Meat & Livestock News

Cargill Report Unveils Shift Towards Convenience and Global Flavors in 2024 Protein Trends


  • Cargill’s 2024 Protein Profile report highlights a trend towards convenience and fresh, multicultural flavours in protein consumption.
  • Smaller protein packages are becoming more popular due to shrinking household sizes, with a shift towards simpler cooking methods like air fryers and pressure cookers.
  • Gen Z and millennials show a strong preference for Mexican and Chinese cuisines, marking a departure from traditional American favourites, with a significant portion consuming globally inspired dishes.

In its latest exploration of consumer trends, Cargill’s 2024 “Protein Profile” report unveils a growing inclination towards convenience and a palette for fresh, multicultural flavours in the protein sector. This comprehensive analysis delves into the evolving consumer mindsets, desires, and behaviours shaping the protein market.

A standout insight from the report is the “less is more” trend, reflecting a shift in consumer demand towards smaller protein packages. This change is attributed to the decreasing size of average households, alongside a growing preference for cooking methods that embrace simplicity and convenience.

Traditional ovens are increasingly seen as unnecessary for the preparation of modest meals, with air fryers and pressure cookers becoming the go-to appliances for many home cooks. This trend is further evidenced by the fact that heat-and-eat meals now account for 15% of all meal occasions.

The report also highlights a significant transformation in flavour preferences and cuisine choices, particularly among younger generations. For the first time, Gen Z has diverged from the traditional preference for “American” cuisine, instead favouring Mexican and Chinese dishes.

This shift is indicative of a broader appetite for globally inspired culinary experiences, with 58% of Gen Z and 48% of millennials reporting they had consumed a globally inspired dish in the week preceding the survey.

Cargill’s findings underscore a dynamic evolution in the protein market, driven by changing household dynamics, a move towards more convenient cooking solutions, and a growing desire for diverse and globally inspired flavours. These trends reflect a broader shift in dietary preferences and cooking habits, signalling a future of protein consumption that is as varied and global as the consumers it serves.