Nutrition for Healthspan Initiative

2024 Trends

Unveiling the 2024 Food Trends 
In 2024, key trends redefine health and nutrition. The first, addresses the alarming rise in Alzheimer’s in ages 30-44. Eating styles like healthy ketogenic and Mediterranean, as well as intermittent fasting, gain prominence. Snacking evolves towards protein-focused, natural choices, meeting diverse consumer needs. Hydration intertwines with healthspan, emphasizing functional beverages and water stewardship—the culinary landscape shifts towards longevity-inspired diets, echoing Blue Zones research. Plant-based, nutrient-rich foods take center stage, again along with intermittent fasting. Healthy aging undergoes transformation led by Generation X, emphasizing a proactive healthspan approach. Nutrition is paramount, with a focus on age-related condition prevention. 


Food for Brain Health & Prevention of Disease  

A startling report released by Blue Cross Blue Shield states diagnosis rates of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) have increased by 407% in ages 30-44. (1) Family history is a strong predictor of risk. (2) Thus, prevention strategies are critical for our nation’s younger generations – who are establishing their careers and raising families and who may not even know they have an increased risk of AD based on family history.  The good news is that researchers have recently identified several dietary trends showing great promise, along with other lifestyle-focused measures, in preventing and reversing AD. These nutritional trends include: 

  • Intermittent fasting, which promotes autophagy – a natural cleaning and healing process within the brain and body (3-5),  
  • The Mediterranean and MIND diets, which focus on a daily eating style including vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, whole grains, fish and seafood and extra virgin olive oil (6,7), 
  • A healthy ketogenic diet is high in healthy fats, provides sufficient high-quality protein and fibre and is very low in carbs. The healthy keto diet prompts the production of ketones, and a growing body of research shows that ketones are very effective in improving cognition and many other health benefits (8). 


  • Early-onset dementia and Alzheimer’s rates grow for younger American adults. Blue Cross Blue Shield. (2020). 
  • Talboom JS, Håberg A, Huentelman MJ., et al. Family history of Alzheimer’s disease alters cognition and is modified by medical and genetic factors. Elife. 2019 
  •  Elias A, Padinjakara N, Lautenschlager NT. Effects of intermittent fasting on cognitive health and Alzheimer’s disease. Nutr Rev. 2023 Aug. 
  • Yoon G, Song J. Intermittent Fasting: a Promising Approach for Preventing Vascular Dementia. J Lipid Atheroscler. 2019 May 
  • Boccardi V, Pigliautile M, Guazzarini AG, Mecocci P. The Potential of Fasting-Mimicking Diet as a Preventive and Curative Strategy for Alzheimer’s Disease. Biomolecules. 2023 July 
  • Agarwal P, Leurgans SE, Agrawal S., Association of Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay and Mediterranean Diets With Alzheimer Disease Pathology. Neurology. 2023 May 
  • National Institute of Aging:
  • Davis JJ, Fournakis N, Ellison J. Ketogenic Diet for the Treatment and Prevention of Dementia: A Review. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology. 2021
  • Dowis, J, Banga, S. The Potential Health Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet: A Narrative Review. Nutrients. 2021 May
  • Tabaie, EA, Reddy, AJ, Brahmbhatt, H. A Narrative Review on the Effects of a Ketogenic Diet on Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease. AIMS Public Health. 2022 

Healthy Snacking Continues Evolving as More Consumers Seek Better Snack Choices

This year’s trends lean toward keeping the snacks focused on protein and natural ingredients, along with diverse snacking occasions, while indulgent formulations and formats are boosting the appeal of healthy snacks to new levels. More consumers are looking for healthier snack alternatives. 60% of global consumers say they’ve become more aware of mindful snacking (up 4% points from the prior year), while 61% report they always look for healthier snack alternatives (up 7% points). 

  1. When asked why they are choosing better-for-you snacks, the number one answer in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia is “healthier lifestyle.”
  2. High-protein snacks are all the rage, with consumers choosing bars, RTD shakes, and shakes made from powder. US Consumers increased their consumption of protein-fortified products across all age groups, with 32–45-year-olds dominating.
  3. This group favored protein pancakes, breakfast cereals, and RTD shakes the most, underscoring the importance protein provides for satiety and the morning meal.
  4. When is the most popular snacking occasion for these protein snacks occurring? According to Glanbia Nutritionals, before/after going to the gym, watching TV/playing video games and during a work or study break. Consumers are choosing these snacks to meet a range of needs, wanting something that tastes really good for morning energy or a meal substitute.
  5. Who doesn’t like a new and exciting snack that comes in various shapes (think bites, balls, squares) and is not only fun but also offers portion control? The opportunity is to create even more format options, especially with healthy snacks. Among US protein bar users, for example, 54% would find protein cookies interesting, while 48% would be interested in protein brownies.
  6. Protein chips (43%) and protein pretzels (42%) also scored well among current protein bar users. 
  7. As healthy snacking demands increase and consumers push to receive both nutrition and natural ingredients without sacrificing the flavorful indulgence and excitement in doing so, creating snacks to meet the needs will keep product developers leaning in listening to their market consumers in fast-track mode.


