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In Focus: F&B@Sea

New Seatrade Cruise F&B trends report shows experiential dining on the rise

The report reveals several key trends influencing shipboard drinking and dining
Demand for local cuisine, authentic cultural food experiences and immersive dining will gather pace in 2024 and beyond, according to a new report from Seatrade Cruise.

The second Seatrade Cruise Food & Beverage Trends Report, whose results indicate a momentum towards experiential dining and/or opportunities for passengers to connect with communities visited via their gastronomy, is available now to download.

As the basis for the report, Seatrade conducted an online survey involving 74 participants that captured  the views of cruise lines, manufacturers, distributors, suppliers of food or beverage, or both, while also representing the views of associations, training providers and consultancies.

F&B@Sea, a two-day experience catering to the cruise food and beverage community, will take place April 10-11 at the Mana Wynwood Convention Center in Miami, Florida, running alongside Seatrade Cruise Global, running April 8-11 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

The global food and beverage market is set to be worth $8.9tn by 2026 with six leading cruise lines accounting for over $2bn in food and beverage annually. 

Food and drinks trends

Authentic cultural food experiences (45.21%,) immersive dining (32.88%,) and local culinary options (31.51%) are the three food trends most likely to take off during the period 2024/25. Sustainability is also expected to be a key focus within the culinary space, with 26.03% of respondents choosing plant-based diets and produce, 21.92% selecting sustainable agriculture/ sustainably sourced seafood, and the same number specifying zero-waste cooking.

Overall, cruise ship cuisine will continue to be broad – ranging from Asian fusion with the highest number of votes (54.79%) to Levantine with the least amount of votes (5.48%) – and sourcing from remote areas will be facilitated mostly via the support of port agents. 

Low to no alcohol beverages amassed 46.58% of votes, health/wellness supplement drinks garnered 39.73% of votes, and low to no calorie beverages, 30.14%, indicating an inclination towards drinks with health and wellness in mind. 


On a day-to-day/week-to-week basis, the top three challenges predicted for 2024/25 include inflation/price increases (68.92%,) supply chain disruption (48.65%,) and longer lead times for restocking/orders (35.14%,) corresponding with the results of 2023’s Cruise F&B Trends Report. Almost a third of respondents said they were unable to connect with cruise line buyers (32.43%,) and slightly less said they were unsure of current food and beverage trends leading the way in cruise (29.73%.)                               

Obtaining certain produce/alternatives, being unable to meet sustainability demands/new regulations, and suppliers going out of business were seen as less critical factors. Some complexities were associated with rejigging the food and beverage offer/menus, and being unable to provide options for dietary needs.

The complete 2024 Cruise F&B Trends Report is available online