4 shifting food trends for families towards 2024

We’ve come a long way from our eating habits of decades past. A wealth of grocery options and a more globalised supply chain, combined with better knowledge of how to cook and eat healthier food, has meant that families are enjoying meals very differently than they did in previous generations. Here, we explore some of the top food trends in 2024 and beyond. Healthy meals are easier to plan when you are organised. And it’s no surprise that you should try and incorporate as much home cooking into your family meals as your busy schedule allows. 

What’s causing these food trends to shift?

Every family has their own preferences when it comes to cooking and eating food. However, there are some broad influences that have changed the way we eat – particularly at home. We now know that both children and adults have been eating more meals at home,  with both home cooking (hello sourdough trend!) and meal kit deliveries than they did in the pre-pandemic world. 

That comes with both positives and negatives – it may mean we are eating healthier, less-processed foods. However, there is also the risk of overeating when we have unlimited access to food in our own fridge and pantry, with alcohol and junk food being consumed much more frequently.

That being said, recent years have also seen a concerted shift to more health-conscious eating habits, driven largely by the uptake of vegetarian diets and veganism, as well as an environmental approach to eating that adopts low-food-waste habits.

Here are four of the biggest food trends for families and how they’ve developed in recent years:

1. Changing times for family meals

An extended family enjoying a meal together

If there’s a silver lining to the pandemic, it’s that it has enabled families to spend more time together at home. Parents are working remotely more often, and children spent a significant portion of 2020 and 2021 doing at-home learning. While stressful for busy families, it also resulted in an uptick in communal mealtimes.

2. Healthy meal options are easily accessible

With technology and automation allowing our global supply chains to move at lightning pace, we are being exposed to more food options than ever before. That means people seeking out healthy foods are able to access a larger selection in their local supermarkets.

There are now more ways than ever to find information about what types of food are good for our bodies, so we can make better decisions during meal planning. Some people choose to consult their GP while other people might choose to see a specialist, like an accredited dietitian or nutritionist. Whether it’s shining a light on which diets are fads and which ones actually work, or simply getting a greater understanding of the role carbs play in a healthy lifestyle, being better informed means we can make better decisions to eat healthily.

3. Adoption of plant-based foods

Woman with shopping bag full of vegetables

For years, plant-based food has been showing up in supermarkets and restaurants, capturing the attention of Australians who may want to avoid animal-based products for ethical or environmental reasons. But until recently, some of the foods that make up a plant-based diet provided poor nutritional value. High-sodium, mass-produced meals can often be just as unhealthy as junk food. However, plant-based foods have many health benefits

The good news is that a growing popularity of plant-based diets means we now have greater access to high-quality plant-based alternatives. So much so that it’s easy to swap out a meat-based meal for a plant-based one without having to visit a different grocery store – plus there are so many recipes online that eating a more plant-rich diet should never get boring.

4. Popularity of meal subscription services soars

While home-cooked meals remain popular, there are only so many hours in the day. A trend that began during the pandemic was the increasing popularity of meal subscription services

The benefits of being able to order a box of meals that are delivered straight to your door every week are clear to see. In most cases, the food requires far less prep time than selecting a recipe, heading to the supermarket and then cooking dinner from scratch. Plus, with everything already labelled and measured for you, and recipe sheets supplied with each meal, it makes it easier to cook with the kids and spend more time as a family.

A shift to more environmentally and ethically responsible diets, a wider selection of local and international foods available at grocery stores, and of course the effects of the pandemic have all contributed to major shifts in food trends for families. If it means spending more time with loved ones at home and in the kitchen, then all for the better!

While you’re thinking about your health and your family – think about your future. Real Life Insurance could help to give you peace of mind – and we all know the benefits of having your financial affairs sorted out. Find out more about Real Life Insurance for families.