#TrendSpotting: Culinary Creations for Consumer Cravings in Food Service

 In Trendspotting

Your source for the most up-to-date information on emerging food and beverage trends.


Trends often start in the kitchen, with experimentation happening organically as creative research chefs leverage sometimes common ingredients in unconventional ways.
In a recent survey, conducted by Imbibe, we learned that 91.7% of consumers have dined out at least once in the past six months - fast food being the most popular with 78.3% visiting one in that time.¹
Our survey also revealed consumers are:
Looking for Adventure

When dining out, 55% look for new flavors to try, 46% order what’s new or unique, and 59% agree that they seek seasonal offerings.¹ The quest for adventurous experiences in dining looks different for consumers – some ways we’re seeing it in food service in 2024 are: 

When it comes to finding flavors to scratch consumers’ itch for new and unique options, Imbibe’s flavorists have several for you to choose from to make your products pop.  

Finding Little Treats

The burgeoning little treat culture is reflective of a societal shift towards valuing small, indulgent experiences, prompting individuals to seek out delightful and flavorful treats to elevate their daily routines. 


75% of consumers at least occasionally indulge in dessert beverages when dining out, drawn to the allure of sweet, flavorful concoctions Here are some recent food service product launches reflecting this notion:  

Consumers relish dining out for indulgent experiences, savoring rich flavors and culinary creativity. This can look like decadent treats, creamy desserts, and better-for-you options with bold and fun flavors.  

Liking it Dirty  

Despite consumer interest in clean labels, dirty drinks seem to be holding their interest. It means different things in different categories – the addition of coffee in a Dirty Chai or Matcha, Dirty Martinis are built with a splash of briny olive juice, and Dirty Sodas infuse cream and fruit syrups. 

One theory as to why Dirty Soda is proliferating is because it offers a little luxury, a moment of indulgence and connection that is affordable and a unique experience. Dr. Pepper and Coffee Mate recently teamed up to capitalize on consumer interest, largely influenced by the virality of this trend on social media in 2022.  

Initially bubbling up in Utah, Imbibe’s research indicates that 25% of consumers would consider trying dirty soda in the future.¹


Thirsty for more? 

Email marketing@imbibeinc.com to see if our Epicurated – Food Service edition is right for you and your team! This 45-minute presentation illustrates some of the most popular flavors and behaviors shaping the food service and CPG landscape. Also available – Epicurated: Gen Alpha! 


Check out more on #TRENDSPOTTING, or visit our blog.

1. Imbibe Survey Gen Pop, n=300, 3/24

Listen to Food and Beverage Insights Podcast Episode #XX: Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxx