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Top 5 food trends in 2024

With the new year ahead, we have combined insights from across the EIT Food community to explore five key 2024 food trends that are set to shape our food system this year and beyond.

24 Jan 2024
8 min reading time

As we step into 2024, the food system is at a crucial juncture, navigating a complex web of global challenges and developments that have reshaped the landscape in 2023. From the repercussions of conflict and war to the outcomes of climate commitments at COP28, the world is facing a transformative period that demands innovative solutions.

We have consolidated insights from across the EIT Food community to highlight five key 2024 food trends that are shaping the future of the food system, examining how innovators are responding to challenges and how agrifood businesses and organisations across the world are embracing opportunities for positive change.

The 5 top food trends in 2024 are:

  1. Food security solutions will become more localised in the face of crisis
  2. The relationship between nature, Indigenous Peoples and food systems will gain greater recognition
  3. Clearer definitions of regenerative agriculture will emerge
  4. Data will play a key role in consumer food behaviour
  5. Artificial intelligence (AI) technology will influence the next era of food system action

1. Food security solutions will become more localised in the face of crisis

The importance of food security will be more pronounced in 2024, driven by the series of crises that have swept across the globe over the past 12 months.

From natural disasters to geopolitical tensions, the vulnerabilities of our food system have been put under immense pressure in 2023. As a result, significant focus has shifted towards addressing localised food deserts – areas with limited access to affordable, nutritious food. 2024 will see this shift go further, seeing increased investment in innovative, local solutions.

With the goal of optimising supply chains and increasing resilience, these could include community-based projects, urban agriculture solutions, and public engagement or education programmes. The Ample Programme, for example, is a social innovation and enterprise programme that aims to co-create interventions with local, marginalised communities to improve access to and affordability of food, leading to improved health outcomes. The initiative will take place throughout 2024 and into 2025 in two European cities, starting in Madrid, and will involve EIT Food working with local partners to help entrepreneurs access tools, training, and funds for food-related businesses.

Collaborative efforts between governments, NGOs, and private sectors are becoming imperative to ensure that no community is left behind in the pursuit of food and water security, particularly in times of need. An example of this is the EIT Water Scarcity programme, which is a multi-stakeholder project tackling local water and food-related challenges in southern Europe by enabling innovation, entrepreneurship, education, and communication through tailored knowledge sharing and business support. This includes finding solutions that increase the drought and flood resilience of crops to increase food supply for local, food insecure communities in the face of water scarcity and extreme weather events.

2. The relationship between nature, Indigenous Peoples and food systems will gain greater recognition

Building on the outcomes of COP28, the momentum for food systems transformation - and surrounding collaboration - has gained unprecedented traction on a global scale.

The intricate relationship between nature and food is at the forefront of the debate, with a deepened understanding of how sustainable food production is intrinsically linked to the health of our ecosystems.

The role of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities is also being recognised and amplified within this understanding. Traditional knowledge and practices are proving invaluable in preserving biodiversity while supporting sustainable agriculture practices. With the UN Biodiversity conference COP16 taking place in Colombia, a country that hosts approximately 10% of the planet’s biodiversity (2), this year is set to mark a significant shift towards viewing nature as a partner in ensuring sustainable food security, rather than a resource. This momentum is predicted to continue into 2025 with the UN climate summit COP30 set to be hosted in Brazil, home of the majority of the Amazon rainforest.

“The most inspiring thing about COP28 was witnessing how much we can achieve through collaboration and uniting diverse perspectives. We have a huge opportunity to build on this momentum in 2024.”

- Dr Lucy Wallace, EIT Food Chief of Staff (1)

3. Clearer definitions of regenerative agriculture will emerge

The evolution of regenerative agriculture has been a food trend for some time, with further developments still on the horizon.

Although there are debates across the industry, the definition for regenerative farming and how to measure impact is becoming clearer, with the understanding that it must go beyond the stereotype of being suitable only for small-scale farmers.

Developing regenerative food systems, with stakeholders at all levels adhering to inclusive and shared guidelines, is proving crucial in ensuring the resilience of food production. The emphasis on soil health is also gaining prominence, with growing recognition for it being a cornerstone in producing nutritious and plentiful foods.

It’s worth noting that on the EIT Food Fight podcast 2024 trends episode, Matthew Kessler, host of 'The Feed' podcast, expressed concerns about the opportunities for regenerative greenwashing. Matthew explained that, although the positive impacts for biodiversity and soil health of regenerative agriculture are clear, impact measuring must be supported with scientific evidence, and this is often where the lines blur within the definition.

“We’ve scaled up our farm systems tremendously. There are a lot of good things about the economies of scale that we run in our food systems, but are we tweaking them enough to get to the target that we need to reach? I want people to not just say nice words but match it with actions.”

