2024 Food TrendsPublished on January 8, 2024

  • K-food

  • Espresso martini

  • Plant based burger

  • Soba noodle salad

  • Green tea

  • Pickles

Emerging global food trends that have an impact close to home include big flavours and healthy options that are expected to dominate in the year ahead.


With artists from Korea continuing to take the music and film worlds by storm, it follows that Korean food is poised to have fresh time in the spotlight. Home cooks can try incorporating gochujang into dishes – it’s a delicious sweet-spicy fermented red pepper paste that is as versatile as it is flavourful, adding umami and heat to sauces, marinades, soups, noodle dishes, and more. Speaking of noodles, japchae – tasty sweet potato noodles similar to rice noodles – are another Korean staple, and these can now be found in the international foods section of many large grocery stores in Ottawa.

Retro revival

First popularized in the 1990s, espresso martinis are having a moment again. We’ll likely see them often at cocktail bars and home parties; novice mixologists can make things easy with the Absolut x Kahlúa espresso martini kit. If you’re a fan, you may want to mark March 15 on your calendar – that’s National Espresso Martini Day.

Plant power

For another throwback, plant-based foods made with real plants rather than being ‘lab-grown’ are predicted to be on the upswing in 2024 and should be popular with vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike. Look for dishes such as burgers, pasta sauces, and more made with nuts, legumes, tempeh, vegetables, and seeds; packaged goods will have easy-to-read labels that speak to the wholesome ingredients contained within.

Gluten-free goodness

Despite its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat at all. It’s a gluten-free pseudocereal, meaning it’s a seed consumed as a cereal grain (just like quinoa and amaranth). Not only is buckwheat delicious, but it is projected to rise in popularity this year as it is high in minerals and antioxidants and is known to support heart health and reduce blood sugar. It’ll likely be popping up in plenty of commercially prepared foods, and home cooks can look for 100% buckwheat soba noodles for all sorts of dishes. Buckwheat flour can be used in pancakes, waffles, and so much more. Locally, you can purchase buckwheat porridge from Juniper Farm’s online store

Clean caffeine

Health-conscious caffeine fans will no doubt rejoice as the clean caffeine sector expands in the year ahead. Look for energy-boosting beverages and supplements made with plant-derived caffeine (rather than produced synthetically in a lab or extracted with harsh chemicals), including green tea extracts, coffee infused with mushrooms or added probiotics, and more. Canadian company Joyburst is one player in this expanding market, part of a timely trend capitalizing on the increasing popularity of energy drinks while addressing consumer demand for natural ingredients. 

Pucker up!

Fermented foods have been growing in popularity, and 2024 should see pickles having another banner year. In 2023, pickles went viral on TikTok (5.4 billion+ views for #pickle), and now pickle-based drinks (including spritzers, sodas, and slushies), as well as a new pickle flavoured ketchup from Heinz are set to launch. Closer to home, Ottawa’s Ketchup Project has been offering ‘Big Dilly Style’ dill pickle ketchup for several years (and it’s a winner).

Paula Roy

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