As we stand at the threshold of a new year, our taste buds eagerly await the culinary adventures that await us in 2024. Food, beyond being a necessity, is a reflection of culture, innovation, and evolving preferences. In this blog, we embark on a flavorful journey to explore the anticipated food trends that are poised to take centre stage in the coming year. From novel ingredients and culinary techniques to changing consumer behaviours, get ready to indulge in the delectable world of 2024’s most exciting food trends.
Food Trend #1: What’s Coming Next with Plant Proteins
After a quick rise in popularity, the “fake meat” category is kind of stuck right now. But don’t worry, it’s not the end—it’s just the start of a new and improved version of fake meat. This is normal when new things come out; we call it the Gartner Hype Cycle. Right now, we’re in the “things aren’t as great as we thought” phase, but we believe it’s going to get better, and some options will become popular.
New plant-based proteins, which we don’t like to call “fake meat,” are going to get better in terms of cost, taste, and how they’re made. Instead of trying to copy meat exactly, people are going to focus more on using tasty plants. Recipes will use things like vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds, beans, herbs, spices, seaweed, mosses (which aren’t plants but close enough), mushrooms, and blossoms.
At the same time, people will keep making things that taste like meat but in a cooler way. They’ll make things that taste like bacon, scallops, fancy cuts of meat, foie gras, and sushi, but all from plants. Companies making ingredients are also working on new things to make these fake meats taste even better, like making plant fat that looks like animal fat or making fake blood taste like the real thing.
Food Trend #2: Creating Food Designs and Recipes with the Help of AI
This year, AI has become easy for everyone to use. The popular pizza chain, Dodo Pizza, tried it out for their Dubai branch. They used Chat GPT to create a new pizza with paneer, tahini, and za’atar spice mix. It turned out to be a hit! Even Instagram blogger Ghislaine from Veggilaine got in on it. She asked Chat GPT to come up with a recipe in her style, and in just 3 seconds, Chat GPT gave her a paratha recipe filled with spiced potatoes.
The blogger loved how simple it was to make, and it matched her idea of tasty and easy-to-cook food. We’ve been playing around with it too. For a bakery congress, we got Chat GPT to design a cake inspired by the Bossche Bol, a local treat from ‘s-Hertogenbosch. In a matter of seconds, we got the Bosschie Bollicious tart, and then we had it brought to life by Midjourney.
Food Trend #3: Spicology
Flavoursome herbs and spices, though they make up a small part, around 1-2%, of a dish, wield incredible power in defining its character. They can transform a simple eggplant into a dish that resonates with Italian, Indian, or Lebanese flair. These tiny ingredients set the mood, infusing the meal with a certain zest! Recognizing this, Simply Cook, a startup now under Nestlé’s wing, has taken a unique approach.
Instead of sending bulky boxes of ingredients, they opt for small packages that can fit in your mailbox, containing just the right spices, herbs, and recipes for 3-4 meals. It’s about capturing the very essence of the dish. With a growing emphasis on vegetable-centric dishes, there’s a noticeable shift towards spice blends crafted specifically for this purpose. A prime example is the Magic Spice from Botanica, a California-based vegetable-focused restaurant, adding a touch of enchantment to every vegetable creation.
In the spice and blend scene for 2024, we’re witnessing the ascent of trends like Aleppo pepper (almost always sold out), umami enhancers featuring seaweed and mushrooms, smoky undertones, and the introduction of African spices such as the tangy berbere, chakalaka, and iru (fermented locust beans).
Food Trend #4: Korean Food Takes Center Stage
Guess what’s catching on now? K-food! It’s not just a trend anymore—it’s everywhere! This awesome and spicy Korean food is now a big part of what we all love to eat. You can find it not only in South Korea but also in places like Paris, London, Amsterdam, Cape Town, and more. People are loving dishes like Bulgogi, Bibimbap, and tasty Korean fried chicken.
And you know what? In the next few years, these dishes are going to get even more popular. We’ll see new Korean favourites like tteokbokki (rice cakes) and japchae (sweet potato noodles) becoming everyday eats. And there’s something cool happening with Korean bakeries too! Narae Kim, a Korean pastry chef in Paris, makes desserts that mix Korean and French flavours. Imagine a dessert with European Williams pear and Asian Nashi pear in jasmine tea and bergamot oil.
And that wraps up our blog about the tasty things we expect to see more of in 2024! It looks like our meals are going to get even more interesting with plant-based goodies and cool imitations of meats. Whether you’re a big food fan, a chef, or just someone who loves eating, get ready for a year where the food world tries out new stuff. Every bite will be like a little adventure, telling a story about new ideas, being kind to the planet, and fitting into the different flavours we all love.