As KeHE predicted in the 2024 Macro Trend Report, current natural customers are making their mark on the food and beverage industry this year. These consumers are swapping out conventional products for natural alternatives, narrowing the gap between mainstream and natural consumers. Watch the KeHE “Current Natural Customers” video to learn more.

“Current Natural Customers” are typically characterized as college-educated, married, middle-class, child-free, and living in urban communities. They are focused on their health and well-being and are willing to pay more for products with clean labels and natural claims despite inflation. This is a rapidly growing consumer group that packs a major punch—especially in the natural & organic, and specialty foods market.

So how do retailers meet the demands of “Current Natural Customers?” Read on for all the details.

Stock Up on Natural Foods

Natural foods are often confused or associated with organic products. While there is a lot of crossover between the two portfolios, natural foods are considered to be nutrient-rich products without artificial ingredients, additives, or processing. Natural foods are unaltered and as nature intended.

Some of the natural foods that top consumers’ shopping lists include:

  • Meat, fish, and meat alternatives (e.g., tofu, tempeh)
  • Yogurt, cheeses, milk, dairy alternatives
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Grains, rice, beans

Know What’s Hot (and What’s Not)

Remember when artificial sweeteners were all the rage? Well, if you didn’t know—aspartame, an artificial non-saccharide sweetener, is on the outs with consumers. But what is taking its place? Natural sweeteners that offer a little hint of sweetness without the risks associated with aspartame.

What else? With beef and chicken prices expected to reach new records this year, consumers are embracing meat alternatives. However, there’s still a craving for protein, leading to the launch of a variety of new protein-packed alternatives.

By staying on top of trends in the industry, you can proactively shift with the market instead of reacting to changes. Some products trending in the aisle right now include:

  • Natural sweeteners like date and maple syrup
  • Probiotics such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha
  • Plant-based meat and vegan options
  • Protein-forward products such as mushrooms and tempeh

Elevate Impact Every Day

The most sought-after brands in the business not only taste delicious but also make an impact. Today’s consumers want the best of both worlds. They want to feel good about the products they put in their carts and support brands with shared values.

As more consumers switch to natural products to improve their health and wellness, they also want brands to champion environmental and social causes. It’s up to retailers to source products committed to future-forward initiatives. Some ways to get started on a path include:

  • Offering more products in bulk and multipacks
  • Providing natural alternatives to consumers
  • Using less packaging and more efficient distribution channels

As a leader in natural & organic, specialty, and fresh products, KeHE is committed to going above and beyond to meet the needs of consumers, brands, and retailers. By offering a variety of clean-label and natural foods, we curate a selection of products that resonate in today’s market while elevating our core values. Stock your shelves here.

To learn how KeHE can help businesses navigate macro trends in 2024, visit