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Food trends Ingredients

Flavour and cuisine trends 2024: what’s new, what’s next and what’s here to stay?

5 min read
AUTHOR: Ross Carver-Carter
A world Atlas made from global spices

Among Time magazine’s list of 2024 food trends is “Global flavours”, with consumers increasingly seeking to explore new cultures through authentic regional dishes. Join us as we look inside the trend, highlighting the up-and-coming flavours and cuisines taking Europe by storm. Along the way, we lean on culinary insights from Kerry, Bidfood and Griffith Foods.

New flavours on the map alongside familiar favourites

Kerry’s 2023 taste and nutrition report is a treasure trove of insights for industry insiders seeking to keep ahead of the curve in their product development. Inside, you’ll find their data-driven predictions for what’s new and next in the world of food, including emerging global cuisines and the up-and-coming flavours winning European palates. So, what’s in store for 2024?

Among the top 20 fastest-growing cuisines identified over the past 3 years are Vietnamese, Creole, Caribbean, and South American, with Peruvian and Argentinian featured in the fastest-growing cuisines for last year. Other mentions in this category include Lebanese (think tabbouleh, sfeeha, falafel and shawarma), Hawaiian (poke and Lomi Lomi salmon) as well as West and South African foods like jollof rice, fufu, Malay curry and of course, peri-peri chicken.

Asian flavours predominate throughout their taste predictions, with Korean fried chicken, Japanese katsu, Thai yellow curry, kimchi, gochujang, and black garlic all earning a place in the top 20 up-and-coming savoury category. Matcha, miso, and green tea were also picked to play a growing role in European food and drink, alongside lesser-known flavours like ponzu dipping sauce in condiments and seasonings. Above them all stands Sriracha, a condiment that has seen continued growth in the past five years which shows no signs of slowing down.

3 cuisines to watch in 2024

Bidfood has also weighed in on the flavours and cuisines next up with their 2024 food and drink trends report, identifying “Flavours less travelled” as a key trend for the year ahead. They note that consumers are seeking authentic international dishes that capture the culture and tradition of their respective countries, with three global cuisines in particular gaining momentum. Let’s take a look at them:

Caribbean craze

First up is Caribbean cuisine, particularly dishes originating from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, the Bahamas and Haiti. Around 22% of consumers reported eating Caribbean cuisine already, whilst 44% said they are interested in trying more authentic Caribbean dishes. Those aged between 18 and 24 showed the greatest enthusiasm for Caribbean foods, with Jamaican ackee and saltfish ranking highest on consumers’ wish lists for authentic dishes.

Mexican wave

Next up is Mexican food, a relatively familiar cuisine for many Europeans although one where plenty has been lost in translation. 44% of consumers reported having tried Mexican cuisine already, whilst 32% said they would like to try it out of home.

Consumers expressed a particular desire for traditional Mexican food beyond familiar tacos and burritos – things such as elotes, esquites and tamales recipes for example. In line with this prediction, Kerry identified Chipotle chilli as an important emerging trend within savoury foods, as well as a key condiment/seasoning for the year ahead.

Eastern-European boom

The third major cuisine trend identified was Eastern European food, a cuisine seeing rapid growth and rising interest from all quarters. According to Bidfood’s consumer surveys, 3 in 5 UK consumers have either eaten or would like to eat Polish food, nearly half of UK consumers are engaged or interested in Hungarian food and 32% have either tried or are interested in Romanian cuisine. Within this broad category, Borscht soup is a dish of particular interest.

Classic reimagined: the rise of fusion cuisine

While authenticity is key for many consumers, there is also a demand for classic dishes reimagined. Tastes of Better partner Griffith Foods wrote about the rise of fusion cuisine last year, noting the proliferation of culinary mashups and a growing appetite for experimentation in consumers:

“Chefs and manufacturers are evaluating classic dishes in a new light, taking the flavour “essence” in a playful new direction. For example, global restaurants are finding ways to showcase their signature offerings alongside iconic dishes from other parts of the world.”

In the UK, British fusion is gaining ground rapidly, with classic dishes like fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, the Sunday roast, and scotch eggs being reinvented to reflect emerging global flavours – “the transformation of the traditional” in the words of Bidfood. For the less adventurous eaters among us, British fusion offers a familiar and safe way to explore exciting new flavour combinations. 

Bidfood’s research reaffirms this, with 35% of consumers saying they find British Fusion appealing because it’s a way to try new flavours in a format they are familiar with, and 42% of UK consumers saying it’s appealing because they like the idea of mixing different cultural influences. British-Chinese, British-Indian and British-Italian ranked top for consumers’ preferred fusion combinations.

Crisps are another interesting format to introduce consumers to global favour trends through familiar formats, although it’s a tricky balance to strike and few flavours manage to establish long-term consumer loyalty. But for those that succeed, the rewards are high. 

Join the conversation on Guild

It’s an exciting year ahead, with plenty of new global flavours set to break onto the scene and classic flavours being reimagined. We can’t wait to see how the food industry responds and of course, to taste the results.

In the meantime, we’d love for you to join the conversation over at Guild, our online forum for industry discussion on all things food and drink. To get the ball rolling, let us know how you’ve seen consumer taste preferences evolve over the past year and if there are any up-and-coming cuisines missed in this article.

Meet the experts at Tastes of Better

Ingredient manufacturers including Kerry Group and Griffith Foods will be showcasing a sample of their exciting new product portfolios at Tastes of Better Ascot in April. Free to attend for those with relevant job titles, you’ll experience a range of innovative solutions first-hand to improve nutritional profiles, enhance sustainability, optimise taste and texture and unlock greater cost efficiency in your product development for 2024. Come along, meet the teams, and enjoy the future of ingredient innovation alongside industry insiders.