What’s Trending in Nutrition

Originally printed in the April 2024 issue of Produce Business.

The 12th annual What’s Trending in Nutrition survey conducted by Today’s Dietitian and Pollock Communications provides valuable insights into the evolving landscape of consumer preferences, particularly in the realm of fresh produce and dietary trends.

With 564 registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) participating, the survey sheds light on the factors driving consumer purchasing decisions and what dietary trends will emerge in 2024.


Affordability and gut health emerge as prominent concerns shaping consumer behavior. With grocery prices on the rise, affordability is projected to be the top driver of purchasing decisions, with 65% of RDNs highlighting its importance.

The growing body of research supporting the link between a healthy microbiome and overall well-being has secured gut health as a top three purchase driver for the first time in the survey’s history, followed by accessibility and convenience.

As consumers aim to prioritize foods and beverages that support gut health, such as fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, kombucha tea, pickled vegetables and probiotics, the demand for these products is expected to surge.


Plant-based eating continues to gain momentum, emerging as the second most popular diet among consumers, following intermittent fasting, according to the dietitians surveyed. The inclusion of plant-based superfoods like pulses, mushrooms, and avocados in the top 10 list reflects this shift toward plant-centric diets.

The top 10 superfoods for 2024 indicate how consumers are leaning toward a more holistic approach to nutrition, with an emphasis on whole foods that offer a range of health benefits. From fermented foods like yogurt to blueberries, seeds and salmon, these superfoods align with the principles of a Mediterranean-style diet, known for its emphasis on fresh produce.

Here are the top 10 superfoods RDNs predict consumers will seek out in 2024:

  1. Fermented foods, such as yogurt, kimchi, kombucha tea, pickled vegetables
  2. Blueberries
  3. Seeds, such as chia and hemp
  4. Avocados
  5. Nuts, like almonds and walnuts
  6. Green tea
  7. Pulses — dry peas, beans, lentils, and chickpeas
  8. Mushrooms
  9. Ancient grains
  10. Salmon

In line with the dietary guidelines, RDNs continue to advocate for increased consumption of vegetables, reduced intake of highly processed foods and higher fiber intake. These recommendations promote the importance of incorporating fresh produce and nutrient-rich foods into the daily diet to help support overall health and well-being.


RDNs foresee several significant trends shaping the food industry over the next decade, ranking the following as their top four:

  1. Health and immunity, driven by increasing consumer awareness of the importance of nutrition.
  1. Sustainability, reflecting a growing concern for environmental impact and ethical food-sourcing practices.
  1. Plant-based foods and products, aligning with consumers’ desire to improve their health.
  1. Artificial intelligence, in anticipation of its potential to revolutionize various aspects of the food industry.

Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has made lasting changes in consumer behavior, three of which RDNs predict will continue:

  1. Online food shopping, driven by both safety concerns and convenience, reshaping how people access and purchase food.
  1. Greater interest in the connection between gut health and immunity, fueled by the pandemic’s emphasis on the importance of whole-body health.
  1. Greater awareness of healthy foods as a result of consumers increasingly prioritizing nutrition to support their immune systems.

Louise Pollock is the president and founder of Pollock Communications, an award-winning, independent, food, health and wellness public relations agency based in New York City. She has more than 30 years of experience helping clients develop and implement strategic marketing programs that drive success. From Fortune 500 companies to start-up businesses, Louise has worked extensively with brands and commodities on product launches, issues management, crisis communications, media relations and influencer relations. She has won numerous prestigious awards for her work including five Silver Anvil and five Big Apple awards, as well as awards from PRSA-NY, Bulldog and Ragan’s.