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FoodBev’s trends for 2024 – part one
FoodBev Media

FoodBev Media

28 December 2023

FoodBev’s trends for 2024 – part one

As we approach the end of 2023, the FoodBev Media team reflects on the year gone by and presents their thoughts and predictions for the food and beverage industry in the upcoming year. Join us as we explore what’s on the menu for 2024.

Melissa Bradshaw, deputy editor Much like the technology we use, functional ingredients have smartened up. Nootropics – ingredients that boost brain function – will continue to be a fast-growing trend within the F&B industry. Acumen Research and Consulting projects the global nootropic supplements market to reach $8.2 billion by 2032. Brain-boosting mushrooms such as lion’s mane and reishi are a popular addition to functional products, such as Mindright’s superfood popped chips, designed to uplift mood and improve cognitive function. Rollagranola debuted a range of nootropic granolas in 2023, with each blend tailored to offer different performance benefits. ‘Calm’ features ashwagandha, lysine and matcha green tea, and promises to promote the peaceful mindset needed to conquer stress, while ‘Energize’ contains caffeine and ginseng to support focus and productivity throughout the day. In beverages, we can expect to see more mental wellbeing-focused brands emerge, such as Illicit Elixirs, launched this year with a mission to bring ‘happy hedonism’ to consumers through its range of dopamine-boosting fizzy drinks. The RTD line contains the brand’s ‘DopaJoy’ ingredient mix, containing ginseng and l-theanine among its blend of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, claimed to support the production of the ‘happy hormone’. With awareness of mental health on the rise, the appeal of these products is sure to stretch into 2024 and beyond.

Phoebe Fraser, associate editor

Where carbonated sodas once ruled, a new fizzy phenomenon has taken centre stage. Make way for kombucha, the ancient remedy that has skyrocketed in popularity. The last year has seen a dossier of introductions in the ‘booch’ space, from hard wellness beverages to kids' kombucha. In April, Caravan Coffee Roasters partnered with organic kombucha brewer Momo to develop Gesha Coffee Kombucha. The fermentation involved in coffee processing and brewing kombucha creates a natural synergy between the two and brings together Momo’s unfiltered kombucha made from light green sencha tea with Caravan’s cold brew Gesha coffee. This July saw Tim Tam Tummy launch what it describes as the “world’s first” kombucha drinks for children. According to the brand, Tim Tam Tummy aims to surpass “old-school options” by providing families with an alternative that prioritises probiotics, with each can offering 3 billion live probiotics and a daily dose of vitamin C. The drinks are available in four fruity flavours with “gentle carbonation,” including apple, grape, mango and pineapple. Remedy Drinks unveiled a variety of new energy drink flavours, all crafted with kombucha to provide an all-natural energy drink option. Made with raw green coffee bean extract and ginseng that delivers 110mg of natural caffeine in each can, the new sparkling energy beverages also contain live cultures thanks to the kombucha. I wonder what’s next in the world of kombucha innovations.

Chiara Marangon, account manager Sustainability has undeniably been a focal point throughout 2023, and this trend will persist into 2024, driven by the ongoing need to combat climate change. Significant strides have been made in the F&B industry, especially with the emergence of plant-based and cell-based solutions. Now, the spotlight is turning to the coffee industry. While attention has predominantly centered on sourcing practices, the next frontier involves producing coffee in a more sustainable manner and introducing coffee machines that consume less water and electricity. Professional coffee machine manufacturer Heylo has unveiled a line of machines designed to conserve energy, reduce costs and save space. They are also spearheading the #lessguiltycoffee campaign, connecting consumers with environmentally conscious coffee shops, roasters and initiatives. We anticipate more initiatives of this nature in 2024.

Dan Bunt, marketing manager

In a world that’s becoming more technologically advanced by the day, we are seeing new and inventive ways to communicate in the food and drink space. Social media is becoming an increasingly important tool for businesses to reach their target audience. In 2024, it will be essential to have a strong presence on social media platforms, targeting consumers with customised ads and personalised product recommendations. Smaller businesses should embrace cultivating content that showcases the start of their journey. Today's tech-savvy consumers are looking for personalised products – something that caters to their specific needs or preferences. With the use of data, analytics and AI, businesses can start tailoring their marketing efforts towards a more technical younger audience. 2024 is set to see some incredible innovations in technology and it will be exciting to see how the F&B industry adopts them.

Rafaela Sousa, news reporter

This year has seen the growth of adult soft drinks as a prominent trend in the beverage industry. As consumers increasingly seek alcohol-free alternatives, the market is offering a wide range of premium choices that go beyond the usual options. It's no longer just about trying to replicate the taste of alcohol – it's about providing tasty beverages that appeal to the adult palate. From craft sodas to premium tonics and botanical-infused elixirs, adult soft drinks have stepped up their game, using high-quality ingredients and careful blending to create drinks that compete with alcoholic choices. Among the innovations is Bottlegreen’s range of dilutable adult cordials and RTD sparkling pressés. Varieties include Orange & Lemon cordial, and Blood Orange Spritz sparkling pressé, Raspberry Lemonade and Ginger Beer ‘light’ sparkling pressé. De Soi has also contributed to this growing trend with its offering, Très Rosé, a canned apéritif inspired by rosé wine. This beverage combines adaptogens, such as lion's mane, with saffron and botanicals like rooibos.

Jake Targett, new business sales executive

With the potential to shake-up the global food system, cell-based foods continue to scale the agenda. From 3D bioprinted meat to cultivated fat and cell-based sausages, the sector is constantly innovating. The catch? The cost of growth serum. Foetal bovine serum (FBS) has long been used as a critical agent in the cell-culture process, however, its use is problematic as it is harvested from bovine foetuses that are taken from pregnant cows during their mutual slaughter. Along with ethical issues, FBS is expensive. This year, Omeat launched Plenty, an ethical replacement for FBS that is said to be equally effective but for a fraction of the cost. Plenty is a nutrient-rich cell culture supplement filled with growth factors and cytokines that play an essential role in regenerative medicine, cell culture and vaccine production of different types of cells. Israel-based BioBetter has pioneered a unique protein manufacturing platform for producing growth factors that uses tobacco plants as self-sustained, animal-free bioreactors. By turning tobacco plants into “natural bioreactors,” the start-up says it could bring the cost of growth factors for cell-based meat down from the normal range of $50,000-$1 million per gram to just $1 per gram. As the food industry races to address the environmental impact of traditional meat production, 2024 is poised to mark another year of significant transformation within the cell-based space.

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