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Snack Expo|Late-night snacking trend to increase in 2024

2024.05.10

Indulgent yet affordable foods, late-night snacking and guajillo peppers are some of the key trends seen shaping the food and beverage industry in 2024, according to Snack Expo.

 

The company’s 2024 “Flavor beyond intuition” report analyzes potential growth areas based on year-over-year (YOY) data from home cooking trends, foodservice menus and social media.

 

“Consumer behaviors continue to evolve, influenced by changing lifestyles, diverse health needs and a culture of expectation for on-demand food access,” said Alon Chen, co-founder and chief executive officer of Tastewise. “Sweeping factors, from regulatory demands to the impact of geopolitical unrest and the persistent disruptions caused by evolving public health concerns, continue to shape markets and operations globally.”

 

As consumer desire for indulgent offerings has risen 41% in the last year, and interest in affordability has climbed 30% over the last two years, Tastewise’s affordable indulgence trend capitalizes on the intersection of the two competing motivations. The company noted offal as a particular ingredient with potential for the trend, noting that indulgent offal preparations, which may include chicken hearts and chicken livers, have grown 28% in the past year.

 

“Consumers demand it all without compromise, and a surprising ingredient is primed to disrupt the scene, offering health, indulgence and savings: offal,” Tastewise said.

 

The report’s next trend brings together consumer demand for healthy food and beverage options with the nearly 20% increase in late night eating occasions over the last two years. Tastewise identified products high in fiber and protein as ideal options to satisfy consumers’ nighttime appetites, along with products that emphasize maintaining healthy blood sugar levels or improvements to sleep.

 

“Often, consumers find their late-night indulgences at odds with their health goals,” the company said. “Satisfying late-night cravings healthily has become a priority.”

 

Popular offerings in this segment may include cottage-cheese based products, which have seen a 300% increase in their protein appeal in the last two years. In addition to its nutritional value, cottage cheese allows for versatile preparation options that can be paired with other trending flavor twists.

 

Tastewise expects guajillo peppers will be a common ingredient for food and beverage companies looking to take part in the spicy flavor craze. The pepper variety touches on key consumer desires for authentic, unique and premium flavors, and guajillo peppers already are taking hold as an ingredient in increasingly popular salsa macha products.

 

South and East Asian-inspired flavors also are expected to trend in 2024, particularly in the frozen dessert segment. Menu offerings may include Korean bingsu, a finely shaved ice treat traditionally topped with fresh fruits, and ingredients like red beans, pandan coconut and calamansi, a citrus fruit commonly used in Filipino cuisine.

 

“Consumers crave the distinctiveness of exotic cuisines, with Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, SE Asian, Japanese and Filipino flavors leading the way,” Tastewise said.

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