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10 Important Food Trends (2024 & 2025)

by Josh Howarth
January 23, 2024

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When it comes to food and beverages, consumer preferences are always in flux.

A few trends that started during the pandemic, like trying to recreate a restaurant-like experience at home, are still popular.

But a large portion of consumers are also ready to embrace new flavors and formulations.

Plus, people are focused on the sustainability and health benefits of food more than ever before.

With that, here are the top 10 food trends for 2024 and 2025.

1. Artful and Inventive Charcuterie Boards

In their 2023 culinary trends report, the National Restaurant Association listed charcuterie boards as the top-ranked appetizer of the year.

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Charcuterie boards are the hottest appetizer and side trend of 2023.

This artsy combination of meats, cheeses, and other finger foods arranged on a wooden platter first started gaining popularity during the pandemic, but this trend is expected to continue to grow well into 2023.

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Search volume for “charcuterie board” has jumped more than 433% in the past 5 years.

The main appeal for today’s consumers is that charcuterie boards offer a quick and easy solution for dinner. They also help people put together a cost-conscious dinner while still achieving a restaurant-like experience.

Midan Marketing reports that 25% of consumers are making at least one charcuterie board at home each month.

Many consumers are taking to social media to post their charcuterie board creations.

In fact, so many of these posts have popped up that the term “charcuterie influencer” has been coined.

One such influencer is Maggie Johnson (@magsmeals).

She has amassed more than 250k followers on TikTok despite only being on the platform for one year.

In 2021, she put together a Christmas Eve charcuterie board and the video received more than 40k views.

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Maggie Johnson’s TikTok videos receive more than 40k views.

Meats and cheeses aren’t the only tending charcuterie ingredients, though. Butter boards are the latest trend.

Home cooks are slathering a layer of softened butter on a wooden tray and adding garlic, spices, and herbs on top. Bread is served alongside the butter.

The trend has over 490 million views on TikTok.

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The butterboard trend is said to have started with @justine_snacks.

For those consumers who don’t have time to make their own charcuterie board at home, businesses and restaurants are stepping in.

Beauty and the Board is a Florida-based company that ships its charcuterie boards across the country.

Major cities across the globe have dozens of retailers that create boards locally.

Charcuterie boards are also making an appearance on restaurant menus.

The trend is particularly popular in Italian restaurants, which harkens back to the Italian roots of the charcuterie board.

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Zanti Cucina Italiana offers a charcuterie board with homemade marinated olives, smoked speck, and gorgonzola cheese.

2. Speciality Salts Gain Popularity with Restaurant Chefs and Home Cooks

The gourmet salt market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.17% over the next five years to reach a total valuation of more than $477 million.

Flavor & the Menu, a food industry magazine, recently wrote that salt is becoming the “star of the show” in many restaurant menu items. They rank it as number-four in the top 10 list of food trends for 2022.

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Many 2022 food trend lists mention the use of specialty salts.

Their article cites three salts in particular: pink peppercorn, matcha, and black lava salt.

Black lava salt is an especially distinct salt because of its unique color and enticing name.

Traditional black lava salt is harvested from lava in Hawaii or Cyprus. However, today, most of this salt is regular sea salt mixed with activated charcoal.

Home cooks are trying this trend, too. One of the reasons is the perceived health benefits associated with unrefined salts.

Unrefined salts, like sea salt and Himalayan salt, retain all of their minerals like potassium, iron, magnesium, and others.

A recent survey from Cargill showed that these perceptions matter to consumers.

They measured the “net health perceptions” of consumers when it came to certain ingredients. Sea Salt had a +36% score compared to “salt,” which posted a -15% score.

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Cargill’s research showed that consumers perceive unrefined salts as being a healthier choice than regular salt.

In the UK, one grocery store chain reported that sales of Himalayan Pink Salt and rock salt increased by 2,000% and demand for sea salt crystals rose by 2,600% in 2020.

Truff is a start-up based in southern California that sells luxury sauce and seasonings. In less than five years, they’ve already garnered the support of several celebrities.

The company recently added a black truffle salt to its limited menu of offerings.

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The black truffle salt is a blend of fine and coarse sea salt along with dried black truffles.

The company’s salt gift pack is featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things holiday gift list in 2022.

