5 top bar and restaurant trends for 2024
The world of food and drink is constantly evolving, with new trends emerging every month. In this year alone we’ve seen a whole spectrum of new crazes, from the TikTok famous “girl dinner” trend to hot and spicy cocktails. We’ve also seen a variety of longer-term trends continue to rise in popularity, such as plant-based dishes and alcohol-free beverages.
Any restauranteur or bar owner understands the importance of keeping up to date with the latest industry trends. Not only can they help your business appeal to a large customer base, but they also allow your chefs or bartenders the opportunity to try something new and get more creative in their roles. To help you get ahead of the curve for the year that lies ahead, bar and catering equipment supplier Mitchell & Cooper are here to share five food and drink trends they predict to take 2024 by storm.
1. Health-conscious diners
Over recent years we’ve seen more and more diners searching for healthier dining experiences, with many consumers becoming increasingly health conscious since the pandemic. This trend is set to stay prevalent in 2024, as we continue to find new ways to take care of our health.
One particular diet which looks set to rise in popularity next year is the anti-inflammatory diet. This type of diet can reduce the amount of inflammation in the body and, as anti-inflammatory foods tend to be rich in vitamins and minerals, can come with a number of other health benefits too. This diet has already gained some traction, with #antiinflammatorydiet on TikTok already having 182.1 million views and counting. Whole Foods Market has made a similar prediction, claiming that anti-inflammatory ingredients like buckwheat and cacao are going to be prominent in 2024.
With the new year’s health kick just around the corner, now is the perfect time for food and drink establishments to find a way to incorporate this trend into their 2024 menus, whether this is in the form of an anti-inflammatory soup, salad, or smoothie.
2. Caribbean cuisine
When it comes to the key cuisines of 2024, we expect Caribbean to be the one to watch. One survey has found that while 22% of consumers already eat the cuisine, double this amount (44%) haven’t tried it yet, but are interested in doing so. On top of this, the first ever UK Caribbean Food Awards was launched in 2023, showing us that the love of this cuisine is expected to grow even further over the coming years. Outside of the major cities, Caribbean dishes can be hard to come by in the UK, so it’s no surprise that people are interested in trying something new in the new year.
Caribbean food is all about bold flavours and takes inspiration from cuisines across the globe, from North, South, and Central America to Europe and West Africa. Common ingredients include rice, beans, peas, peppers, plantain, and a whole array of herbs and spices, including thyme, ginger, and allspice. There are plenty of fantastic drink pairings for Caribbean dishes as well, including a variety of flavourful rum-based cocktails, such as a piña colada or a dark 'n' stormy.
3. Turmeric-based dishes
One ingredient we believe is set to be all the rage in 2024 is turmeric. Google trends data shows that searches for this colourful spice are on the rise, and as the ingredient is an anti-inflammatory, we may see an increase in turmeric consumption based on its purported health benefits. We can see the popularity of this spice increasing across the globe too, with turmeric sales worldwide expected to increase by 5.5% by 2033 (Future Market Insights).
The great thing about this emerging trend is that it can be used in both food and drink. As well as being a prominent ingredient in many curries and soups, it can also be used in drinks in the form of turmeric lattes (otherwise known as “golden milk”), teas, and smoothies. The spice can even be used to add an earthy flavour and deep orange hue to a range of sweet dishes too.
4. “Little treats”
Anyone who has scrolled through TikTok will likely have heard the phrase “little treat” before. In fact, the tag already has 63.7 million views on the social media platform. This Gen Z trend is all about treating yourself little and often and is becoming an increasingly popular way to spend for young adults. This is an already popular trend, but we predict it could become even more prominent in 2024 as the continuing cost of living crisis may encourage consumers to opt for these small and inexpensive everyday treats rather than larger purchases.
We predict this trend to become a more popular way of dining in the coming year too. This may be in the form of diners treating themselves to starters, side dishes, or desserts, rather than a full three-course meal. This is a great opportunity for tapas-style restaurants to take advantage of, perhaps by offering more deals based on smaller plates.
5. Orange wine
Rosé soared in popularity in the 2010s, and now orange wine looks set to replicate this success in the mid-2020s. Orange wine, also known as amber wine, traces its roots back to ancient winemaking methods. The wine is made with white grapes with their skins still intact, imparting a rich amber hue to the final product. While orange wine has been around for centuries, it is starting to sharply rise in popularity and looks set to become even more popular in the coming years, with the global market predicted to increase from $40 million in 2022 to $67 million in 2032 (Fact.MR).
If you’re looking to attract a new group of diners or drinkers, serving orange wine could be a great way to do this. This is especially the case if you’re looking to broaden your appeal to the Gen Z and Millennial demographic, as consumer research has found that drinkers under the age of 40 are looking to try different styles of wine (The Drinks Business).
“A new year is a new opportunity to mix up your menu and try something different. Whether you’re looking for exciting fresh dishes or a new drinks selection, looking ahead at what foods and drinks are expected to be popular in 2024 can help your business stay ahead of the curve, and potentially make your business appeal to a whole new demographic.
“As consumers continue to become more health conscious, having a wide range of dishes to appeal to these diners may be just what your establishment needs. As well as having various low-sugar and plant-based options, labelling appropriate dishes as having anti-inflammatory ingredients or being rich in vitamins can help your menu stand out from the rest. When it comes to drinks selection, a unique range of trending drinks, such as orange wine, can help your business appeal to a young audience who are looking to try something new.”
- Guy Cooper, Managing Director at Mitchell & Cooper
About the brand
Initially established as a London silversmith in 1879, Mitchell & Cooper has grown into a leading manufacturer of bar and catering equipment. Over their decades of experience supplying appliances to the foodservice industry, Mitchell & Cooper not only created the iconic Bonzer product line but now work alongside French, American, and Italian manufacturers to make premium products sold worldwide. As a family-owned business, operations are overseen by co-founder Arthur Cooper’s great grandson, ensuring that the same passion for quality and innovation from over 140 years ago still leads the company today.
For more information, please visit www.mitchellcooper.co.uk
References and further reading
All Google Trends data was accurate as of 17/11/2023.