Staying ahead of the curve: the changes and challenges faced by food businesses in 2024

All industries across the world must adapt to the latest trends in order to not only survive but also thrive in their respective niches and ensure they can maintain their presence on the market. Fierce competition, higher customer demands, and supply chain delays are some of the most pressing issues affecting markets worldwide at the moment. The food industry is no exception and will continue to face challenges throughout the rest of 2024. Luckily, there’s no shortage of solutions and helpful strategies that can alleviate any potential, but both producers and retailers must be ready to adopt and integrate them as soon as possible to see results. 

bundle of assorted vegetable lot
Image source.

Climate change 

Climate change is one of the most severe challenges the global food industry will have to deal with in the upcoming years, something that shouldn’t come as a shock considering that the warming climate and changes in weather patterns have been shown to affect every single aspect of life on Earth. The higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are expected to deplete iron, zinc, and other vital nutrients from crops, while changes in rainfall patterns make both droughts and floods more likely, both of which can wreak havoc on crops. 

Soil quality becomes more precarious due to these extreme weather events, making it more difficult for plants to develop and thrive as well as they should. Certain types of pests, weeds, and insects are more likely to benefit from the rising temperatures, potentially making the damage to crops more widespread, increasing food insecurity, and creating financial difficulties for farmers and producers who obtain reduced yields and have to sell for higher prices, placing a strain on the wallets of their customers. 

Adapting to climate change is no easy task, especially since the weather is so unpredictable right now. Further investment into developing hardier seeds and crops that can survive in a wide range of conditions is a necessity, especially in the case of staple foods such as maize, wheat, rice, and soy. Producers must also make practical efforts to combat practices that harm the environment and human lives, such as deforestation. The integration of agroforestry practices, namely the planting of trees and shrubs alongside crops can prevent the damage from flash floods, as well as being better for the soil and air quality overall. 


Being sustainable is no easy thing, as it takes consistency, dedication, and a commitment to continuous learning and development since there’s always something you could improve. One of the most important things companies must have in mind is the importance of working with suppliers and businesses that are just as aware of the importance of sustainability, otherwise the finished product can never be deemed in accordance with sustainability standards. For instance, you should look for a supplier that can provide you with high-quality cocoa ingredients that respect sustainability standards. 

Cocoa butter can be used not just for desserts but also as a plant-based alternative to meat and cosmetics, while the specialty fats obtained from the raw materials are also commonly used in the snack food market. This example perfectly illustrates the broad scope of a single ingredient in the sector, highlighting the importance of care and attention when creating a sustainable product. Protecting biodiversity, reducing water consumption and the use of pesticides, as well as enduring ethical work environments and guaranteeing animal welfare are some of the other crucial elements that must be part of the sustainability strategy of every company. 

You cannot achieve all this overnight, and there will definitely be mistakes along the way, but instead of letting these setbacks weigh you down, you should learn from them to move forward. 

Supply chains 

The supply chain is the backbone of any business regardless of market, and the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the numerous vulnerabilities that are deeply embedded into how this system operates across the globe. Managing the supply chain in a more efficient fashion is one of the critical challenges the food industry must confront in 2024, a task that won’t be easy at all considering that the geopolitics remain strained in many regions of the world while the incidence of natural disaster resulting from climate change can cause failures or delays that impact your brand’s reputation. 

Estimations show that climate disruptions alone can cause up to $25 trillion in net losses by the middle of the century. Food businesses need to build resilience so that they can ensure they remain as consistent as possible and can continue to deliver their products according to plan. Breaking down barriers, ensuring visibility, and fostering transparency are crucial for achieving visibility. Trust and collaboration among stakeholders will also ensure that the supply chain remains fully operational at all times. 

Risk management tactics must become more realistic, meaning that a comprehensive plan is a necessity. Business owners must be aware of both the frequency as well as the scope and impact of these disruptions. Although implementing solid practices is crucial, maintaining a certain degree of flexibility will ensure that you can meet unexpected changes head-on and not be significantly affected by them. Transparency is also crucial and is a fundamental part of any strong supply chain as it makes room for better coordination, a higher level of trust, better relationships with suppliers, and enhanced customer satisfaction as a result of more accurate decision-making. 


Customer satisfaction is a crucial aspect of business success, but it can be complicated to keep up since trends shift so quickly. This doesn’t only pertain to the apparel and beauty industries, but also to the food sector. The customer demand for plant-based or vegan products, as well as organic and locally-grown produce, is becoming increasingly higher. Shoppers dealing with food intolerances and allergies are also asking for alternatives that are safe for them to consume, a niche where further improvements and more variety are still very much needed. Improving label information, using technology to keep track of market trends, and listening to what your clients would like to see from you in the future are all essential factors to consider when coming up with new products. 

Marketplaces are changing worldwide, and it takes no small amount of know-how to move forward efficiently. Having a comprehensive strategy will enable you to keep growing and developing your business.