What you will see more of in 2024
Healthy living leads the way in trends for the new year.
1. Non-Alcoholic Options
Brands and SKU counts have expanded in non-alcoholic spirits, wine, and beer. Abstinence, Mingle, and Mockly are growing their business with terrific flavors and packaging. Seraphim is winning awards for its non-alcoholic cassia and cocoa beverage. Töst and other zero-alcohol wines have improved taste and look. Other key brands to watch include Three Spirit, Ritual Zero Proof, and Hella Cocktail Co.
The Adult Non-Alcoholic Beverage Association promotes and protects this expanding industry. The non-alcoholic drinks category is expected to grow to $30 billion by 2025 (Global Market Insights).
2. Ingredients that Focus on Mental Health and Wellbeing
Ingredients that improve cognition, and mental and physical well-being are fueling major growth. We can consume our supplements in coffee, chocolate, and everyday foods. Mainstream brands and companies are adding more plant-based items, fruits, vegetables, protein, fiber, pro-biotics and superfoods, and less sugar and alcohol.
3. Fair Trade, Brand Transparency, and B Corps
Certified B Corporations, or B Corps, are companies verified by B Lab to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. Brands share sourcing and transparency directly with consumers. This includes Numi, True Grace, Lotus Foods, Alter Eco, King Arthur Baking, Jeni’s Ice Cream, and Karma Drinks, to name a few.
Collagen is essential for the health of bones, skin, blood vessels, and all of the body’s organs. Low collagen levels can lead to joint problems and a lack of elasticity in the skin. Bovine and marine collagen in food, beverage, supplements, and beauty will continue to grow thanks to new applications of protein-healthy benefits for the skin, immune system, and joints.
Marine-based collagen is expected to have the fastest growth. Collagen can be consumed in powder form and added to hot beverages, smoothies, or baked goods to provide extra protein. Because of their high binding properties, collagen peptides are used as a partial glucose replacement in protein bars.
5. Upcycled Foods and Dates
By upcycling — reusing ingredients and waste procured from verified supply chains — brands are positively impacting the environment. They are using by-products like oat, soy, and almond pulp to create new products like alternative flours, baking mixes, and ready-to-eat sweets.
Date Better is one of many brands expanding on the date ingredient trend.
6. Protein ‘Power’
The market for protein is expanding dramatically, thanks to the move toward protein products as meal replacements, and for muscle growth, as dietary supplements, and for weight loss. Demand is up for chia, granola, hemp, rolled oats, nuts, peanut butter, Greek-style yogurt, and snack cheeses.
We are back to the office, and snack bars and food on the go will continue to increase in sales. Clear and clean labeling that includes the key nutritional values is a selling benefit for brands.
7. Functional Foods and Beverages
Every food, beverage, and wellness aisle of the trade events I attended had a focus on a functional beverage or food, immune-boosting properties, or a specific ingredient with mental and physical health benefits. Sambazon Açaí, the purple berry with antioxidant and omega-rich benefits, apple cider, ashwagandha, and turmeric are everywhere. BlissBlends sweet and floral blends with herbs rich in polyphenols, an antioxidant that protects the body’s tissues against oxidative stress and promotes general wellness. Soulel natural, herbal remedies focus on nutrients to support cell regeneration.
Functional foods and beverages are enriched with functional nutrients in addition to the basic nutritional value of the product to provide multiple health benefits. These nutrients include amino acids, vitamins, minerals, proteins, fatty acids, and prebiotics.
8. Ingredients from the Sea
As more consumers learn the health benefits, we’re seeing a rise in products that include seaweed and kelp. Brands like 12 Tides and Atlantic SeaFarms continue to build their product assortment and help build this category.
Kelp grows quickly and is nutritious and versatile, found in noodles, chips, fish-free sauces, and more.
Seaweed has many of the minerals we need in our daily diets including iodine, sodium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper, and selenium. It’s also rich in a variety of vitamins including B, C, D, and E plus plant-based calcium.
Some seaweeds, such as wakame, are also a good source of protein.
9. The Non-Dairy Explosion
Non-dairy milk, yogurt, ice cream, cheese, and added ingredients in basic food items continue to drive this plant-based category’s growth. The non-dairy category is benefitting from innovation in ingredients that taste better and improve digestion, helping consumers feel healthier.
The top dairy alternatives are oat, almond, soy, coconut, hemp, rice, pea, and several newcomers. Oat, coconut, and blends continue to increase penetration as consumers pay more attention to what they’re drinking.
10. ‘Love’ Mushrooms
Mushrooms are the rage at trade events. Find them in coffee, tea, chocolate, supplements, and powders.
Lion’s Mane, the smart vegan mushroom that looks like a lion’s flowing mane, is a brain health superfood that may help support memory, focus, nerve health, creativity, and mood. Other mushrooms we’re seeing more of include Chaga, Reishi, King Trumpet, Maitake, Cordyceps, Shiitake, and Turkey Tail. Be aware, too, of the mycelium innovation in plant-based foods.
Eat Meati, Good Pharma, Om, Rå Hygge, Host Defense, Big Mountain and many other brands are using mushrooms across categories. Vegan mushroom burgers are stocked in mainstream supermarkets.
What are you seeing in stores, at the gym, and on your friends’ dining tables? Reach out to me with the trends you expect will take hold in 2024.
And remember, if you want to grow your U.S. or Canadian brand in Europe, I can help. Schedule an appointment with me here.