  • Innova Market Insights, Snacking with Benefits – Sweet Snacks-Global, May 2023 
  • Innova Market Insights, Snacking in the US, 2022 
  • Glanbia Nutritionals, Healthy Snacking Study, 2022

Hydration for an Extended Lifespan. Sipping Into a Healthier Tomorrow.

In 2024, the hydration trend will become increasingly intertwined with nutrition and healthspan, reflecting a growing understanding of the vital role hydration plays in overall health and longevity. Functional beverages are taking center stage, redefining the way we hydrate. These include drinks that contain “clean caffeine,” beverages to support better sleep and drinks with added pre- and probiotics for gut health. This trend is driven by consumers’ increasing awareness of the importance of gut health, with one in four Americans who try to consume probiotics seeking them out in wellness drinks.  

  1. Hydration is also recognized as a critical factor in maintaining body processes, particularly regarding the kidneys and heart. Water is essential for absorbing carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals throughout the body. It also helps regulate body temperature, flush bodily waste, aids in maintaining blood pressure and prevents kidney damage.
  2. Research shows that proper hydration can add years to your healthspan. Adults who stay well-hydrated appear to be healthier, develop fewer chronic conditions, such as heart and lung disease, and live longer than those who do not get sufficient fluids. 
  3. Moreover, water stewardship is becoming a significant trend in 2024. As environmental consciousness continues to shape consumer choices, consumers are looking for foods and drinks that require less water to grow or produce.

In summary, the 2024 hydration trend is characterized by a growing market for functional hydration products, an increasing understanding of the role of hydration in health and longevity, and a rising emphasis on water stewardship. These trends are shaping how we think about hydration, making it a key component of nutrition and healthspan initiatives. 



Longevity on Your Plate

In 2024, the culinary landscape is transforming towards a more conscious and holistic approach to food, with a primary focus on promoting longevity. This emerging trend draws inspiration from the Blue Zones research, where communities exhibit remarkable longevity and wellbeing. Embracing the wisdom of these hotspots, individuals are turning to a lifestyle that aligns with the dietary habits of centenarians. An essential aspect of this trend is the revision of dietary patterns observed in the “Ascensor” lifestyle, which focuses on plant-based, nutrient-rich foods. This includes an emphasis on whole grains, legumes and various vegetables. The longevity observed in such communities is attributed to diets rich in antioxidants, fibre, and vital nutrients, prioritizing locally sourced, seasonal produce. Superfoods like turmeric, kale and blueberries take center stage, celebrated for their anti-inflammatory properties and potential to support overall wellbeing. Moreover, there’s a growing awareness of the impact of intermittent fasting on longevity, eating windows, mindful eating and a focus on nutrient-rich meals, which all contribute to a more intentional and nourishing relationship with food. In an era where health is wealth, this 2024 food trend is a testament to society’s collective commitment to embracing dietary practices that foster longevity. By adopting lessons from the world’s longest-living, individuals are rewriting the narrative around food, turning it into a powerful ally on the journey to a longer, healthier life. Simultaneously, healthy aging is undergoing a paradigm shift, discarding outdated stigmas and prioritizing the extension of consumers’ healthy years. 


  • Blue Zones research conducted by Dan Buettner.
  • Mintel, Global Food and Drink Trends 2024 

Redefining Healthy Aging 

The narrative of healthy aging is undergoing a profound transformation. It is challenging age-related stigmas and prioritizing the extension of consumers’ healthy years. In response to the growing awareness of ageism, there’s a pressing need to reshape aging discussions, particularly through a functional health lens encompassing aspects like bone, joint and brain health.  

  1. The Generation X (Gen X) is leading the change. Currently in their mid-40s to late 50s (born between 1965 and 1979), they are at the forefront of pioneering a new approach to healthy aging. This entails developing and promoting products that support their diverse lifestyles in the present and for decades. The central focus for aging societies is transitioning towards an extended healthspan—the period of life spent in good health. Achieving this goal demands a proactive and long-term strategy. 
  1. In response, food brands must play a crucial role in guiding consumers through the transitional periods of middle and older adulthood. The lessons learned from the ‘menopausal revolution’ emphasize the importance of addressing various nutritional, physical, mental and emotional health needs. Innovative products and formulations are tailored to issues such as cardiovascular health, brain health and stress. Ensuring that nutrient-rich food and drink are available, affordable, accessible and convenient becomes paramount to promoting healthy aging for all ‘active agers.’
  1. Survey data underscores the significance of nutrition in the healthy aging discourse. A substantial 63% of German Gen Xers (born 1965-1980) agree that maintaining a healthy diet is the most critical factor for staying healthy and feeling well, whereas 76% of Canadian Gen Xers (born 1966-1971) express concerns about aging-related illnesses, highlighting the need for proactive health measures.
  1. Recognizing the pivotal role of optimal nutrition in maintaining overall health as individuals age, brands are called upon to contribute significantly to preventing and managing age-related conditions. Conditions such as diabetes, bone and joint issues and heart disease can be positively impacted through strategic nutritional choices.


  • Mintel. Global Food and Drink Trends 2024 

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