Unveiling the Top 15 Trends Set to Reshape Dining Experiences
2 January 2024
As we step into 2024, culinary landscapes across the world are in flux, cooking up a storm that includes not only health and environmental considerations but also technological advances. Which way will consumer tastes head? We explore the many trend lines that are defining the future of dining.
1. Plant-based menus
Consumers are becoming increasingly aware that some foods, like meat-substitutes, labeled as healthy contain harmful ingredients. That's why Whole Foods predicts a shift towards plant-based cuisine. Consequently, vegetable-based dishes featuring healthy ingredients are going to trend in 2024.
For instance, mushrooms, celebrated for their cognitive benefits, are expected to dominate menus, and even make their way into desserts, according to the restaurant booking platform Resy.
Furthermore, Innova Market Insights reports that customers have shown a preference for plant-based seafood. This inclination is motivated not only by health concerns, given the health benefits associated with fish, but also by environmental considerations.
As a result, between the second half of 2020 and the first half of 2023, the availability of plant-based fish and seafood substitutes has surged by 60%. Thus, we will see more restaurants featuring it on their menus.
2. Small dishes
Small plates, trendy in 2023, will continue to be so in 2024, as they accommodate various budgetary constraints and encourage people to order multiple plates for sharing.
3. Uncommon offering
As restaurants face more competition, they try to stand out by adding unique items like ox tongue to their menus.
4. Poke dominance
Poke bowls continue to maintain their allure in 2024. According to Deliveroo's annual report, the build-your-own poke bowl option emerged as the platform's most popular dish.
5. Seasonable menus
Heat waves affecting agriculture will increasingly impact restaurant menus. Despite the current prevalence of seasonal menus, the need for adaptability in 2024 will make daily dish changes common. As the distinction between seasons blurs, daily menus will become more prominent.
6. Collaborative dining
Restaurants will continue hosting chef collaborations and events as they allow them to diversify their spaces and provide patrons with more creative and experiential options.
7. Biodiversity cuisine
Noble reports that chefs and restaurants will begin introducing menus designed to preserve biodiversity by incorporating heritage and rare breeds, ancient grains, and invasive species.
According to trendspotters, restaurateurs believe that customers seek cultural connections through food. This is why they would appreciate dishes with unknown ingredients and unconventional culinary traditions from far-flung regions.
8. Local sourcing
As people explore diverse foods, they're open to trying global cuisines with locally grown ingredients.
However, in 2024, restaurants need to go beyond sourcing locally and consider hyper-localization by growing their own products. Crocadon restaurant is an example of this trend.
9. Homecooked cuisine
As health concerns rise, guests want more control over their food choices and cooking methods.
Post-pandemic, 43% of global consumers prefer eating at home, with only 15% dining out, according to Innova Market Insights. As a result, restaurants will increasingly emphasize dishes made from authentic home recipes to evoke a sense of home-cooked meals.
By incorporating old recipes and flavors, they can stir a sense of familiarity and reminiscence, providing patrons with a way to connect with their roots.
10. Healthy indulgences
From chocolate desserts to ice cream, whatever clients indulge in, they also seek health benefits.
Accordingly, as time goes by, more restaurants will strive to avoid non-healthy and artificial ingredients, replacing them with healthier substitutes.
Therefore, many restaurants will aim to eliminate desserts that are unhealthy by reducing the use of non-beneficial ingredients. Moreover, chefs will explore healthy pastry options.
11. Luxury culinary experiences
As living costs rise and inflation increases, luxurious experiences like holidays and high-end goods are becoming harder to afford. This has led to the culinary luxury experience trend that offers pleasure without being overly expensive.
The Whole Foods 2024 report highlights a growing preference for cost-effective luxury dishes.
According to Datassential's 2024 Food Trends Report, Generation X consumers prefer premium experiences, indulging in high-end dishes and alcoholic beverages. As for Baby Boomers, who are known for their extravagant spending, they associate the price tag with their wealth and status.
Craft Media reports that small, affordable luxury, has been on the rise since the pandemic, thanks in part to social media. TikTok accentuated the appeal of affordable luxury treats as well as the importance of offering customers multisensory F&B options that cater to individual tastes.
12. The rise of Technology
With the fast-paced world, people are on a quest for convenience and quality. That’s why food vending machines, pre-made meal options, and cooking apps that help users craft quick meals from what's already in their kitchens are the new hype.
According to Mintel’s report, consumers prefer using augmented reality to enhance their eating and drinking experiences.
Technology is poised to enhance convenience, personalization, and entertainment within the culinary realm.
Datassential confirms the rise of cobotics, indicating that restaurant owners will have access to a variety of technologies. Thanks to smaller machinery and ventless hooding, they no longer require large spaces and can open in locations that were previously impractical. Moreover, the use of combi ovens and speed ovens allows restaurateurs to maximize their menu offerings. Additionally, tech-enabled salad bars and buffets will assist venue owners in detecting food spoilage.
In terms of payment, the restaurant industry will not only expand cashless options beyond simplified methods like PIN-free card swipe payments and Apple Pay, but also electronic fingerprints as well as retina scans. Even facial recognition is possible.
13. Limited-edition allure
According to Datassential, 18% of patrons have worn clothing from a restaurant brand, and 21% have purchased a limited-edition item. This indicates that customers are eager to buy limited-edition clothing or bags when released by a beloved restaurant, as long as it is not done too frequently, or else they may lose interest.
By 2024, menus will begin to reflect the importance of using none ultra-processed food as they are harmful to human health. Furthermore, zero-waste cooking and eco-friendly packaging will both gain greater importance. Consequently, chefs will strive to further reduce food waste knowing that patrons favor restaurants that adhere to sustainable practices such as carbon footprint reduction and upcycling.
15. Optimization of fast casual
In this ever-changing world, fast casual operators must aim to speed their operations but also more importantly their home delivery and self-ordering services. The prevalence of self-order stations is forecasted to increase, enabling restaurants to utilize contextual data to suggest upselling options at check-out.
In a nutshell, the coming year promises to be one filled with tantalizing tastes as myriad trends transform how patrons experience and enjoy food. As we navigate these culinary trends, one thing is clear: The gastronomic scene in 2024 will center around innovation, sustainability, and customer's experience. From the allure of exclusivity, to experimenting with technology at restaurants or bars, eateries are ready to provide novel and tailored experiences for eclectic clients.
Tags: Culinary Trends 2024, Dining Experiences 2024, Food Forward Consulting, Plant-Based Menus, Small Dishes 2024, Sustainable Dining, Hyper-Localization, Homecooked Cuisine Trends, Healthy Indulgences, Technology in Restaurants
#CulinaryTrends #DiningExperiences #FoodForwardConsulting #PlantBased #SmallDishes2024 #SustainableDining #HyperLocalization #HomecookedCuisine #HealthyIndulgences #TechInRestaurants #LuxuryCulinary #BiodiversityCuisine #LocalSourcing #SeasonableMenus #CollaborativeDining #LimitedEdition #Sustainability #FastCasualOptimization #FoodTech #FoodInnovation