Girl Dinner: How New Simple-eating Trends Will Affect Food Marketing Strategies in 2024

Blog image Girl Dinner
January 29, 20245 min
Wesley Allan photo
Wesley Allan Tastewise

In the ever-evolving landscape of food trends and food marketing strategies, the “Girl Dinner” phenomenon has taken center stage, capturing the attention of both consumers and industry experts alike. 

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The concept initially gained popularity on TikTok, with the first video discussing the idea gaining over 30 million views. It involves creating a meal out of various snacks arranged to be aesthetically pleasing, characterized by easy preparations, minimal ingredients, and a focus on creating a hassle-free dining experience. This trend was started by Olivia Maher, who appreciated the simplicity and satisfaction of bread and cheese as a meal during a conversation with a friend. “Girl dinner” allows individuals, particularly women, to enjoy a non-conventional yet fulfilling snack-based meal without the constraints of a typical dinner with protein, veggies, and starch.

While some featured meals are relatable and seemingly harmless, others, such as a can of corn or a woman getting into bed without eating, raise concerns about disordered eating behaviors. Some argue that “girl dinner” can align with intuitive eating, trusting one’s body cues for hunger and satiety. However, if the trend involves consistently small portions, limited food groups, or ritualistic behaviors, it may indicate disordered eating, potentially putting individuals at risk of developing eating disorders.

However, despite some health questions surrounding the girl dinner trend, this trend speaks to a far more significant shifting trend throughout food and beverage consumption in 2024. There is a greater shift in the way that social media food trends affect what we eat, how we eat, and how CPG companies must shift to reflect the changing diet trends amplified by social media.

What has caused it?

Social media profoundly influences food trends by providing a global platform for rapidly sharing visually appealing culinary content. From Instagram-worthy photos to user-generated recipes, the visual and interactive nature of platforms like Instagram and Pinterest accelerates the adoption of specific dishes, ingredients, and cooking techniques.

How Simple-Eating Trends Will Spice Up Food Marketing Strategies

The impact of Girl Dinner trends extends beyond individual choices to shape broader consumer dining habits and influence food marketing strategies. 

For those in the food and beverage industry, Girl Dinner presents a fantastic opportunity for new, more convenient dinner packages designed for a new eating style. Recently, Tastewise decided to investigate this phenomenon further by running an in-depth survey to see the effect of the girl dinner phenomenon on dining habits. 

The survey sheds light on individuals’ preferred ingredients and preparations in Girl Dinner and highlights some vital points regarding product positioning and innovation strategies. 

What do these trends mean regarding consumer dining habits?

Originating from a shift towards more straightforward and casual dining experiences, Girl Dinner represents a departure from elaborate meals to straightforward, uncomplicated choices

The Girl Dinner trend has shown young women opting to eat smaller, snack-like meals, usually lower in nutrient density, purely to satiate themselves rather than as a means of total satisfaction.

Consumers primarily focus on convenient, quick, and attractive meal solutions because 53% more respondents are looking for an easy experience over a fun experience with a Girl Dinner. 

Not only has the girl dinner trend affected how people prepare their food, but also the food they tend to eat. Chicken, being 15% more popular than fish, and the dominance of salad over pizza by 2.2 times underscores the shift towards lighter and more straightforward choices. 

These speak to a greater trend linked to burnout and mental exhaustion often experienced by young people starting careers, with many health experts warning that this overly-simplistic view towards nutrition can lead to eating disorders. However, for the most part, the girl dinner trend has ushered in a push to more simplistic, nostalgic eating styles to match what seems an ever-more chaotic world to consumers.

How can companies alter their product innovation to match these trends?

The rise of Girl Dinner reflects a broader shift in consumer preferences towards simpler and more convenient dining experiences. 

As a result, products such as pre-packaged salads or easy-to-prepare chicken dishes may resonate well with the target audience. Additionally, considering the popularity of fried preparations, companies could explore healthier alternatives for fried foods or provide convenient ready-to-cook options.

Food marketers and companies in the industry must pay attention to these trends, leveraging insights from surveys like the Girl Dinner Survey to inform product innovation and marketing strategies. By understanding and adapting to the evolving landscape of consumer preferences, companies can stay ahead in the competitive food market in 2024.


Which ingredients are you likely to include in your Girl Dinner?

Survey responses reveal that chicken is favored over fish, indicating a preference for lean protein. Additionally, the inclusion of charcuterie, crackers, and avocado suggests a desire for a balanced yet simple dining experience.

To get started on your Girl Dinner, here is a simple yet healthy snack board recipe that you can whip up satisfy that hunger.

What type of experience are you looking to have with Girl Dinner?

The overwhelming preference for an easy experience over a fun one suggests that convenience is a key factor in consumer choices. Companies should consider this when crafting marketing messages and developing products that align with the desire for simplicity and ease.

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