San Miguel's 2024 food trends unveiled


Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corporation revealed its food trends forecast for 2024. In a press briefing last month, the team from the company's San Miguel Foods Culinary Center (SMFCC) told local media that they see a boom in botanicals and Asian flavours and ingredients, rising demand for food that supports emotional well-being, a collective desire to protect the planet and a growing acceptance of artificial intelligence (AI) to name a few.
SMFCC added that sustainability will continue to be an element of many food trends in 2024, just as it has been a critical trend in the past few years. Sustainable dining is not just about what you eat. They revealed that people are becoming more aware of how their choices impact the environment and how these may result in food waste.
Another key trend will be eco-friendly packaging, which meets the growing consumer demand for regenerative and upcycled materials. Meanwhile, AI contributes to efficient and ecological food production by predicting harvest periods and minimising food waste. AI can also assist chefs in recipe creation, menu planning, flavour prediction and ingredient combination recommendations.
Data gathered also showed that flavours are becoming borderless. Thus, expect local cuisines to feature international twists. One of the defining trends of the year is third-culture cuisine or dishes from a chef's diverse background, SMFCC said.
Another trend is adding a dash of luxury to menu offerings. This trend is about indulgence and self-care, exploring bold tastes and colours to bring a sense of luxury and joy. It aims to transform simple ingredients into global flavours. For example, popular indulgent dessert profiles will feature strawberry, vanilla and chocolate flavours. Emerging trends include caramelised fruits, glazed desserts, floral and fruit-infused desserts and sweet-savoury combinations with herbs and spices like mango-habanero. The demand for healthier formulations is also on the rise.
On the other hand, a "luxe" trend will influence bread and pastries, such as reinventing classics like flaky croissants with creative shapes, inclusions and delectable fillings. Going luxe will also mean handcrafted or artisanal treats are gaining popularity for a premium indulgence, and dessert-inspired flavours are making their way into various baked goods.
(Compiled by Rowena Burgos)

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