New PR industry survey reveals top nutrition trends for consumers in 2024

by | Feb 29, 2024 | Public Relations

What’s on the table in 2024 for the ever-evolving food and nutrition space? New research from Today’s Dietitian and Pollock Communications offers a glimpse into the shifting landscape of what we eat and why, as consumers increasingly prioritize both their well-being and their wallets. This year’s annual What’s Trending in Nutrition survey of 564 registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) finds that affordability and gut health are positioned to take center stage as leading drivers of consumer purchasing decisions in 2024. 

Call it a gut feeling: Gut health climbs the list while affordability & convenience maintain top spots as consumer purchase drivers

As consumers navigate recent increases in grocery prices, RDNs predict that affordability will be an important driver of consumer purchases. Research into the benefits of a healthy microbiome, from mood to weight management has sparked interest in foods that support gut health. The pandemic demonstrated a need to regularly protect immune health, and consumers continue to shop for foods that support immunity. RDNs predict the top purchase drivers in 2024 will be foods and beverages that:

  • Are affordable and value-based (65 percent)
  • Boost gut health (60.4 percent)
  • Are easily accessible and convenient (59.8 percent)
  • Support immunity (52.6 percent)

Power up your plate: Top 10 superfoods for 2024

New to the list of superfoods for 2024 are pulses (dry peas, beans, lentils, and chickpeas), mushrooms and salmon, foods which align with a healthy and popular Mediterranean style of eating. Notably, non-dairy milks have fallen off the list despite securing a spot in 2023.

Here are the top ten superfoods RDNs predict consumers will seek out in 2024:

  • Fermented Foods, such as yogurt, kimchi, kombucha tea, pickled vegetables
  • Blueberries
  • Seeds, such as chia and hemp
  • Avocados
  • Nuts, like almonds and walnuts
  • Green tea
  • Pulses – dry peas, beans, lentils, and chickpeas
  • Mushrooms
  • Ancient grains
  • Salmon

Plant-based eating continues to rise in popularity, with RDNs rating it as the second most popular diet trend after intermittent fasting. This is further supported by the additions of plant-based foods, such as pulses and mushrooms, to the top 10 superfoods list. RDNs predict that the ketogenic diet is slowly falling out of favor, dropping to third place in 2024 from second place in 2023. However, despite the popularity of plant-based diets, RDNs noted that consumers are unaware of how much protein is required in their diet and unsure about which plant-based foods contain protein.

Mirroring the dietary guidelines for Americans, RDNs continue to prioritize recommending that consumers eat more servings of vegetables every day, limit highly processed foods or fast food, and increase fiber intake.

nutrition trends

“The 2024 superfoods and top purchase drivers demonstrate that gut health, while long discussed, is officially making its way into the mainstream among consumers, with no sign of slowing down,” said Mara Honicker, publisher of Today’s Dietitian, in a news release. “With the survey in its 12th year, we are excited to continue to share insights from experts in food and nutrition, at a time where immunity is strongly informing trends.”

TikTok leads the way for misleading wellness & nutrition misinformation, replacing Instagram

From cottage cheese’s comeback to the sleepy girl mocktail, there was no shortage of food and nutrition microtrends in 2023 thanks to social media. With the rise in its popularity, it’s not surprising that RDNs name the TikTok platform as the biggest culprit for promoting misleading nutrition information.

While most RDNs agree that consumers often turn to social media platforms for nutrition information, they also believe that these sources frequently push health and nutrition misinformation. RDNs believe that social media influencers and celebrities tout the most misinformation.

RDNs note the biggest sources of misinformation include:

  • TikTok (81.6 percent)
  • Instagram (72.9 percent)
  • Facebook (72.7 percent)

For the first time, RDNs are polled about supplement recommendations

The multi-billion-dollar dietary supplement industry continues to grow in 2024. Although consumers often choose health and wellness products on their own, for the first time, RDNs were surveyed about the reasons they recommend them.

Here are the top three reasons RDNs recommend supplements:

  • Correcting a deficiency (79.5 percent)
  • For a health condition (69.6 percent)
  • For a poor diet (68.9 percent)

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter