October 2023 Newsletter 

2024 Food and Beverage Predictions

As the year winds down, we begin looking forward to assess what’s next. Our October newsletter explores 2024 food and beverage predictions with insights to support your innovation direction.

Read on to learn about emerging trends, regulatory changes on the horizon, and supply chain dynamics!

2024 Food & Beverage Trends

Cultural and Behavioral Changes Affecting Innovation

Cultures continually change. While some trends may seem unexpected, the origins emerge in current attitudes and behaviors. Paying attention to how people go to work, care for loved ones, and enjoy free time allows us to make inferences about what’s coming next. Trend-watching is about more than gaining a competitive edge. Understanding trends helps you identify unmet needs and align product development with evolving behaviors.

Part 1 of our two-part predictions series examines the broad themes happening across the food and beverage landscape that will affect innovation plans in 2024:

  • Getting Fuel and Fun from Foods & Beverages
  • Balancing Priorities with Food Choices
  • Finding Solutions to Optimize Daily Living
  • Demanding Genuineness from Brands

2024 Food & Beverage Trends

Flavors that Captivate and Connect

Formulators watch food and beverage trends throughout the year for creative inspiration and to ensure innovations track with what’s important to shoppers. When the calendar turns to the 4th quarter, interest in what’s coming next begins to grow. 

Part 2 of our 2024 predictions series highlights ways flavors can amplify the success of your food and beverage innovations. 

We showcase the ways flavors can captivate and connect with people as they look for foods and beverages that:

  • Energize Me (but Hold the Jitters)
  • Refresh Me
  • Delight Me
  • Help Me Make Memories

Innovation Evolution

Ready-to-Drink Cocktail Formats Go Large to Win

Spirit-based ready-to-drink cocktails continue to surge as people look for a ‘night-out’ experience in convenient formats. Nielsen IQ reports U.S. sales of RTD cocktails reached $1.85 billion in the 52 weeks ending August 2023, an increase of +37% vs. last year. Gains reflect increased consumption, with units up +32% for the year.

While the appeal of a single-serve, ready-to-drink cocktail isn’t dimming, alcoholic beverage drinkers are increasingly interested in multi-serve options. Some brands are now looking at larger formats for RTDs. Our insights team and application expert, Blake Lyon, share opportunities to go large with your RTD brand to win!

Bakery Innovation

Five Steps to Mixing Up Sweet Ideas

Every new cookie, donut, or pastry innovation begins with an idea. But how do you find inspiration for your next sweet baked good innovation? You can increase your chances of in-market success by using a strategic process for generating creative ideas.

Steps to guide your ideation work include:

  • Surveying your brand guardrails
  • Researching the current landscape
  • Brainstorming flavor ideas
  • Bringing your best ideas to the bench
  • Preparing for launch

While our blog post uses a bakery lens to examine innovation, the process is relevant for any food or beverage application.

Supply Chain Corner

Higher Shelf Prices Affecting Buying Behaviors and Demand

A 2023 survey from consulting firm McKinsey & Company shows two-thirds of U.S. shoppers are seeking less-expensive groceries, an increase of 4 percentage points in the last year. Trading down is a growing behavior among households with annual incomes below $100,000.  People are also reducing their overall grocery purchases:

According to FourKites news, the contraction also shows in monthly OTR grocery shipments, slipping since July and dipping negative in September.

As we noted in Part 1 of our 2024 predictions, shoppers still seek high-quality, purposeful nutrition that tastes good – a challenge for formulators facing higher ingredient, labor, and shipping costs. If you’re exploring options for delivering the value shoppers expect, talk with our team about flavor solutions to help you reach your goals.

Regulatory Corner

Front-of-Pack Nutrition Labeling Activities Happening in the U.S. and Canada

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) intends to conduct a second focus-group study about front-of-package nutrition labeling. The additional research will complement and build on the FDA’s ongoing quantitative research about front-of-package (FOP) labeling on packaged foods. The focus groups will gauge participant reactions to FOP labeling options on mock beverage and food product labels.

Results will allow the FDA to refine its understanding of how people react to various elements of these schemes. Additional information about FDA’s FOP focus groups and materials is available here.

In Canada, Health Canada’s Food Directorate considered industry comments about the front-of-package (FOP) nutrition symbol and the supplemented food caution identifier (SFCI) on supplemented foods. Displaying both symbols occupies a significant portion of the space available on a label. In addition, prepackaged products that contain an assortment of foods may need to carry more than one FOP nutrition symbol and/or the SFCI.

The Directorate agreed to amend guidance about the Directory of Nutrition Symbol Specifications and the Directory of Supplemented Food Caution Identifier Specifications. The amendment permits a buffer as small as 0 mm between the FOP nutrition symbol and the SFCI. Overlap can occur between nutrition symbols on prepackaged products that contain an assortment where they share a border, as described in the Notice of Proposal information document. For further information (in English), click on the Link.

Stay Informed with FlavorSum Discover 

If you want insights and inspiration to fuel your 2024 food or beverage innovation plan, sign up for FlavorSum Discover. The FlavorSum team carefully curates and researches the behaviors, attitudes, and flavor trends that can help you create lasting connections to your brand. Get blogs, webcasts, and technical guidance from our experts! 

FlavorSum Team News

Celebrating our Growing Team

FlavorSum prioritizes developing the talent and expertise you need to reach your food and beverage brand goals. Our creative and conscientious team continues to grow with a commitment to helping you succeed.

The following people joined the FlavorSum team in October:

    • Amarjit S., Mississauga, Production
    • Lisa D., Kalamazoo, Production
    • Russ T., New Jersey, Production
    • Wyatt F., Kalamazoo, Quality
    • Domonique J., Kalamazoo, Warehouse (Material Handling)
Visit our Careers page to learn about new opportunities on the FlavorSum team

How would you rate our insights?

In the November issue of FlavorSum Insights:

Blurred Lines: The Growing Needs for
Functional Candy and Flavorful VMS

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Past Issues

September 2023

Meeting Needs for Daypart-Driven Flavors

August 2023

The Latest ‘Cool’ Trends in Functional Beverage

July 2023

Trends, News, and Updates from IFT FIRST 2023