Market & Trends

Griffith Foods’ 2024 Report Predicts Veg-Forward Revolution in North American Retail & Foodservice

Griffith Foods has released its 2024 Food & Flavor Outlook, showcasing the continued rise of vegetables and plant-based foods across North American grocery stores and restaurants. The report reveals significant consumer preferences and trends shaping the food industry, reinforcing the importance of health and sustainability in food choices.

In 2024, vegetables are expected to dominate the culinary spotlight, especially in foodservice. Chefs are exploring back-to-basics approaches, utilizing whole, recognizable ingredients in novel ways that cater to the preferences of flexitarian consumers. The retail sector is responding with an array of veg-forward products, including convenience meals and frozen items, making it easier for consumers to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables. 

Prioritizing fruits and vegetables

In the findings, a notable 62% of Mexican consumers expressed that, despite economic constraints, they prioritize spending on fruits and vegetables. This sentiment is echoed by 36% of Mexican shoppers who prioritize products enhancing their intake of fruits and vegetables as a key shopping criterion. Similarly, Canadian consumers are increasingly focusing on whole foods, with 86% acknowledging them as the healthiest choice, accompanied by a 3.2-fold increase in interest in plant-based packaged foods.

© V-Label

Plant-centric innovation

Griffith Foods’ report also spotlights specific plant-centric products gaining traction. In Mexico, innovations such as cauliflower wings and “con Masa de Coliflor” pizza crusts are becoming popular, while in Canada, products like mushroom snow crab and organic edamame pasta cater to alternative protein needs. 

In the United States, consumer preferences also show a strong inclination towards implementing diverse vegetables into their diets. For example, ube, a purple yam from the Philippines, has seen a remarkable 146% growth in the US market over four years, along with a surge in crispy vegetable snacks and veggie tots. Furthermore, 66% of Americans report increasing their produce consumption for long-term health benefits. 

Griffith Foods
© Griffith Foods

The role of fermentation

The outlook also spotlights the innovative uses of fermentation and its role as a catalyst for new food experiences. Fermented products are increasingly appearing in various forms, from retail offerings to restaurant dishes, indicating a growing consumer interest in both traditional and innovative fermented foods.

Looking globally, South American cuisines are set to make a more pronounced impact internationally. The rich profiles of Venezuelan, Brazilian, Argentine, and Peruvian cuisines offer a blend of traditional and contemporary flavors that are both exotic and familiar to international palates.

Lastly, the report delves into the significance of umami, a savory and rich taste profile that enhances the flavor in both traditional and plant-based dishes. Griffith Foods identifies umami-rich ingredients as essential in developing deeper, more complex flavors in a variety of food products.

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