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Search volume for “Truff” is up 163% since 2019.

In another example of this trend, two home cooks started the Portland Salt Co. during the pandemic.

Their artisan salt blends feature salt drawn from the Pacific Ocean. Their signature steak salt features a balanced blend of garlic, onion, and cayenne pepper with Pacific sea salt.

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The steak salt is influenced by flavors from France, Japan, and South America.

The company’s products were exhibited during the 2022 Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City.

3. Yuzu Flavors Beer, Water, and Desserts

This Japanese fruit that many compare to a lemon, Yuzu, is quickly gaining popularity in the United States.

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Search volume for “yuzu fruit” is up 127% over the last 5 years. 

Food and Beverage Insider reports that the number of Google searches for "yuzu" grew nearly 50% between mid-2020 and late 2021.

In an effort to prevent citrus disease outbreaks, the USDA prohibits imports of fresh yuzu. But it is grown in California and imported as juice.

The fruit is traditionally used in ponzu (a citrus-flavored soy sauce), but hundreds of new yuzu products have come out in the past year.

In fact, according to Innova Market Insights, there were 236 new yuzu-containing products launched in 2021.

Many of those products were beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

A Filipino-American living in New York launched Sanzo in 2019. His aim is to bring traditional Asian flavors like yuzu to the sparkling water category.

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Sanzo offers a yuzu ginger drink with no added sugar.

The company wrapped up a $10 million Series A funding round in March 2022.

Japas Cervejaria, a Japanese-Brazilian beer company, has created a yuzu-infused beer called Sawā. They compare the flavor of the beer to a Sicilian lemon, mandarin, and grapefruit.

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Sawā beer features a sour note of yuzu to complement the hops.

The female-owned brewery is in talks to bring its products to the United States in late 2022.

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Search volume for “yuzu beer” has climbed 50% in 5 years.

Yuzu is also a popular ingredient in desserts.

Chef Marcus Samuelsson offers a yuzu fruit tart on the menu of his fine dining restaurant in Montreal.

Morgenstern’s, a contemporary ice cream parlor in New York City, is famous for its eclectic flavors.

In 2022, Toasted Rice Yuzu Swirl became one of those flavors. They describe the flavor as a tart creamsicle.

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Morgenstern’s ice cream blends the richness of toasted rice with the acidity of yuzu.

4. Consumers Try Out Alternative Pastas

The search for alternative pasta options may have started with zoodles in the mid-2010s, but the trend has shifted beyond basic vegetables to include lentils, carrots, seaweed, and more.

Food manufacturers are finding plenty of demand for these alternative options as pasta continues to be one of American consumers’ favorite foods.

A 2022 survey showed that 55% of individuals in the United States say they eat pasta regularly.

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More than half of Americans regularly eat pasta.

A large portion of the interest in alternative pasta is driven by gluten-free consumers. (Traditional pasta is made from wheat, which contains gluten.)

In the last 10 years, interest in gluten-free foods has nearly quadrupled and one-third of Americans are actively trying to reduce the amount of gluten they eat.

Another important consumer subset looking for alternatives to wheat pasta is those who adhere to a low-carb or keto diet.

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Interest in “keto pasta” has increased more than 2,050% in the past 5 years.

About 5% of Americans follow keto/low-carb diets and pasta and other carbs are the number-one type of food that causes them to “cheat” on the diet.

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The low-carb diet is one of the most popular diets in the United States.

Lentil pasta is one option for consumers who are looking for a hearty noodle that’s gluten-free and low in carbs.

The fact that lentil pasta has only one ingredient (lentil flour) makes it a popular option for clean-eating consumers.

It’s also lower in calories and carbs while being higher in protein and fiber as compared to wheat pasta.

Consumers are also buying into lupini pasta as another alternative to wheat noodles.

Lupini beans are most frequently eaten as a pickled snack in Mediterranean countries.

Their popularity is growing, in part, because they offer a sustainable source of protein. Each serving contains more protein than a serving of chicken breast.

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Search volume for “sustainable protein” shows tremendous growth (156%) over 5 years.

Lupii is a startup that’s offered lupini-based protein bars for the past three years. In 2022, they launched three new lupini-based pastas.

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Lupii’s pasta comes as penne, elbows, and rotini.

