2023 Top Food Trends

Originally Published: July 28, 2022
Last Updated: March 23, 2023
2023 Top Food Trends

Global Food Forums’ 2022 Protein Trends & Technologies Seminar,  (October 25-26) is the industry’s only in-person product development event solely dedicated to protein ingredients.  Click the link above for more conference details including speakers, technical presentations, location, cost and other relevant information.

Global Food Forums and its related websites (Clean LabelProtein Trends & Technologies and Sweetener Systems) again provide an annual list of “top food trends lists” with a 2023 Top Food Trends addition. Here we offer a look at various predictions for 2023 and beyond. Click on each headline below for more detailed information from the list source. MORE TO COME!

See 2023 trends predictions below from: Spoonshot, ADM, The Next Big Things, Dietary Supplement, Innova Market, Mintel, Yelp, NRA, Specialty Food
Also see other Top Food Trends Lists,

Spoonshot® Food Brain Predicts Trends for 2023 & Beyond

  1. Urgen-sea – The need for seafood alternatives has become apparent—reasons include consumer perception of health; sustainability; opportunity for innovation; dramatic increase in seafood consumption due to flexitarian diet; and  plant-based seafood is small space compared to other plant-based categories.
  2. A Clean Plate – Calls for clean label claims in plant-based foods are becoming louder. Concerns over ultraprocessing and long lists of ingredients has resulted in ingredient supplier innovation of clean label, plant-based functional ingredient replacers for texture, flavor and appearance of label-unfriendly ingredients.
  3. Earthy Endeavor – Soil health emerges as an important part of sustainable food production. Brands have started investing in regenerative farming to improve soil fertility and in turn, crop nutrition and human health.
  4. The Spice is Right – Emerging  Flavors to watch out for. Chaat masala and global heat from a variety of novelty peppers will gain momentum in the coming years.
  5. Ms’d Opportunities – Expanding research into women’s health opens up opportunities for food & drink brands. Areas of focus include life stages from birth to adulthood to aging.
  6. The High Life – THC and psilocybin have potential as the next major “adult” functional foods, as consumers become more open toward these once-banned ingredients. Mental health issues have driven the need for wellness solutions. Many of these functional ingredients are considered adaptogenic or nootropic.

ADM Announces 8 Global Trends for 2023

New research based on ADM’s far-reaching global network highlights trending focus areas for consumers around the world. (See content at the link above for trend sources.)

  • Expanded Protein Choices – Some 52% of global consumers consider themselves flexitarians, incorporating both animal-based and plant-based or other alternative proteins into their diet..
  • Balanced Wellness – Emotional, mental, physical, even spiritual health are increasingly seen by consumers as being intertwined. Some 48% of global consumers plan to address their mental well-being over the next year, making the issue among their top concerns after immune function, digestive and heart health.
  • Proactive Personalization – Some 63% of global consumers say they are interested in food and drink products that are customized to meet their individual nutritional needs.
  • Trust and Traceability – …Consumers want to know where their food comes from, who made it and precisely what ingredients are included.
  • Earth-Friendly Production – Globally, 49% of consumers claim to have changed their diet in the last two years to lead a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. Consumers want proof of environmental rebuilding and restoration.
  • Social Impact – Almost 30% of global consumers have actively boycotted a product or brand because of its ethical credentials, and 40% seek out brands that guarantee farmers have been treated in an ethical manner.
  • Modern Pet Parenting – For many, pets are part of the family, and their nutritional and emotional needs are being treated on par with their owners.
  • Experiential Eating – Increasingly, global consumers are getting more adventurous with their food, as 74% express a desire to try new flavors from around the world and 63% report they like to be experimental when cooking.

Dietary Supplement Categories Trending in 2023

By Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, RH(AHG), Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, NutraScience Labs, and Professor of Nutraceutical Science at Huntington University of Health Sciences for Whole Foods Magazine. [Article references are accessed through the link above.]

