As we all know, there’s no accounting for taste – but researching it is certainly possible. The internationally renowned food trend researcher Karin Tischer from food & more in Kaarst regularly analyses consumer preferences and will once again be exclusively presenting her findings in the 2024 FoodZoom 2.0 trend analysis in collaboration with INTERNORGA. According to the latest findings, we are on the cusp of a silent revolution. Above all, plantarianism – a more plant-based diet – is changing tastes and is also having an impact on what is being served up in the restaurant and catering industry. Numerous market suppliers have already recognised that trend. They are coming up with innovative plant-based products, as well as meat and protein alternatives, providing significant fresh impetus for the restaurant, hotel and catering sectors.

Convenient and easy: small but healthy snacks on trend

Changing lifestyles are another factor with a major impact on flavour preferences. Consumers are leaning towards convenience, especially when it comes to what they eat. Ease and practicality are playing a greater role in life in general, with food no exception. The trend is towards small portions, soft breads and takeaway solutions that fully meet the increased demands for healthy nutrition. Drinking habits in particular are changing in that regard: wholesome liquid meals are in demand, preferably to go. Among the exhibitors at INTERNORGA who specifically embrace and implement the 'convenient & easy' trend are companies such as GoNosh, Danone Deutschland, Organic Friends & Sports, and Market Grounds. 'We value INTERNORGA not only as a trade fair but also as an inspiring environment where ideas emerge, partnerships grow, and the future of our industries is shaped. Our long-standing participation for over 15 years confirms our commitment to staying current and well-informed about the latest developments in our relevant sectors,' says Timmy Ruppert, Head of Marketing at Market Grounds GmbH & Co. KG.

Sweet and spicy: new approaches to spicy flavours

Spicy dishes are popular in many national cuisines, but they still play a less significant role on menus in Germany. Nevertheless, Karin Tischer from food & more has observed an interesting development in that regard – a preference for new approaches to mild spiciness. The combination of sweet and spicy (‘swicy’) has become very popular in Germany. It adds a fresh twist to burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, wraps and the like in the form of BBQ sauces, chutneys and relishes, for example. This sweet spiciness is clearly inspired by world cuisine, and people are having a lot of fun experimenting with it. Creations such as gochujang mayo, tomatillo guacamole and cheddar cranberry cream are evidence of that. Numerous exhibitors will be presenting their latest spicy sauces, dips, and creams in the INTERNORGA Food and Beverages exhibition area.

From insider tip to flavour kick: the umami trend continues

The popularity of umami looks set to grow further in 2024. The term originates from Japanese cuisine and describes a particularly flavourful, savoury, intense or earthy-smoky taste that is primarily found in protein-rich foods. According to the FoodZoom 2.0 trend analysis, the top four plant-based umami boosters include mushrooms (especially fermented ones), seaweed, pulses and microgreens (young, edible seedlings). Examples of this purely plant-based umami kick can be found at INTERNORGA. Among others, Violife will prove that a vegan version of Parmesan can also deliver that unmistakable flavour boost. 

All these developments underline how diverse and vibrant the sensory sector is. Karin Tischer from food & more believes the industry has a lot of work to do in that regard: ‘The changing tastes of guests herald an exciting process for the industry. Providers in the foodservice and hospitality market now have the opportunity to keep their guests on board with a suitably varied range. Alongside having an attractive range of plant-based protein alternatives, mini-portions, liquid meals, “reduced” food and beverages and various options to intensify flavours, the primary complex challenge is meeting the changing sensory requirements.’

In addition to the ‘Changing Tastes’ chapter, Karin Tischer analyses four other trends in FoodZoom 2.0. The ‘Future of Proteins’ and ‘Countdown to Sustainability’ chapters have already been published on the website of the INTERNORGA. All the topics influence the foodservice and hospitality market and will feature in an exhibition or trend area at INTERNORGA 2024. In addition, the leading international trade fair will provide an exciting overview of industry innovations in a total of ten halls. The OFF THE RECORD Afterwork Lounge and the INTERNORGA Open Stage, which will play host to Karin Tischer’s Pink Cube for the first time in 2024, provide places for visitors to network, exchange ideas and share knowledge.