Strategic guide for food brands to leverage 2024’s consumer trends

8 Feb 2024

In the dynamic realm of industrial food manufacturing, navigating the ever-changing consumer landscape is not just a challenge but an opportunity to redefine success. Drawing insights from the extensive Taste Tomorrow consumer research, Puratos presents a comprehensive guide specifically tailored for industrial food manufacturers. This guide provides actionable tips to navigate and thrive amidst the hottest consumer food trends and demands of 2024, ensuring your brand not only meets but exceeds expectations.

Crafting Classic Creations & Connections

Embracing the 'newstalgia' and 'classic continued' trend, identified as one of the hottest consumer bakery and pastry trends for 2024, industrial manufacturers have a prime opportunity to invigorate their product innovation pipeline. According to the latest Taste Tomorrow consumer research, the desire for a familiar element when trying new foods has surged to 73% in 2024, up from 67% in 2021 on a global scale. To capitalize on this trend, food manufacturers can infuse beloved classics with a modern twist. 

This trend is particularly relevant for bakery, cake, cookies and pastries producers, since these products are associated with warmth, nostalgia and comfort by default. But it can be applied to many other unexpected categories and in various ways. Consider introducing limited-edition variations or reviving timeless favorites with a contemporary touch, drawing inspiration from successful examples like Campbell’s Spaghetti-O’s in retro cans

Some brands are responding to this trends with nostalgia campaigns. Bear in mind that much of the current nostalgia trend involves products and memories from the 1990s and early 2000s and is driven by millennials being in their prime earning years. This can help you identify which classics resonate the most, providing a strategic roadmap for innovation that seamlessly blends tradition with novelty. 

An exemplary case is the nostalgia-themed campaign by Pizza Hut, where consumers could relive their childhood experiences through an augmented reality retro Pac-Man game featured on pizza boxes, creating a memorable and engaging connection with the past.

Transparent Innovation & Sustainable Sourcing

64% of global consumers actively seek sustainably produced products. This demand is particularly pronounced in the Middle East and Africa (78%), South America (75%), and the Asian-Pacific countries (71%). For food manufacturing companies aiming to excel in 2024, transparency in sourcing and production methods is paramount. To stand out and attract a broader consumer base, industrial food manufacturers should go even further. Embrace an ethical supply chain, ensuring fair compensation for farmers and cultivating unsprayed crops.

To address this trend effectively, industrial food manufacturers and food producers should strategically adapt their products and packaging:

  • Start by clearly showcasing a commitment to transparency on packaging. Share straightforward details about where ingredients come from and how they are sourced, with a focus on sustainable practices. Since 68% of consumers care about this info, food brands can use it to earn consumer trust and stand out on the shelf compared to competitors.
  • Extend your commitment to transparency by incorporating the globally-demanded 'local sourcing' aspect. A significant 65% of consumers associate food made with local ingredients with improved health, transcending the notion of mere sustainability. Embracing this aspect aligns with consumer preferences and significantly enhances your brand's appeal in the competitive market.
  • Back-of-pack matters as much as front-of-pack for many people today. Consumers meticulously inspect your product’s ingredient list and expect to see ingredients they understand. Crafting clear, concise labels aligns with the evolving consumer mindset, enhancing the appeal of products and answering the 'clean(er) label' trend.

Looking for food ingredients that allow you to have a clear product label? Discover our wide range of solutions here.

Plant-Powered Innovation

Tap into the surging demand for plant-based bakery products in 2024. A significant 56% of consumers actively seek vegan options, with strong momentum observed in regions like the Middle East (74%), Africa (74%), South America (70%), and the Asian Pacific (68%). These compelling statistics underscore the noteworthy shift towards plant-based preferences.

To align with this growing trend, reimagine your bakery bestsellers in a 100% vegan format. Explore plant-based alternatives such as specialty fats, egg replacements, whippable toppings, milk-like chocolate, cream and fat-based fillings, and dairy alternatives – all available in fully plant-based versions. These innovative ingredients not only deliver on taste and convenience but also provide additional benefits. Some plant-based solutions are allergen-free, ensuring hygienic practices and lowering the risk of food contamination. Remarkably, they contribute to a substantial reduction in the environmental footprint of your products, appealing to the heightened eco-consciousness of today's consumers.

Now is the opportune moment for food producers to leverage these plant-based options. Craft delightful, plant-based sweet products that resonate with consumers prioritizing health and the planet. The numerous benefits position your bakery at the forefront of a transformative and sustainable movement in the industry. 

Explore our wide range of 100% plant-based ingredients at Puratos Plant Forward, embracing sustainability, health, and innovation. 

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