A British company supplying cheese and dairy products to the food manufacture, food service and food wholesale sectors has made its predictions for the trends that will be influencing cheese buying choices in 2024.
Bridge Cheese, based in Telford, believes there will be a number of trends to watch for which will be reflected in consumer and buyer behaviours over the coming 12 months:
Eating Healthy: Healthy eating never really goes out of fashion, but spurred on by sustainability concerns, more people than ever will be looking to include vegetables and pulses in their diet in 2024. A tasty mature cheddar adds zing to lentil casseroles or a vegetable lasagne, plus cheese is also a good way to add protein as well as flavour.
British Fusion: 2024 will see new imaginings of great British cuisine. Cheese is the ideal ingredient to create a flavour fusion with traditional British dishes, particularly combinations with an Italian twist. Think mince meat pies with mozzarella or sausage rolls with a tomato, basil and mozzarella filling.
Value for money: Inflation might be coming down but high commodity prices and interest rates are ensuring that cost remains front of mind for consumers and businesses alike. 2024 will see a continuation of the trend for value for money, where great tasting products meet lower prices to maintain margins. The most popular way to do this is through lower cost cheese blends, mixing natural cheese with or without fat filled alternatives, and consolidating SKUs.
Compare and Contrast: After a year of subtle flavour variations in cheese in 2023, this year is set to be much bolder. Contrasting flavours – in particular sweet and savoury – will be a key theme appearing in our food choices. Think wasabi/miso fish with cheddar or honey and mozzarella in a pork burger.
Provenance: Where products come from is becoming increasingly important to buyers and consumers. We are already seeing an uptick in sales for products with the Red Tractor mark and regional cheeses such as West Country cheddar as the ‘Buy British’ movement gathers momentum. We’ll also see more interest in authentic imports such as Italian Regato.
Viva La Mexico: After a few years out of the spotlight, Mexican flavours are back and trending in 2024. From cheddars with jalapeno to medium fat hard cheeses to top off a spicy creamy sweetcorn or add an extra flavour note to wraps or burritos, it’s one trend we’ll be seeing a lot of in food manufacturing and food service over the next 12 months.
Bridge Cheese’s commercial manager Monica Chauhan is looking forward to working with customers – old and new – on delivering the cheese and dairy products to help them meet the latest trends in 2024:
“Cheese is such a versatile ingredient and the way it’s used in food manufacturing and food service is changing all the time. As a trusted partner to these industries, we have to keep our finger on the pulse and ensure we offer expert advice on the latest trends and that our offer matches the demands of our customers and theirs.
“So while we have a formidable range of standard, off-the-shelf products, our USP has always been our bespoke cheese offer. With so many new flavour trends for 2024, as well as the continuation of established trends such as healthy eating and value for money, we are looking forward to supplying some really exciting and tasty new products this year which will help our customers deliver food which is out of this world.”