Ah, 2023. The year of Girl Dinner, Tomato Girl Aesthetic, and the Stanley Cup (no, not the hockey trophy). Sodies are now so last year, and 2023 quickly became defined by Borgs, Erewhon smoothies, and little treats. Thanks to social media sites such as Instagram and TikTok, food trends now come and go faster than you can say pickle wine spritzer. And, it’s safe to say that products like Kraft Mac & Cheese Soup Dumplings and dill pickle ice cream weren’t on anyone’s bingo cards for 2023. So, what’s next?

Some 2023 trends are still going strong (think Stanley Tucci and sustainability), and probably will continue through the new year with a little twist. Here are 11 food trends we predict to see (and eat) in the new year.

1. Bringing Veggies Back

In 2024, we expect to see an influx of plant-based foods made with real plants. Sure, Impossible Burgers are great, but the new year will likely bring protein-packed products made with nuts, mushrooms, legumes and tempeh rather than the complex meat alternatives we’ve come to love. Think Kraft Not Mac & Cheese (made with fava bean protein), vegan Reese’s cups, or Juicy Marbles’ plant-based baby back ribs.

2. Sustainability is sexy

Sustainability continues to be key in 2024 (no surprise here). Environmental concerns continue to shape consumer trends, especially when it comes to water consumption and climate-friendly choices. Sustainable products can include food or beverages that are produced in a manner that limits its environmental impact, is contained in sustainable packaging, or is made with specific types of plants and grains. When it comes to sustainable products, we love the Umami Bento Box and KitchLife reusable bamboo towels.

3. DEI grocery sector

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) representation — and proper representation — continues to resonate with employees and consumers alike. Integrating DEI into product selection and representation continues to boost brand trust and loyalty, and, according to FreshDirect, “underscores a fundamental shift in consumer preferences and expectations.” In 2024, grocery shopping will go beyond consumption, and echo the population’s values and beliefs.

4. Clean Caffeine

No need to choose between coffee and tea, or even hot or iced. In 2024, there will be “clean” (aka not produced in a laboratory) caffeine options for all consumers thanks to coffee, teas, and energy drinks with added probiotics, mushrooms, and more. Our faves include Swoon x Chamberlain Coffee’s Matcha Lemonade, roo.bru coffee alternative, and Odyssey, an energy drink made with functional mushrooms.

5. What the Buckwheat?

Buckle up for Buckwheat. Buckwheat is a naturally gluten-free superfood seed containing protein, carbs and fiber. It’s often used in soba noodles, but Whole Foods predicts that this super seed will be in everything from crackers to plant-based milk alternatives in 2024.

6. Complex Heat

Move over, Red Hot. The spice aisle continues to heat up with trendy global peppers appearing in supermarket aisles and cuisines. Beyond the national sriracha shortage, specialty peppers including Scorpion Peppers and Hungarian Goathorn Peppers are becoming more prominent, whether the peppers are pickled, sauced, or oiled.

7. Sober Curious

Just like in 2023, consumers continue to opt for alcohol-free and reduced alcohol offerings in a movement often called “the new sobriety.” According to Datassential, “Nearly half of consumers (49%) are interested in low-alcohol cocktails and 45% of consumers are interested in craft 'mocktails' and CBD-infused beverages, respectively.” Beyond avoiding a hangover, “new sobriety” emphasizes intentionality and the mental benefits of drinking less. I’ll drink to that.

8. Send Noods

Move over, Cup Noodles (which, BTW, did you know are microwaveable?!). College students and chefs alike have been upgrading instant ramen for years now, but in 2024, it seems like the brands will be doing the heavy lifting for us. Recently, food brands have developed more gourmet options to rival the classics — minus the additional preservatives and MSG.

Instant noodles — such as Spoon’s fave, the plant-based immi eats — bring the warmth and coziness of a classic cup with quality ingredients and warm flavors.

9. Little Treats

Thanks to TikTok, “Little Treat Culture” is now mainstream and not just something I do to get myself through math homework. We all understand the power of a treat, whether it’s an on-campus Starbucks drink to pregame a library study session, or a pack of peanut butter cups at the Trader Joe’s register as a reward for running necessary errands. This year, brands have hopped on the trend in both cost and format, from individual-sized packages or single cans of kombucha.

10. Protein-Packed Snacks

Protein-packed products are at the forefront of everyone’s minds this year — and Google searches. According to Spate’s annual report, "high protein" took the top spot for searches in snack trends, and companies are making it even easier to get a full serving of protein in a single snack. Our faves are CHOMPS jerky sticks, Koia’s plant-based low-sugar protein shakes, and Barebells protein bars from our beloved TJs.

11. Fancy Fish

Tinned fish became the official #HotGirlFood of summer 2022, and after its popularity soared (or swam?) in 2023, it’s safe to say that it’s sticking around next year. Full of omega-3s, tinned fish is a nutrient-dense and tasty snack to tide you over until dinner, so it makes sense that the food world would dip its toes into the vegan ponds. Reputable plant-based seafood brands are stepping up to the plate to upgrade your average imitation crab. Whole Foods predicts “carrots in place of lox, trumpet mushrooms for scallops, and the root vegetable konjac getting its moment in sushi rolls and poke bowls.” We’ll “sea” what 2024 brings.