaviors, sustainability considerations, and emerging product categories presents both challenges and opportunities, inviting businesses to redefine their strategies and priorities to meet the evolving demands of the modern consumer.
Our team had a fantastic time as usual visiting our customers, interacting with new SFA Members, and compiling all of this industry knowledge for our team and audience!
Technology for the Food and Beverage Industry
Here at Softengine, we invest in developing the top products and tech for the food industry. Our team of experienced professionals and food industry experts have one common goal; make our customers as successful as possible. To achieve sustainable success in today’s food and beverage market, you must have the technology stack to streamline and support your growth.
Softengine Food One is an ERP designed with the specific needs and requirements of these food companies in mind, and we would love to play a part in the success of your organization. As members of the Specialty Food Assocation, we are always looking for new innovations and additions to add to our product portfolio to help our customers and prospects adjust ad thrive in all market conditions.
Check out our page all about Food One here:
Check out our previous food trends from past Specialty Food Shows here:
Learn more about the Specialty Food Association and why we are proud active members
Specialty Foods Online