6 Food Service Trends for 2024 (According to the Experts)

What's in Store, Twenty-Twenty Four?

As we ease into 2024, the new year brings along with it some exciting trends in the foodservice sphere. We consolidated thoroughly researched forecasts from various sources in the food industry and listed some highlights. From culinary fusions taking center stage, to sustainability transforming the food service landscape, to America's enduring love for fries and spice, anticipate a year of vibrant and conscious culinary exploration.


Fusion of Flavor

A taste for globally-forward menu items doesn't seem to be slowing down in 2024. Metz Culinary Management revealed their trend predictions for this year, which includes what they are calling "chaos cuisine". This concept involves blending diverse ethnic dishes to create unique and flavorful recipes that overlap multiple culinary traditions.


Golden Sweet Potato Fries Gyro Closeup-1

Gyro with United Flavors® Golden Sweet Potato (Boniato) Fries - A fusion of Latin and Greek flavors


Examples of these global fusions are popping up everywhere, notably at this past fall's Menu Directions conference, which brought together foodservice operators from various segments such as Healthcare, K-12 and Colleges & Universities. Here, Foodservice Director describes some of the event's standouts, which tend to signify an emerging trend. One such standout was Wafu Italian, which incorporates Japanese flavors into traditional Italian pasta dishes.


Chef Louis Robinson - Yuca with Plantain Curried Gnocchi 1

Tio Jorge® Yuca (Cassava) with Big Banana® Plantain Curried Gnocchi - A fusion of Latin and Italian flavors


As the United States becomes more ethnically diverse every year, the desire for meshing cuisines becomes more and more apparent.


Another such example is in the case of International BBQ, which came out third in the National Restaurant Association's What's Hot 2024 Trend Report. 


Plantain Slices w croutons with Chicken Burger H

BBQ Chicken Sandwich With Big Banana® Sweet Plantains, Crispy Bacon, And Jalapeno Jack Cheese, and a side of Tio Jorge® Yuca Chunks


Upcycling Leads the Way

According to recent trends reports by Mintel, the culinary landscape of the future involves some shifts in the way we think about how our food is processed. Concerns about energy costs are sparking a trend towards long-life, shelf-stable products that boast innovative processing methods.


Food service professionals should also be on the lookout for foods crafted from upcycled ingredients that can still deliver a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, and a symphony of other nutrients. The future of food is not just nutritious – it's conscious as well.

TJHP001 Banana Leaves Innerpack

Tio Jorge® Banana Leaves are a byproduct of the Plantain crop, and are used in many tropical dishes


Foodservice Director provides some examples of upcycling, such as using vegetable trimmings for soup broths and flavoring plant-based dishes, or using strawberry top in water infusers.


Veggies Take Center Stage

In addition to seeing culinary blending of tastes, Foodservice Director describes another trend highlighted at the recent Menu Directions show, and that is vegetables as the center of the plate.


With overly-processed plant-based meat substitutes becoming less desirable, as described by Whole Foods in their Top 10 Food Trends Forecast for 2024, a path is being paved for real, whole vegetables to take back the term "plant-based".


Davin Waite - BBQ Plantain Nigiri

BBQ "Nigiri" featuring Big Banana® Sweet Plantain Slices


NRA's What's Hot 2024 supports this by listing Stuffed Vegetables as one of their Top Ten trends for the upcoming year.


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Pure & Simple® Plantain Radicchio Lettuce Wraps


Fries Fever

Grubhub released their 2023 Delivered Trend Report, which revealed the top ordered side of last year: fries.


It seems as though the craze for this American staple isn't going away anytime soon. The report revealed that customers were even ordering them as a side to their salads. It's all about balance, right?


Top five choices among consumers, according to Grubhub's report: 

  1. Classic cut
  2. Waffle fries 
  3. Cheese fries
  4. Sweet potato fries
  5. Curly fries


United Flavors® Golden & Orange Sweet Potato Fries with Dehydrated Chilis & Fish Sauce Powder


Spicing Things Up

In addition to revealing America's love for fries, Grubhub's report also informed us of another tastebud tingler, and that is all things spicy.


Plantain Tibits and Chorizo Pizza H

Spicy BBQ Chorizo Pizza topped with Broccoli, Red Onion and Big Banana® Sweet Plantain Tidbits


In 2023, a staggering 53 million items were ordered with added spice, showcasing a growing preference for bold flavors. Among the favorites, Sriracha was a top choice, added to orders over 91,000 times. Notably, buffalo chicken wings claimed the throne as the most ordered wing flavor, reflecting the enduring popularity of spicy options among consumers.


This doesn't come as a surprise, as Global Chicken Wings claimed second place in the NRA's What's Hot 2024 Trend Report.



Whole Foods displays its International Wings self-serve concept


Plantain Wings

Plantain "Wings" featuring Big Banana® Sweet Plantain Slices


Rooted in Flavor

Coming in as one of NRA's top three ingredients for 2024 were root vegetables. Expect to see these spuds incorporated in an aray of applications this year!


Cassava al Mojo 12

Cassava al Mojo featuring Pure & Simple® Yuca (Cassava) Chunks, a staple root vegetable in many cultures from Latin America to Africa to Asia


A Year of Discovery

2024 will undoubtedly both challenge and excite food service operators around the nation. We are excited to see what other leaders in the industry will bring in the year ahead! 


Cook with MIC Food®

Traditionally, produce like plantains, yuca sweet potato must be peeled, sliced, and cooked prior to consuming. Here at MIC Food® we are helping chefs, restaurants, industrial kitchens, retail brands, delis, and others in the food industry rethink their menus and increase appeal among ethnic and mainstream consumers alike.


We provide variety of tropical fruits and vegetables that come peeled and cut, ready-to-heat and serve, saving you hours of prep time so you can focus on what matters the most: making every meal memorable.