Gastronomy is always evolving, and today, several global trends are transforming the way we eat and experience food. From bold flavours to a focus on sustainability and health, these trends are profoundly impacting the food industry and the way chefs and restaurants interact with their customers. 

Here are the eight most notable food trends changing the culinary world: 

  1. Impactful Flavours

This concept challenges traditional culinary conventions by breaking established rules and offering entirely new and exciting culinary experiences. It involves fusing flavours in unexpected ways, creating chaotic dishes, and unleashing creativity on the menu. Customers seek explosive and wild experiences that awaken their senses and immerse them in a limitless culinary world. 

  1. Purely Plant-Based Protein

With the growing interest in plant-based eating, this well-established trend offers a unique opportunity to satisfy customers with innovative and delicious dishes centred around plant proteins. From legumes to vegetables, chefs are exploring new ways to create exciting and satisfying culinary experiences without the need for meat or other animal products. 

  1. Local Abundance

This culinary philosophy celebrates local produce and advocates staying close to the natural environment. Recent studies show that over 77% of Generation Z and 70% of Baby Boomers are willing to pay extra for dishes that use local ingredients. This movement not only promotes sustainability and supports local producers but also highlights the importance of knowing the origins of the food we consume and appreciating its richness. 

  1. Minimal Waste Menus

This trend, truly an urgent necessity, is not only good for the environment but also profitable for restaurants. Maximizing resources through creativity in the kitchen has become a priority for many chefs, as it helps increase profitability while reducing environmental impact. An added bonus: customers increasingly value restaurants’ commitment to sustainability, enhancing brand image. 

  1. Irresistible Vegetables

With nearly half of chefs seeing this trend as an opportunity to offer new and interesting dishes, vegetables are taking a prominent place on restaurant menus. From main courses to sides, fresh and flavorful vegetables are attracting new customers and differentiating restaurants in an increasingly competitive market. 

  1. Homemade Food, But Modernised

This trend combines the best of both worlds: the comforting familiarity of homemade food with a modern and creative twist. Chefs are reinventing classic dishes with fresh ingredients and innovative techniques to satisfy customers who seek an authentic yet updated culinary experience. 

  1. Feel-Good Dishes

Health and well-being are at the core of this trend, as customers look for healthier and more balanced options in their meals. Exploring new cuisines and culinary techniques to offer dishes that cater to the appetite for healthy eating is essential to keep up with the demands of health-conscious customers. 

  1. The Joy of Sharing

Nothing brings people together more than sharing a good meal. This trend is about creating dining experiences that foster connection and camaraderie among diners. From shareable dishes to menus designed for group enjoyment, the joy of sharing is a powerful tool for attracting more customers and creating memorable moments in the restaurant. 

In conclusion, these food trends are redefining the current culinary landscape, from the way dishes are created to how they are presented and enjoyed. Incorporating these trends into menus is easier than ever, thanks to the resources and inspiration available to chefs and restaurants. With a focus on creativity, sustainability, and customer satisfaction, the future of gastronomy promises to be exciting and delicious. 

Conclusions drawn from the “Future Menus Report 2024” by Unilever Food Solutions (UFS), based on global data and industry reports, social media analysis, and feedback from over 1,600 professional chefs worldwide.