  • Bone and Joint Health Products ― [Despite data indicating sales of supplement ingredients related to joint health decreased by 2.3% (52 weeks ending Dec. 26, 2021)]…trends are now suggesting a renaissance for the joint health market. Look at other nutraceuticals besides glucosamine and chondroitin for joint and bone health such as Vitamin K2 and Cucumber extract.
  • Hydration Products ― The market size of hydration products is expected to increase by $231.39 million at a CAGR of almost 7% by 2025. Electrolytes are the prominent category. Consider the use of multiple transportable carbohydrates, which are a mix of glucose and fructose, or maltodextrin and fructose, in a ratio of roughly 2:1.
  • Eye health ― Globally, the eye health supplements market is expected to achieve a CAGR of 6.25% during 2022-2027. Originally eye health products popularity was driven to a large extent by AREDS studies that examined slowing age-related macular degeneration. Lutein products, which provide protection against the harmful effects of blue light from digital devices, have also become relatively common. I suggest considering the other carotenoids for eye health: capsanthin, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin.

Innova Market Insights Top Ten Trends 2023 

Innova’s annual Top Ten Trends are based on wide-ranging global consumer surveys. Coupled with comprehensive market and new product data, they reveal not only what is driving consumer decisions now but also ways in which brands and innovators can successfully adapt to future realities.

  1. Redefining Value ― This is the top F&B trend for 2023, as consumers adapt to a global cost-of-living crisis in the face of economic and political volatility. With budgets stretched and supplies under strain, brands must be flexible in action and open to connecting more with consumers, while also taking full advantage of rapidly emerging technologies.
  2. Affordable Nutrition ― Consumers are turning their attention to simple but affordable nutritious goods. Key behaviors include buying in bulk, opting for private labels, cooking from scratch, reducing luxury items and purchasing fewer items. “Shrinkflation,” ingredient substitution and reaching new customers are just some company strategies. Manufacturers must innovate to extract maximum value from raw materials and the production process.
  3. Generational Push ― For Gen Z and Millennials, food and brand
    choices are important signifiers of lifestyle, beliefs and values. While health is an increasingly important purchase driver – as with older generations – novel and international flavors are winning the hearts of a young and experimental
    audience. “Gen Z’s, in particular, research everything…question everything, question all the trends and are active participants in them.
  4. Plant-Based: Unlocking a New Narrative ― The rapid rise of the plant-based sector has hit some roadblocks necessitating a refocusaround consumer demands for high-quality, flavorful products. Two-thirds of Innova’s global survey respondents expressed a desire to try plant-based versions of traditional, local cuisines.
  5. Farming the Future ― Public curiosity for innovative technologies such as vertical and regenerative farming is increasing. Today’s consumer is increasingly invested in the food source as it ties in with major global health, sustainability and waste concerns. The welfare of agricultural workers is equally important, with 65% of respondents to Innova’s surveys agreeing they would rather buy fruit and vegetables from farmer’s markets than large stores.
  6. Quick Quality ― Has been building last few years. For example, elevating ready meals allows for a stronger value-added position. Consumers are seeking more than convenience. The highest priority is cost (value for money); second, freshness and third, health aspects. Convenience drops to position 6.
  7. Devouring Digital ― Brands are starting to embrace the full potential of consumer connections by enhancing real life with digital experiences. Mering food with digital experiences is key to reaching younger consumers.
  8. Revenge Spending ― Revenge Spending. Small pleasures have a heightened effect as luxury spending comes under pressure. Look for opportunities to enhance brand perception for quick wins with small pleasures.
  9. Unpuzzle Health ― On-pack messaging is a go-to source for consumers keen to know about a product’s health and nutritional value. In a 2022 Innova Trends survey that asked consumers, “To what extent do you use the following sources of information to determine how healthy a product is?” the top response was the “Ingredient list” followed by “Nutrition label.” “On pack claims” was ranked 5th and 4th in North America and Europe, respectively, and 3rd in Latin America and Asia.
  10. Positively Imperfect ― Openness about the complexities of sustainability is appreciated by consumers who do not expect brands to be 100% perfect. “More than 3 in 5 consumers globally say that their “trust in the brand increases” when the brand communicates the challenges that they are facing on the product.

Mintel’s 2023 Global Food and Drink Trends

Mintel, the experts in what consumers want and why, has today announced four key trends that will shape global food and drink industries in 2023, over the next five years and beyond:

  • Weatherproofed Provisions: Consumers need food and drink formulations that help them endure heat waves, sub-zero temperatures and disastrous weather events.
  • Staying Sharp: Focus and productivity are the next mental and emotional well-being functionalities consumers will seek. Consumers will look for food and drink that influence cognitive capacity, manage stress levels and optimize brain function.
  • Cosmic Comforts: As Earth endures more chaos, space will become a source of optimism, innovation and connection. New technologies, including resource-efficient agriculture and powdered protein, will come to light, giving food and drink brands a wider variety of space-inspired themes.
  • Minimalist Messaging: Clear and simple communication will be essential to connect with fatigued consumers. Products with clean designs that highlight natural ingredients and key health benefits will satisfy shoppers looking to escape information overload.