In 2021, the company raised $150k from 400 crowdfunding investors. They’re also backed by New York-based Human Ventures.

5. Consumer Preferences and Seafood Scarcity Drive Demand for Plant-Based Seafood

As some consumers look for plant-based pasta options, others are looking for plant-based options that will replace animal-based meats.

ADM reports that 52% of the global population considers themselves flexitarians, eating both plant-based and animal-based meats. And, two-thirds of that group say they’re decidedly “trying to use more plant-based foods.”

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Google searches for “flexitarian” shows 175% growth since 2019.

Seafood is one sector of the industry that hasn’t seen a surge in plant-based alternatives, but experts predict that fact will change in the coming months.

Faux fish was named a top trend for 2023 at the Institute of Food Technologists’ annual meeting.

In addition, the plant-based seafood market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 28% through 2031 ending up with a valuation of $1.3 billion.

Investment capital is pouring into the market, too.

In 2021, alternative seafood companies raised $175 million in capital. That was nearly double the numbers of 2020.

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Investment numbers show growing interest in alternative seafood.

This trend is partially driven by consumer attitudes, but also by necessity.

On a global scale, consumption of seafood has doubled since 1998 and is expected to climb another 80% by 2050.

However, somewhere between 70% and 90% of the world’s fish stocks are already either overexploited or depleted.

The alternative seafood options on the market today use ingredients like beans, peas, and lentils to try to achieve a texture and flavor that’s similar to traditional fish.

In 2021, Long John Silver’s partnered with Good Catch to launch two plant-based seafood options at select restaurant locations.

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The restaurant offered Fish-Free Filets and Crab-Free Cakes.

Current Foods is another manufacturer of alternative seafood.

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Search volume for “Current Foods” is climbing.

The San Francisco-based startup makes sushi-grade, ready-to-eat tuna and salmon.

Their formula combines bamboo, potato, radish, tomato, algae, and peas to recreate the texture and color of fish.

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Current Foods offers tuna cubes and tuna filets.

In late 2022, the company closed an $18 million seed funding round and debuted in its first retail location.

6. New Options for Plant-Based Milk

Plant-based milks are no longer just for vegans. A sizable number of consumers are now stocking their refrigerators with everything from oat milk to flax milk to cashew milk.

In fact, more than 40% of households in the US buy plant-based milk.

In July last year, sales of non-dairy milk in the US hit $3.1 billion and now account for 16% of all retail milk sales.

Globally, the milk substitutes market is expected to swell to $50.88 billion by 2028. That’s a 104% increase over 2023.

The reasons why consumers buy plant-based milk vary.

Among individuals who drink non-dairy milk at least once per week, more than 55% listed taste as one reason as to why they drink it, while 52% say they drink it because it’s healthy.

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Taste and health benefits are the top two reasons why consumers drink plant-based milk.

In another survey, 30% of consumers said they’re concerned about animal welfare and 27% said they choose non-dairy milk because of an allergy or intolerance. More than 30% also said they’re worried about the sustainability and environmental impact of dairy milk.

Almond milk is the most popular plant-based milk, making up 57% of plant-based milk sales.

But oak milk’s popularity is surging.

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Search volume for “oat milk” is up more than 217% since 2019.

With dollar sales up 32%, it was the top-growing non-dairy milk category in 2022 and now makes up 22% of sales in the category.

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Almond, oat, and soy are the top-selling plant-based milks.

In GrubHub’s 2022 Delivered Report, oat milk outranked almond milk 4:1.

The oat milk market alone is predicted to reach $7.8 billion by 2030.

Other alternative milks are hitting the market, though.

Take DUG’s potato milk, for example.

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DUG’s potato milk comes in three varieties.

The Swedish brand has been blending up potato milk since 2021.

Company officials say the milk offers a protein profile that’s similar to eggs.

It’s also much more sustainable, using just half of the amount of land required for oat milk and 56x less water than almond milk.

And, plant-based milk isn’t just for drinking.

Several brands are putting these milks into other products like ice cream, chocolate, and coffee.

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Non-dairy milks are being used in prepackaged coffee products.

7. Sales of Tinned Fish Soar

The tinned fish trend has been a few years in the making.

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Search volume for “tinned fish” has been growing since 2022.

