Pulses, Mushrooms, Salmon Join Top 10 Superfoods for 2024

pulses, mushrooms, salmon join top 10 superfoods for 2024 featured

Pulses, mushrooms, and salmon have joined the list of the top 10 superfoods for 2024, as forecasted by a survey of 564 registered dietitian nutritionists.

The survey, conducted by Pollock Communications and Today’s Dietitian, found that fermented foods, such as yogurt, kimchi, kombucha tea, and pickled vegetables, remained the number-one superfood trend for the seventh consecutive year.

Falling off this year’s top-10 superfoods list were leafy greens, aquatic greens, and non-dairy milk.

The survey also predicted that consumer concerns about gut health would be a major driver of food purchases in 2024, coming in second only to foods that are affordable and value-based.

“The 2024 superfoods and top purchase drivers demonstrate that gut health, while long discussed, is officially making its way into the mainstream among consumers, with no sign of slowing down,” said Mara Honicker, publisher of Today’s Dietitian, in announcing the results of the annual survey, which is now in its twelfth year.

Following fermented foods, the rest of the top 10 superfoods for 2024, as predicted by RDNs, were, in order:

  • Blueberries;
  • Seeds, such as chia and hemp;
  • Avocados;
  • Nuts, such as almonds and walnuts;
  • Green tea;
  • Pulses, such as dry peas, beans, lentils, and chickpeas;
  • Mushrooms;
  • Ancient grains; and
  • Salmon.

Some of the dietitians’ predictions for 2024 trends overlapped with those from SFA’s Trendspotter Panel of food experts. The panel cited ongoing consumer interest in mushrooms, for example, not only for their health benefits, but also for their taste and texture.

“People will discover mushrooms in every food and beverage category, and product developers will find ways to weave in ancient wisdom into new craveable food formats,” said Trendspotter Panel member Kantha Shelke, Ph.D., CFS, IFT Fellow, Corvus Blue LLC.

Shelke also highlighted the prevalence of mushroom products on the show floor of SFA’s recent Winter Fancy Food Show in Las Vegas, describing them as “clean label flavor boosters for the specialty food aisle.”

Both the Trendspotter Panel members and the dietitians also cited the ongoing interest in plant-based diets. Trendspotter Panel members cited the prevalence of new plant-based meat alternatives, such as plant-based bulgogi and seafood, at the Winter Fancy Food Show, while the RDN survey showed a growing interest in plant-based diets.

Plant-based eating has grown to become the second most popular diet trend expected in 2024, after intermittent fasting. The trend is further supported by the additions of plant-based foods, such as pulses and mushrooms, to the top 10 superfoods list.

Meanwhile, the RDNs predict that the ketogenic diet is slowly falling out of favor, dropping to third place in 2024 from second place in 2023. However, despite the popularity of plant-based diets, RDNs noted that consumers are unaware of how much protein is required in their diet and unsure about which plant-based foods contain protein.

Mirroring the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, RDNs continue to prioritize recommending that consumers eat more servings of vegetables every day, limit highly processed foods or fast food, and increase fiber intake.

Consumers’ quest for value in their food purchasing behaviors was also cited by both the dietitians and the Trendspotter Panel members as a key trend for 2024, driven by ongoing inflation in the grocery aisles.

The RDN survey also revealed the growing influence of TikTok as the leading source of misleading nutritional information, leapfrogging over Instagram.

“While most RDNs agree that consumers often turn to social media platforms for nutrition information, they also believe that these sources frequently push health and nutrition misinformation,” the report concluded.

Instagram and Facebook, respectively, were cited as the second and third most likely social media sources to spread misleading health and nutrition information.

Image: Pollock Communications and Today’s Dietitian