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Source: Curious Plot news release

MINNEAPOLIS -- What are the nation's trend-forward foodies seeking most on their dinner plates tonight? Simplicity with a side of affordability. These are among the findings in the "2024 Consumer Curiosity Report," an analysis of consumers nationwide most likely to set the next food trends.

Released today, the second annual report focuses on 800+ early food adopters from a wide swath of generations, household incomes and U.S. regions. Developed by Curious Plot, a marketing communications agency specializing in food and ag, the study explores these consumers' curiosity about culinary, nutrition and sustainability topics, all to help food marketers better prepare to take advantage of future trends. Download the report here:

Easy Meals and Budget Trending Up, But Exploration is Still Important

For the second year, respondents ranked "Easy (Under 30 Minutes) Meals" as their top curiosity for the year ahead, once again underscoring that even the most food-forward consumers are craving approachable, simple meal inspiration. New this year, respondents consistently listed "Tips for Eating on a Budget" as a top curiosity with 73% of early adopters planning to seek new ways to stretch their grocery and restaurant dollars.

That said, despite contracting budgets, they also are seeking to broaden their culinary experiences.

Among the report's findings:

71% are either very or extremely curious about new ways to prepare vegetables.

69% are very or extremely curious about new snack ideas and products.

65% are very or extremely curious about global/cultural flavors.

63% are very or extremely curious for inspiration for preparing smaller meals, also likely due to inflation.

59% are either very or extremely curious about new ways to prepare fruits.

In addition, 65% of respondents are very or extremely curious about reducing food waste, likely connected to grocery budget pressures.

"We created this study for food marketers to better understand how today's curiosities will influence tomorrow's trends," said Cristie Mather, Vice President, Food, Curious Plot. "While it's clear that simplicity and affordability are ruling the day, it does not take away from the fact that early adopters' curiosity for fruits and vegetables, global flavors and functional ingredients remains strong."

Food as Medicine: It's Not Just for Boomers Anymore

The report also uncovered that younger audiences are increasingly interested in foods that address health issues once embraced mainly by aging consumers:

67% of all respondents are very or extremely curious about foods with cognitive benefits with 72% of millennials and 61% of Gen Z showing high curiosity.

69% are very or extremely curious about foods that improve gut health with 70% of millennials and 63% of Gen Z expressing high curiosity.

68% are very or extremely curious about immunity boosting foods, including 68% of millennials and 57% of Gen Z.
"Generational divides have blurred when it comes to food as medicine," Mather noted. "Food marketers can confidently speak to younger generations about brain health, gut health and immune support in ways that were previously reserved for older generations."

Social Media + Friends and Family Continue to Be Key Influencers

Who and what is influencing these early food adopters the most? 29% listed social media with Instagram the most popular, 20% noted "Friends and Family," 15% reported restaurants and 10% ranked food media.

"To the surprise of no one here at Curious Plot, there is no single path to influencing trend-setting foodies," Mather concluded. "Produce marketers would be smart to feature a strategic mix of social media marketing, influencer collaboration, media relations, paid media, foodservice partnerships and community outreach."

To learn more, download Curious Plot's second annual 2024 Consumer Curiosity Report at

About Curious Plot

Curious Plot is a marketing, communications and consulting agency that represents clients in the food, agriculture and companion animal care sectors. With a shared purpose of "We Believe in Better," the agency's 100+ team members deliver services including go-to-market strategy, public relations, creative, branding, social, digital and media. Anchored by office locations in Minneapolis (HQ), Indianapolis and Portland, Ore., Curious Plot team members are located coast to coast. Learn more at

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