A few wine bars began offering imported tinned fish in 2018. It hit boutique grocery stores a few years later. The pandemic also increased its popularity.

But in 2022, a viral TikTok series called “Tinned Fish Date Night” catapulted this trend into the mainstream.

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@alihooke posted the original “Tinned Fish Date Night” video on TikTok and continues to frequently post new tinned fish boards.

#tinnedfish now has more than 135 million views on TikTok.

In 2022, sales of canned seafood in the United States grew by nearly 10%, reaching $2.7 billion.

A few canned seafood brands are seeing sales skyrocket, too.

Scout Canning’s revenue jumped 82% in 2022.

Their retail sales were up 200% and e-commerce sales were up 208% between 2021 and 2022.

The brand sells sustainably sourced, hand-packed tinned seafood.

And, their offerings go way beyond tuna. Consumers can purchase tinned lobster, mussels, and rainbow trout.

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Reviewer’s say Scout’s tinned lobster tastes just like fresh.

LA-based Fishwife is having even more success.

Since launching in 2020, sales have grown by 9,900%.

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Fishwife sells tinned rainbow trout, smoked Atlantic salmon, and smoked Albacore tuna.

Wild Planet Foods, one of the first brands to build a large-scale, sustainably-focused seafood business, says it worked with more than 250 influencers last year in order to promote its tinned seafood on social media.

Consumers who don’t want to stick with just one brand can sign up for a tinned fish subscription box from the Tinned Fish Market.

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The tinned fish subscription box offers consumers a specially curated range of seafood options.

The tinned fish trend is hitting restaurants, too.

Saltie Girl in Los Angeles, a restaurant where it’s reportedly nearly impossible to get a reservation, shows more than 100 types of tinned seafood on the menu.

For consumers cooking at home, tinned fish feels like a fancy meal but still fits in a budget.

Some are taking their tinned fish and creating “seacuterie boards.

These boards pair tinned seafood with things like crackers, bread, jalapenos, lemons, cheese, and fruit.

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Tinned fish pairs with other meats, crackers, and cheeses to create a seacuterie board.

8. Dates Become a Mainstream Sugar Substitute

Whole Foods Market named dates as one of their top 10 food trends for 2023.

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Dates appeared on Whole Foods’ list of top trends for 2023.

Dates, and other natural sweeteners, are part of a consumer trend that’s focused on clean and natural ingredients.

America’s overreliance on white sugar has drawn a considerable amount of criticism from health officials in recent years.

Artificial sugar substitutes fare no better in the minds of consumers.

In fact, one survey showed that nearly 70% of consumers say artificial sugar substitutes are unhealthy.

But two-thirds of consumers want to know about all of the options they have when it comes to sweeteners.

Dates are gaining a lot of attention lately because of their incredibly high naturally-derived sugar content and the variety of ways in which food manufacturers are now putting date products on the shelves.

At the 2023 Natural Products Expo West, several booths exhibited date products like date syrup, sugar, and paste.

Date syrup is made by boiling and blending dates.

Trader Joe’s organic date syrup features 100% Tunisian Deglet Noor dates with no other ingredients added—a huge plus for consumers looking for a clean label.

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Consumers are using date syrup much like they do maple syrup.

Consumers are using date syrup like maple syrup on pancakes or waffles, drizzled over oatmeal, and in salad vinaigrettes.

Food brands are also coming out with innovative uses for dates.

Date spreads (also called date butter) sold by Wanna Date blend dates with other sweet ingredients like cocoa powder, cinnamon, vanilla, or pumpkin spice. These date spreads function much like peanut butter.

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Search volume for “date butter” jumped in 2022 and remains high.

Dates are also being blended with tahini in a new spread called Datehini.

This product can be blended into smoothies, spread on toast, or used in savory dishes as a sauce.

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With a combination of sweet and savory flavors, Datehini is a versatile ingredient in the kitchen.

9. Ube Turns Desserts, Pancakes, and Drinks Purple

Ube is a purple yam that originated in the Philippines. The ingredient has a sweet flavor with a slight nutty, vanilla-like flavor.

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Ube has been cultivated in the Philippines for more than 400 years.

It’s making its presence known in America in the form of violet-colored foods and drinks.

This is especially true on social media where users are posting a variety of ube-infused foods in vibrant purple hues.