- Matthew Kessler, host of 'The Feed' podcast (3)

The 2024 European elections also pave the way for further clarity around farming and agricultural regulations. Farming is set to play a key role in the discussions leading up to elections, which take place in June 2024. The European Commission also announced several actions in early 2024 that give young people a greater say in the decisions that affect them and future generations. When designing EU policies, the Commission has stated it will apply a ‘youth check' which will ensure that their impact on young people is systematically factored in through 2024 and beyond (4). Two months ahead of the European Parliament elections, the 2024 European Youth Week will also take place with the goal to celebrate and promote youth engagement, participation and active citizenship.

4. Data will play a key role in consumer food behaviour

The demand for data is on the rise with consumers seeking personalised approaches to their dietary needs.

As outlined on the EIT Food Fight Podcast 2024 trends episode, convenience remains a significant influence in this demand, amplified further by growing cost-of-living concerns.

On this podcast episode, Ben Ebbrell of Sorted Food said that while consumers are seeking personalised, affordable and healthy meals, they are also becoming more intrigued by global cuisine and will be seeking new solutions in 2024 that provide easy-to-prepare but flavoursome food combinations (3). Ben emphasized the fact that new generations are learning more about food, including traditional, healthy meals, through online platforms and social media channels such as TikTok.

Coupled with the European Commission’s push for protein diversification research and innovation as part of Horizon Europe funding (5), 2024 will likely see an increase in meat-alternative food innovation that combines personalisation, convenience, and flavour. Innovators in this space will also benefit from more publicly available data around factors such as pre-approved substances, ingredients and production processes (6).

The EIT Food Consumer Observatory has also identified that this demand for data extends to the environmental impact of food. Research from the coalition found that 67% of European consumers would value a food label that provided information about the farm to fork sustainability of their food products (7). The research also revealed that recyclability of packaging, animal welfare, and pollution plus the use of chemicals and fertilisers were the areas that consumers most wanted to see covered by an eco-label, with 90%, 89% and 88% of consumers saying they would like to see these respective elements (7).

5. Artificial intelligence (AI) technology will influence the next era of food system action

The recent advancements of AI technology and tools has already reshaped industries across the world, with many already asking how AI will impact the food system.

As we transition to a more sustainable food system, it is predicted that AI has the potential to unlock insights that could help mitigate 5% to 10% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 through scaling proven applications and bolstering climate-related adaptation and resilience initiatives (8).

Although the true potential of AI is yet to be seen in the food system, the impact is being felt across various value chains within the food system. This includes applications such as food waste reduction, personalised nutrition, farming monitoring, supply chain traceability, and smart packaging and labelling. Netherlands-based startup Verdify, for example, is using an AI technology to link consumers with specific recipes, adapted to dietary needs and tastes. Recipes are personalised to a user’s preferences regarding flavour and texture. Hear more from the CEO Jochem Bossenbroek on how AI can enable people to make better food choices on the EIT Food Fight podcast.

The increased importance of education and skills development in the food system, in which individuals who develop their underpinning skills become more likely to innovate and think holistically, may also be impacted by AI technology. Although education is largely social and practical (9), AI algorithms and data collection could support stakeholders in their learning journeys to personalise their experiences, tailoring their training to individual and unique skillsets and fields.

The EIT Food community in 2024

In 2024, the European food system is standing at a crossroads of challenges and opportunities. Our trends monitor demonstrates an industry that is not only responsive to global issues but also proactive in embracing transformative changes. From redefining regenerative agriculture to harnessing the power of AI, the food system is evolving fast to meet the demands of a rapidly changing world. As we navigate these trends, collaboration and innovation will be the driving forces that propel us towards a more resilient, sustainable, and healthier future for all. EIT Food is primed to support innovation within these trends by investing in large-scale collaborative programmes and individual projects through the new Impact Funding Framework. Find out more here.

To follow these food trends and get the latest from the EIT Food community, sign up to our monthly newsletter, The Feed.


  1. New Food Magazine: Were food systems just a side dish at COP28?
  2. Convention on Biological Diversity: Colombia
  3. EIT Food: Food Fight podcast: What’s cookin’? Food trends for 2024
  4. European Commission: Commission gives young people a stronger voice in EU policymaking as a legacy of the European Year of Youth
  5. European Parliament: EU Protein Strategy
  6. EIT Food: Accelerating protein diversification for Europe
  7. EIT Food: New research shows majority of people would embrace an international eco-label on food products
  8. Google: Accelerating climate action with AI
  9. Cambridge Assessment Network and Research: Is education ready for Artificial Intelligence?
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