Exiting our fourth year in the wacky 2020s and entering 2024 in a week, the F&B industry has undergone significant transformations and regenerations worldwide, capturing trends important to customers.

To sum up 2023 and usher in 2024, we discuss the five food trends we can bid a farewell to this past year, as well as the five food trends we predict and look forward to embracing for the next year.

Five food trends we can say goodbye to in 2023

Instagram-centric restaurants & cafés

5 F&B trends

We cannot deny that Instagram exists as a net positive for the F&B industry, enabling restaurants to drive engagement and build customer bases. However, the platform has also inversely influenced F&B businesses to build venues exclusively for the act of sharing images of visually appealing plates, drinks, and interiors. Whilst creative interior design and colourful dishes catch eyes on the app, tagged Instagram pictures don’t bring in the cash –  great food does.

Three-hour-long degustation menus

5 F&B trends

With waning attraction towards fine-dining, many F&B professionals point to the demise of haute cuisine in the coming years. The act of a chef presenting his fine work often equates to sitting through a lengthy degustation menu that never seems to end. Numerous courses are presented to diners at high prices, flexing premium ingredients and prestigious recipes. When time equals money, hours-long fine-dining might soon be a thing of the past.

Super-sweet sweets

5 F&B trends

Plant-based, eco-friendly, vegan, and vegetarian dining are as popular as ever. As much as people are not shunning sweet-eating, rather the opposite these days, desserts that are packed with artificial sugars and sweet additions do more harm than good. Indulging in the sweeter things in life is important, but if it’s at the expense of ingesting unhealthy fats and sugars and risking your health, stick to more wholesome food.

Menus accessed by QR code

5 F&B trends

Restaurant dining is headed towards an accessibility revolution, accommodating physically disabled patrons to enjoy meals with ease and comfort. Where the pandemic compelled restaurants to remove physical menus and replace them with PDFs accessed via QR code, we expect a reverse of this decision where people appreciate consuming the flair and information of a great menu that they can hold and study.

Maximalism

5 F&B trends

Service can make or break a restaurant’s survival and success. As 2023 has shown, the maximalist trend has dominated in F&B venues worldwide, featuring exquisite performances of mixology flair and food presentation. Whilst pretty to look at, this trend adds more to the bill than expected and leaves us waiting before our first forkful and bite. Entertainment is an important facet of dining nowadays, but it can sometimes mask or inhibit the real show of food quality.


Five food trends we welcome in 2024

Low-ABV cocktails & mocktails

5 F&B trends

As the less-so-roaring 2020s taught us, people are aching to enjoy their sipping and drinking. Revived worldwide awards ceremonies have highlighted top establishments that appreciate the art of mixology, with drinks low in alcohol or harnessing the strength of liquid sans any ABV coming up strong. People don’t want hangovers anymore, but they still want to appreciate the flavours and art of a good cocktail.

Mushroom everything

5 F&B trends

Be it oyster, shiitake, maitake, chestnut, portobello, or porcini, mushrooms have come into the limelight, ushering in a new wave of mushroom-powered meals, supplements, and additions to our diets. This versatile vegetable is rich in vitamins and has a strong umami flavour that makes it a powerful ingredient for enhancing dishes without the use of heavy meat products.

Better solo dining

5 F&B trends

Whilst the pandemic has influenced new dining habits, such as more extravagant and communal dining making a comeback, diners are now becoming more familiar with the zen and practical side of solo dining. Gone are the days when a solo diner would elicit stares. In 2024, more restaurants will cater to foodies who are comfortable exploring a menu by themselves or enjoying a cocktail and soaking up the vibe.

Salads, sandwiches, & smoothies

5 F&B trends

We miss the days of simple, healthy food and want them back. We predict that next year will bring back the viral health options that were popular in the mid-2010s. Chopped and diced salads, bold sandwich combinations, and smoothies will make a comeback for lunches and snacks that require colourful brain food.

Caviar alternatives

5 F&B trends

The world went crazy for caviar years ago and stayed strong from 2021 to 2023. As people are eager to jump on the next trend, especially in the realm of umami-forward caviar alternatives, we predict the emergence of alternatives to this rich ingredient. Soy-sauce-packed soy pearls and salmon roe are two to watch out for, as they bring in the familiar mouthfeel and salty bite at a cheaper price.

Rubin Verebes is the Managing Editor of Foodie, a culinary connoisseur, and guiding force behind the magazine's delectable stories. With a knack for cooking up mouthwatering profiles, crafting immersive restaurant reviews, and dishing out tasty features, Rubin tells the great stories of Hong Kong's dining scene.

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