Bidfood unveils food and drink trends set to dominate out-of-home market

Bidfood has announced the food and drink trends set to dominate the out-of-home market in 2024.

The foodservice wholesaler worked with CGA by NIQ to conduct research and a survey of 2,003 UK adults, including restaurant operators in London and Manchester. Bidfood also worked with a semiotician and futurist, Dr Rachel Lawes, to get a steer on how food and drink trends will evolve over the next two to three years.

To support the unveiling of the trends for next year, Bidfood has launched its 2024 interactive guide, designed to help foodservice operators navigate the changing market and consumer behaviours, adapt their menus, and explore the latest cuisines and flavours taking hold of the industry.

The report also comes with a range of support tools, including new additions to the trends video series, expanded web content and new recipes.

The key trends for 2024 identified by Bidfood are:

Flavours Less Travelled: Authenticity is one of the key drivers behind this year’s report, with 56% of consumers saying they would pay more for a dish if they perceive it as more authentic. Research has shown that the three global cuisines gaining momentum are:

  • Authentic Caribbean – Expanding across UK cities in the form of restaurants, pop-ups and food stalls, there is growing demand for Caribbean comfort dishes like rich, spicy stews that feature seafood, indigenous vegetables and meats such as goat.
  • Authentic Mexican – Although 44% of consumers have already tried Mexican cuisine, they now want to elevate their passion with traditional flavours and ingredients. Familiar TexMex dishes will continue to be popular, but operators should look towards authentic classics like marinated pork belly tacos or charred corn elotes with chicken.
  • Eastern European – From hearty stews to delicious cakes, Eastern European food is becoming more well-known and appreciated. With their array of flavours and familiar UK formats, these dishes offer countless culinary opportunities and unique experiences, according to Bidfood.

British Fusion: More and more restaurants are starting to merge different cuisines with each other, but although consumers are becoming more adventurous with new flavours, they are still reluctant to spend money on cuisines they are unfamiliar with. In fact, 68% of consumers find British fusion appealing, with over a third (35%) feeling this is because it bridges the gap between the exciting flavours of global cuisines and the familiarity of British classics. Bidfood suggests that foodservice operators try mixing up their Sunday roasts, English breakfasts and even desserts such as crumble with interesting global flavours.

Mind, Mood and Body: This trend centres on consumers shifting priorities when it comes to their health and wellbeing, focusing not just on their physical health but also their mental health and state of mind. Almost half (48%) of consumers are looking for foods that directly impact their physical wellbeing, and 71% feel that the aroma of food and drink can help boost their mood. Bidfood encourages operators to take consumers on a sensory journey with appealing and colourful products to enrich their healthy lifestyle experience, but be mindful when it comes to making specific health claims on menus.

Rustic and Rural: Consumers are making more mindful choices about where and what they eat when out of home. Farm to fork concepts, provenance and menu stories are becoming increasingly popular. Cosy decor, handmade pasta and bakery products, garden salads, heritage produce and open-flame cooking are ways that operators can tap into this trend.

Let’s Play: During a cost-of-living crisis, consumers are looking for something to cheer themselves up, and something exciting and out of the ordinary. Colour, playful presentation, novel styling and a touch of theatre will certainly tick the boxes to offer the experience desired, says Bidfood. Mixing flavours is another way of adding novelty and can really elevate a dish. In fact, 70% of consumers find the idea of flavour contrasts appealing, with sweet and sour being the most popular.

  • Playful Drinks: With social media taking the world by storm, consumers can’t resist taking a picture of their cocktail to post on their accounts, with 43% of 18-35 year olds doing this every/almost every time. To leverage this trend, operators are starting to take their cocktail offerings to the next level, creating imaginative, theatrical and themed serves. Incorporating dry ice, colour-changing ingredients and even sparklers will give it that wow factor.

Catherine Hinchcliff, head of corporate marketing & insight at Bidfood, said: “This year we’re excited to see that the trends and flavours surfacing are around adventure and trying something new, as well as comfort, authenticity and provenance, all of which will allow chefs to be creative and have fun when planning their menus for 2024.

“Sustainability remains a prominent factor to us as a business, and continues to influence consumer decision-making. This year, instead of being a stand-alone trend, we’ve incorporated it into all our trends which reflects the way many chefs weave sustainability into everyday ways of working.”


Published Date: October 26, 2023
Category: Wholesale Industry News