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Food Trends to Try in 2024

Many predictions have been made about what we’ll eat and drink in 2024. These are typically based on chefs’ forecasts, the food industry and what’s happening on social media. While some trends are best left to specialty restaurants or the TikTok crowd, here are a few you can try at home. Imagine stirring white chocolate creamer into your coffee, drinking non-alcoholic beverages at cocktail hour, or arranging buckwheat crackers and charred cabbage on a snack plate for dinner. If that sounds delicious to you, read on for fun ideas of what you might sample this year, plus how you can find it at Beacon Hill!

White Chocolate Everywhere

Growth of white chocolate consumption is expected to top $9.05 billion by 2027, and is one trend the Food Network sees as growing rapidly in 2024. Several big-name chocolate producers are introducing new white chocolate products to the market. These include items such as coffee creamers, candy and a variety of baked goods featuring white chocolate. Be on the lookout in the Bistro for a chance to indulge in the white chocolate raspberry cupcake the next time Pastry Chef Tracy puts it on the menu.

Non-alcoholic Spirits and Wine at Happy Hour

Peruse any grocery store’s spirit aisle and you’ll see evidence of the rapidly growing non-alcoholic and low-alcohol drink category. Many beverage brands are expanding into this popular segment of the market. Sales of non-alcoholic beer are up 19.5% from a year ago, according to the consumer intelligence company NielsenIQ. Experts say this growth is due to younger generations who seem less interested in consuming alcohol and more interested in overall wellness. Check out our “Zero Proof” section of our beverage menus along with our restaurants’ special seasonal mocktails.

Buckwheat as the New Flour

A gluten-free flour, buckwheat is a nutritional powerhouse as it is naturally high in minerals, fiber and antioxidants. The flour can increasingly be found in crackers, granola, cereals, pastas, breads and more. Traditionally, buckwheat is thought of as the main ingredient in soba noodles, although it’s popular in dishes around the world. Keep your eyes open for soba noodles in future Garden Café specials! As an additional benefit, buckwheat crops help regulate soil health. As more food brands make it a mission to improve agriculture conditions, buckwheat flour consumption is expected to trend upwards.

Cabbage is the “It” Food

The humble vegetable, cabbage, is having a moment. Drenched in sauces of all sorts, breaded, fried, baked or charred, the vegetable is appearing on menus across the country in creative, new renditions. According to a New York Times’ recent article, cabbage, once a versatile accompaniment to a meal, is now the showstopper at many fine dining establishments. Chefs say that a growing affinity for kimchi and sauerkraut as foods with healthy gut-bacteria, as well as more interest in plant-forward dishes, have elevated cabbage to a new degree of consumption. Chef Luke loves to think of creative ways to use cabbage and the entire cabbage family, so be sure not to pass up the brussels sprouts next time its paired with your catch of the day.

The Snack Plate as Dinner

In recent years, charcuterie board meals have skyrocketed in popularity. Elaborate displays of fruits, cheeses, meats and nuts create an interactive and yet casual vehicle for eating together. Specialty-themed boards, such as dessert charcuterie, or color-schemed, populate social media. Last year, the trend of “girl dinner” took off, which is essentially a grownup version of a snack plate for one. These meals require little preparation or cooking, aside from assembling items together. This style of casual eating and entertaining is expected to continue to reach new heights. You can always build your own snack plate with items in the Bistro Marketplace! It’s a fun way to enjoy a variety of flavors.

Whether or not these food and drink trends of 2024 stick around, it’s fun to try new items and ways of sharing meals together. Bon appetite!

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Beacon Hill at Eastgate is a distinctive, not-for-profit retirement community located in Grand Rapids’ desirable Eastgate neighborhood.

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