#ube has more than half a million posts on Instagram.

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Bites by Bianca posted ube puppy chow on her Instagram.

But this trend is reaching far beyond social media.

The WGSN Autumn Flavours Forecast for 2023 specifically called out the buzz surrounding ube.

Mashed also listed ube as one of its top food trends for 2023.

Restaurants are incorporating ube into their menus in many ways.

Ube cocktails, ube pancakes, ube horchata, and ube buns are just a few examples.

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Ube-infused buns give a pop of color to sandwiches.

There’s also one restaurant chain that’s created a menu that appeals specifically to ube lovers.

Cafe 86 serves up a wide range of desserts and drinks, most of them flavored with ube.

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The ube Halo Halo is a cold dessert with ice cream and flan.

For home cooks, it’s becoming easier to find ready-to-use ube-based foods.

Trader Joe’s offers ube spread, which is ube blended with sugar, butter, and coconut.

Customers can also pick up ube mochi pancake and waffle mix and ube ice cream at Trader Joe’s.

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Search interest in “ube pancakes” first jumped during the early days of the pandemic but interest remains high since 2019.

Ube has even entered the craft beer market.

Brewyard Beer in California sells Ube Macapuno Delight, a dark beer with flavors of ube, vanilla, carmel, and chocolate, as well as Ube Wan, an IPA with a hint of nutty vanilla.

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Two ube-infused beers are on Brewyard Beer’s regular menu.

10. Pickles Show Up in Unexpected Places

The humble pickle is in high demand these days.

Just look at sales numbers from Amazon Fresh.

Customers bought more than 845,000 pounds of pickles in-store and online from May 1 to September 30, 2022.

Yelp predicts this love of pickles and pickle-flavored foods will be one of the top food trends of 2023.

The platform reports searches for pickle-flavored foods have jumped 55% in the past year.

The Food Institute echos that data.

The organization reported that nearly 44% of restaurant menus mentioned pickled ingredients in the second quarter of 2022. That’s an increase that’s been building over the past few years.

Pickle pizza is one of the emerging pickle-centric restaurant dishes.

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Search volume for “pickle pizza” is exploding.

The most recent Slice of the Union, an annual report on the status of pizza in America, showed that demand for pickle pizza is on the rise. It’s most often paired with garlic sauce and mozzarella and finished with a dip in ranch dressing, they say.

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Pickles are an unexpected pizza topping, but the trend is growing.

Pickle pizza was a huge draw at the 2022 Minnesota State Fair, as well.

Axios reported that the stand selling pickle pizza saw the longest lines the fair has ever seen.

In June 2023, Pizza Hut announced they would start crafting pickle pizzas for customers at a New York City location but only from June 9-11.

The chain says there’s a chance the pizza could be offered nationwide in the coming months.

Pickles are also appearing in slushies at the popular fast-food chain Sonic.

In the summer of 2022, Sonic brought back their pickle slushie, which had originally debuted in 2018.

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The pickle slushie is a salty-sweet treat that was brought back by customer demand.

The chain also brought back the Big Dill Cheeseburger and pickle fries.

Sonic reports that the pickle slushie is one of the most frequently requested menu items from customers on social media.

The pickle trend is entering the subscription box market, as well.

In June 2023, HelloFresh announced they would begin carrying a Pickle Box for a limited time.

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The Pickle Box is now available.

The box includes a variety of stand-out pickle-flavored products like cotton candy, peanuts, and popcorn.

Even Vlasic, an 80-year-old brand of grocery store pickles, is diversifying its flavors.

The brand recently released Sweet Heat Pickle Chips and Xtreme Heat Pickle Chips.

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Vlasic’s new flavors are meant to appeal to adventurous eaters.

Conclusion

That’s all for our list of the top 10 biggest food trends happening right now.

A large percentage of consumers, especially younger generations, are seeking out food that’s good for them and good for the environment. They’re adventurous enough to try new options, possibly foods and flavor combinations they’ve never considered before.

Also, as consumers become more aware of the health effects of certain foods, they may become even more discerning about the products they buy.

The coming years will likely be filled with a host of new ingredients, new flavors, and new combinations. For food and beverage brands, keeping an eye on consumer tastes will be more important than ever.