Unilever Released Annual Trend Report, Future Menus 2024

Unilever Food Solutions (UFS) has released its annual trend report, Future Menus 2024. Eight global trends are set to shape the food service industry in the coming year including unexpected flavour combinations, plant-based dishes, and reduction of food waste.

The second annual Future Menu Trends Report features recipes, insights, and practical tips with the aim to assist foodservice operators worldwide in meeting evolving diner needs. The report is drawn from robust global data and extensive chef inputs, including:

  • industry reports of leading third-party sources
  • social media analytics using 77K keywords representing 69M searches across more than 21 countries
  • perspectives from UFS’ 250 professional chefs
  • elaborative feedback of more than 1,600 chef professionals located in 21 markets worldwide via UFS e-panels

Generation Z are influencing dining experiences around the world, given their reputation for substantial spending on dining experiences and tendency towards making food decisions based on social media trends.

Here are some of the key shifts outlined in this year’s report:

Flavour Shock

Demand for unexpected flavour combinations and twists on classic dishes is on the rise. Think adding Mexican sauces to create modern pastas. Techniques such as smoking, pickling and fermenting are another way to combine different tastes and textures.

Irresistible Vegetables

Plant-based menu items continues to be a relevant trend. Despite reports that veganism is on the decline, diners continue to seek more variety in their meal choices, and Generation Z is the most likely to be interested in vegetarian, vegan, and conscious eating options.

Low-Waste Menus

With 48% of Generation Z considering how environmentally responsible or sustainable a product or service is as the most important factor when making a purchase decision, chefs are also seeing an increased demand for ‘Low-Waste Menus’.  In the face of sustainability concerns, 65% of food service operators consider this trend the most relevant and expect this trend to grow. Utilizing ingredients fully and finding creative ways to use scraps and trimmings to create secondary dishes will help food service operators reduce food waste within their operation.

To learn more, and for tips and solutions that will help to leverage these trends in your own business, read UFS’s Future Menu Trends Report 2024.