Thanks to social media sites like TikTok, food trends seem to be moving through our collective zeitgeist quicker than Taylor Swift concert tickets are being snapped up online. Butter boards are suddenly so last year, and 2023 was about tinned fish, snack-filled dinners … and anything Stanley Tucci wanted to make us. So, what's next? We don't have a set of tarot cards sharp enough to help us predict what 2024 has in store (because really, who had a Pringles and caviar collab on their 2023 Bingo card?!). However, the forecasters at Whole Foods Market have some solid predictions.
On October 17, for the ninth year running, Whole Foods Market's Trends Council revealed its top 10 predictions for the coolest cuisine we can look forward to in 2024. (In case you missed it, walk down memory lane by peeking at 7 foods you'll be eating in 2022, according to Whole Foods.)
Tapping a panel of more than 50 Whole Foods Market team members ranging from buyers to foragers, "our annual food trends predictions list is a way for us to pull back the curtain for customers and share insight into what our buyers and culinary experts are keeping on their radar for the upcoming year," Cathy Strange, ambassador of food culture for Whole Foods Market and member of the Trends Council, said in a press release. "From specific product ingredients and flavor trends to growing movements in the food industry, we can't wait to see these trends gain momentum in the year ahead."
So who's on first? According to Whole Foods, the top food trend of 2024 is the renaissance of plant-based foods made with real plants. Nodding to products like Meati Carne Asada Steaks, Actual Veggies Green Burger, and Smallhold Organic Mushrooms, the panel believes that we'll be going beyond (sorry!) mock meats and returning to veggie burgers and main dishes made with actual veggies, pulses, nuts, and seeds. The shorter ingredient labels are "perfect for the vegetarian purist," the Trends Council said.
As far as the other nine notable food trends, watch for whole cacao products (such as fruit powders and granola), a boom in naturally gluten-free and protein-rich buckwheat, and expect to see far more plant-based faux fish, too. (Carrot lox or trumpet mushroom scallops, anyone?)
Keep an eye out for products that focus on water conservation, diverse global peppers, gourmet instant noodles, and perhaps something that the Pringles and caviar combo hinted at — little luxuries. Whole Foods pros peg their self-serve macarons, brown butter latte, and Fishwife Tinned Seafood Co. Sardines with Hot Peppers as examples of those small-but-worth-it splurges.
Rounding out the top 10, you might notice more shelf space dedicated to hormone health products that help soothe symptoms during life stages such as pregnancy, postpartum, and menopause. And lastly, we can all look forward to more “clean caffeine” options, like coffee infused with mushrooms, prebiotic–spiked green tea, and crash-free cold brew that’s said to leave us feeling jitter-free …perfect to give us an energy boost to try, try again for those concert tickets.