Predictions for Food Retail in 2024

SHOPPINGWhat will the food industry have to look forward to in 2024? Make sure your business stays ahead of the trends. In this article we look at a selection of predictions and trends for 2024.

An Omnichannel Approach

Inflation has pushed up the price of groceries, increasing revenue growth for supermarkets, but resulting in smaller sales volumes. This has led grocers to look for new ways, outside of revenue growth, to increase market share. Retailers had already moved from a single channel approach (E.g. a physical shop) to a multichannel approach (E.g. A shop and an online store). Now they are moving from that multichannel approach to an omnichannel approach. Multichannel approaches involved interacting with customers in several ways but each interaction was distinct to the channel. In an omnichannel approach centralised data management plays a key role. The distinctions among channels, both physical and online, are blurred. Customers can simultaneously use different channels in their shopping process, starting their product search in one channel and finishing the purchase in another one, for example consumers are increasingly ordering online and collecting instore. 1

Food Targetted at Kids

Food products aimed at kids are forecast to increase in number and become focused on similar trends that have emerged in the adult food industry, as parents seek to feed their children more convenient but healthy foods. So we’ll see more convenient, portable foods for children, but with a focus on health and better for you ingredients. There will be growth in plant based kids food products. According to Future Market Insights, the global kid’s food and beverage market is estimated to double in size by 2033. 2

Increased Cheese Consumption

According to data from Fortune Business Insights, the U.S. cheese market is projected to peak at almost $60 billion in 2029, growing at a CAGR of 4.6%. A trend sweeping consumer diets in theUS right now is 30G (the idea that most if not all meals should feature 30 grams of protein to promote energy, well-being, and suppress appetite). This has also made increasing the protein content of non-dairy cheese a more prominent goal of many non-dairy manufacturers. 3

Plant-based Foods

We will continue to see more and more innovative approaches to plant-based foods. Precision fermentation for dairy products and cultured fish and meat (cultivated from animal muscle and fat cells) will be increasingly available.

Regenerative food

Regenerative food is a new trend and is starting to compete with the Organic food movement. 4 Regenerative agriculture aims to put more back into the environment and society than it takes out. There are no strict guidelines but it is a holistic approach encompassing every aspect of the food production process – improving biodiversity and soil at the start of the process, improving livelihoods of the producers, improved packaging and transportation of products and better health of the consumer. Expect more focus on regenerative foods in 2024

Sustainability

Manufacturers are being forced to use more sustainable practises especially in terms of the packaging they use. Retailers are being forced to put facilities into place to support the reuse and recycling of packaging. Food retailers may also start embracing more ways to support the reuse of food waste products as restaurants have begun to.

Handheld foods are on the rise

Expect new handheld food formats (E.g. tacos, empanadas, wraps, corndogs, carrozza) and unconventional flavor combinations in old favourites. 2

Robots

Fast food restaurants are beginning to use more and more robots in both food preperation and in serving. You are likely to have food prepared by one or be served by one in the not too distant future. Use of robots will lead to time saving and address staffing shortages. According to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), more than 24,500 Hospitality robots were sold in 2022, a 125% increase. 2

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