Les Dames d’Escoffier International (Les Dames), a distinguished international organization uniting women leaders in the fields of food, beverage, and hospitality, has released an insightful report revealing how the trends of 2023 are influencing predictions for the culinary landscape in 2024. As we embark on International Women’s Month, these findings represent a valuable resource to empower women in an industry predominantly led by men. Visit LDEI.org for the report.

Founded in 1976, the organization has evolved from a singular chapter to encompass 37 American chapters and six international chapters, spanning five countries. With approximately 2,600 members, Les Dames have contributed their expertise and unique perspectives to provide valuable insights into emerging restaurant and hospitality industry trends. This qualitative report compiles comments from experts across various disciplines and professions and is the first of its kind in Les Dames’ 47 years of existence. This is the third publishing of this report. Originally intended to be published every other year due to its complexity, the others were released in 2018 and 2020.

“Navigating the intersection of tradition and innovation, our organization remains at the forefront, illuminating the path for culinary enthusiasts. This report not only reflects our commitment to excellence but also underscores the pivotal role Les Dames plays in championing the culinary arts, fostering creativity, and ensuring a vibrant future for the ever-evolving world of gastronomy,” says Kathy Gold, LDEI President.

The primary objective of this report was to gather the combined insights of Les Dames members regarding current and emerging trends in the food, beverage, and hospitality industry. Additionally, the purpose was to pinpoint critical areas of agreement among participants, offering a unique perspective into the industry. Lastly, the survey compiled a comprehensive report based on this qualitative study, making it readily accessible to food industry professionals and news media and designed to stimulate in-depth discussions about future trends.

Les Dames members volunteered to participate in three Visioning Panels convened in April 2023, including Away From Home Dining, At Home Dining, and Food Production and Manufacturing.

Key findings include:

  • Away From Home Dining: In the realm of casual dining experiences, the demand for high-quality yet quick or on-the-go options is being met by chef-driven fast-casual establishments. Pop-ups with special offerings create excitement and an exclusive atmosphere, while food trucks have become commonplace and easily accessible.
    • Chef Influence: The influence of chefs extends beyond the menu, as they are increasingly viewed as trusted sources of knowledge. Chefs are also gaining recognition for their philanthropic efforts on a global scale. The provenance of ingredients is a significant factor for restaurant patrons, who seek detailed information about the sources of items on the menu, from produce to protein.
    • Special Occasion Dining: In managing indulgence during special splurge occasions, consumers make balanced choices with an increasing array of options. Non-alcoholic beverages are not just a trend but a lasting presence in the culinary landscape.
  • At-Home Dining: In the post-pandemic era, at-home food lifestyles are undergoing a transformative shift. A cooking renaissance is taking place, with honed culinary skills from the pandemic being embraced, aided by tools such as Sous Vide, air fryers, and Insta-pots, making meal preparation easier.
    • Social Media Influence: There is a heightened interest in global flavors and authentic techniques. Social media, particularly TikTok, influences food experiences for the younger generation, from preparation tips to innovative mash-ups. Home delivery continues to simplify everyday life, offering expanded access to exotic ingredients through online ordering. Home entertaining has taken on a creative flair, with younger consumers embracing “grandma chic” table settings, utilizing a mix of family service ware, colored glass, and vintage fabrics for tablecloths.
    • Family Changes: Extended family meals are rising, bringing generations of family and friends together through heritage recipes. In the face of inflation and a focus on healthy eating, kitchen creativity is thriving, and frozen food innovation is reshaping perceptions. Seasonal eating, particularly in plant-based options, is gaining momentum as consumers recognize its positive impact on climate change and global health.
  • Food Production and Manufacturing: Indulgence is evolving to bring joy, with ingredients like ruby chocolate eliminating guilt from the conversation. Protein boosters such as lupin seeds and seaweed are reshaping nutritional standards, offering higher protein and potassium content. Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolutionizes product development and manufacturing, enhancing innovation productivity.
    • Global Flavors: In food production and manufacturing, trends include the rise of smaller, nutritionally responsible snack portions and a shift from Sriracha to trending flavors like Gochujang and North African hot sauces. There’s a move towards real ingredients, responding to consumer preferences for less ultra-processed products with easy-to-understand ingredient statements. Florals like lavender, chamomile, cherry blossoms, and hibiscus are gaining popularity for flavor and health benefits in various culinary applications. In farming, there’s a reduction in land dedicated to food production, and some farms are offering unique, customized experiences to foster a deeper understanding.
    • Nutrition: Waste reduction is growing, with consumers embracing upcycling and discussing an industry-wide upcycle mark. The nutrition frontier explores personalized nutrition, but current offerings often fall short, prompting dietitians to elevate their culinary expertise.


For more information about Les Dames d’Escoffier International, please visit https://ldei.org/.

About Les Dames d’Escoffier International
Les Dames is an international organization of women leaders who create a supportive culture in their communities to achieve excellence in the fields of food, beverage, and hospitality. The organization’s 2,800 members in 42 chapters in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy provide leadership, educational opportunities, and philanthropy. Since its founding in 1985, Les Dames chapters have raised and donated more than $10 million to educational, community non-profits, and philanthropic organizations. For more information, visit www.ldei.org and follow Les Dames on Instagram @lesdamesintl and Facebook @Les Dames d’Escoffier Int’l.