Food Trends in Europe: Key Insights in the Food and Beverage Industry

See how macro trends are impacting the European food and beverage industry

June 24, 2024 – Numerous key trends and innovation themes open the door to opportunities for food and beverage launches by manufacturers. The background to the trends, global macro context behind trends, and changes in consumer lifestyle behaviors all shape the development of food and beverage launch trends. Data on consumers from the UK, France, Germany and Spain adds depth to the trends.

Global Macro Context Drives European Food and Beverage Trends

The environment is a top global concern, with health of the planet as the #1 issue for European consumers. One aspect of the environment is climate change and its effects on health, food security and the economy. Another global concern is political instability. The war in Ukraine and Israeli-Palestinian conflict remind European consumers that political instability is on their doorstep. Financial insecurity takes the form of economic uncertainty, job insecurity, and rising cost of living.

Technology Continues to Transform Lives in Europe

Technology can impact food and beverage innovation. CRISPr gene editing is used to improve cultivation of fruits and vegetables and reduce waste. Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to replace jobs, and that leads to fear. Blockchain technology may enable and track phone voting.

Lack of Trust is an Issue for European Consumers

Changing levels of trust may impact food trends in Europe. Approximately half of Europeans participating in consumer trends research say they have less trust in the government than they did during the previous 12-month period. Smaller but still sizable proportions have less trust in large/global brands and companies, and in traditional and social media. Nearly one-third of those participating in consumer trends research say their trust has risen in small, local companies and brands. European consumers are concerned about personal data security and cybercrime.

Key Global Issues Vary Across Countries

Consumer food trends in Europe are different depending on the country. While health of the planet is the top issue of concern across European countries, consumers in France and Spain are the most worried about the environment. Additionally, Spanish consumers are concerned about economic uncertainty and job insecurity. In Germany and France, consumers are worried about political instability. According to consumer trends research consumers in the UK and France are more concerned about wealth and income inequality and about terrorism than are other European consumers. Nearly all European consumers report making lifestyle changes because of their concerns about global issues.

Food Trends in Europe

Personal Issues of Concern Vary Across Countries

Consumer trends show that consumers across Europe have different personal concerns. Personal finances are a major issue of concern in most countries. Consumers in the UK also worry about lack of good healthcare. In most countries, housing affordability is a worry. French consumers also worry about pollution and stagnant wages. Germany is the only country where the lack of affordable, healthy nutritious food is among the top personal concerns.

Food Trends in Europe: Consumers Seek a Healthier Lifestyle

Beyond spending for living essentials, European consumers also spend on health and wellbeing. Food trends in Europe show that consumers lead a healthier lifestyle because they want to feel well. They also want to age well and be healthy physically. Younger consumers want physical and mental health, along with looking good.

Diet and Nutrition are Central to Healthier Living

Consumers see adopting a healthy, nutritious diet as the #1 priority to living healthily. Engaging in physical exercise, weight management and looking after mental wellbeing are also highly important to healthier living for consumers. Healthier eating habits are becoming more established in food trends in Europe – eating more whole plant foods, avoiding or cutting down on alcohol, eating food and beverage that supports body functions (e.g., immunity, gut), and eating more healthy fats e.g., omega-3, are all popular.

Feeling well is the #1 driver for leading a healthier lifestyle across countries in Europe. In Germany and Spain, physical health concerns is the second most important driver followed by aging well. In the UK and France, it is the inverse, with aging well ranking ahead of physical health concerns. Eating a healthy, nutritious diet, regular physical activity and watching weight are the top aspects consumers have engaged in most to live more healthily across countries. Consumers in Spain are most likely to have incorporated more whole plant foods and eaten more healthy fats. The proportion cutting down on alcohol is similar across countries, while those eating food and beverage to support body functions is highest in Spain and lowest in the UK.

Food Trends in Europe: Consumers Live Consciously

European consumers are supporting the environment by reducing food waste, recycling and upcycling, looking for sustainable packaging, and traveling less by car. They say that companies in Europe should offer sustainable packaging, protect nature, reduce carbon, and source locally.

European Consumers Prioritize Spending

Consumer food trends in Europe show that family and friends plus food and drink are top spending priorities. European consumers value social gatherings, special foods and beverages at home, and family meals. Eating at home more frequently is a growing trend. When consumers order restaurant food to be delivered, it’s because they lack time and energy.

Treats and Rewards are Important

European consumers prefer simple, everyday sources of pleasure. They like to treat themselves with smaller everyday treats to be consumed, plus bigger experiences and events. Trends research shows that European consumers value close connections with family members, friends, and partners. For some consumers, time for themselves also is important.


This article is based on our report, “Consumer Insider: Europe Consumer Trends – Opportunities for 2024 .” If you are interested in reading this report, feel free to request a demo.
You can do this by either booking a demo or using our Contact Form.

More inspiration

From flavors to packaging, category trends to consumer behavior. We drill down into inspiring and intriguing cases to reveal what’s happening, why, and the implications for the sector.

Share this trend

Contact me for a demo

Didn’t find what you were looking for today?

Let us know what topics you’re interested in, and we’ll show you how Innova can help you get the insights you need

Explore our Insights, Reports and Trends

Before you go

Sign up to receive webinar invites, our latest blogs and information on new Innova products and services.  

Explore our Insights, Reports and Trends

Receive updates