Yelp’s 2023 Food Trends

To help you navigate 2023’s rising trends, Yelp tapped its team of Data Scientists, Community, and Trend Expert Tara Lewis to see what trends are about to feature in everyone’s newsfeed.

  1. The michelagua ― This year, the michelagua has emerged as a tasty non-alcoholic alternative to the popular Mexican drink. Using beer-free mixes to complement an agua fresca, the michelagua typically comes in three flavor options: mango, pineapple, and spinach or cucumber with lime.
  2. Margaritas ― Whether you’re a fan of frozen margaritas, the classic frosé, or the Starbucks secret menu apple berry freeze slushie, frozen drinks dominate—both boozy and sans alcohol!
  3. Experiential dining ― Destination dining options, such as dinner theater, underwater restaurants, or the popular new restaurants at Restoration Hardware, offer views, activities, or entertainment, all while enjoying a meal.
  4. Brine dining ― Pickle-flavored products ― Pickles add a vinegary zest to everything from chips and ice cream to Pickle Martinis. From drinks to desserts, this classic comfort food is making its way from side dish to entree.
  5. Oxtails ― Long-cooked, rich-flavored oxtail…many festivals and food trucks feature tasty ways to serve oxtail. Yelpers everywhere have been searching for places to get their hands on this meaty dish.
  6. “Dirty sodas” ― Originating in Utah, dirty sodas are a sweet treat consisting of soda, cream, and flavored sweetener or syrup.
  7. Tea ― Tea is always trendy, from bubble tea to Earl Grey, but …a lightly roasted form of Japanese green tea, hojicha featuring a sweet flavor and no bitterness, is a new emerging tea trend this year.
  8. Mocktails ― Sophisticated, booze-free cocktails are becoming the drink of choice for celebrities and influencers alike. Celebs like Bella Hadid and Blake Lively are creating their own mocktail brands.
  9. The Suprême ― This viral dessert sent New York (and the internet) into a craze…The Suprême, made by Lafayette Grand Café & Bakery in NoHo, is a cream-filled croissant.
  10. ’90s nosh: Fast-food classics ― People are more nostalgic for their childhood faves than ever. The fast food industry has been listening and bringing back some old staples, with the return of the McRib, Happy Meals, and Halloween pails.

NRA’s Top Hot Menu Trends for 2023

  • Experiences/local culture and community
  • Fried chicken sandwiches & Chicken sandwiches 3.0 (i.e., spicy and sweet-heat fusion flavors on chicken, etc.)
  • Charcuterie boards
  • Comfort fare
  • Flatbread sandwiches/healthier wraps
  • Menu streamlining
  • Sriracha variations
  • Globally inspired salads
  • Zero waste/Sustainability/Upcycled foods
  • Southeast Asian cuisines (Vietnamese, Singaporean, Philippine, etc.)

Specialty Food Association Forecasts 2023 Top Food Trends

From Environmentally Friendly Foods to Alt Seafood and everything in between, the Specialty Food Association (SFA) Trendspotter Panel has predicted what will be hot in specialty food for 2023.

  • Convenience Is King ― After honing their skills during stay-at-home mandates, many consumers have ambitions of continuing to cook, but collectively are tired. And people still want restaurant-quality food but without the price tag and the uncertainty associated with supply chain disruption and labor shortage.
  • Environmentally Friendly Foods ― If convenience is top, sustainability and environmental concerns is a close runner up. “With growing unrest over climate issues and their impact on the future food supply, products that feature some aspect of sustainable ingredients, upcycled ingredients, or environment-friendly packaging, are leading the way,” says Jonathan Deutsch.
  • Alt Seafood ― “The awareness of the meatless category is driving consumers to look for alternatives in seafood, too. New patents and technologies are populating the space, marine farming is rising as an option to traditional agriculture, and some specialty food brands are getting people to rethink seaweed and algae.
  • Health In Balance ― Consumers will seek more balance between their desire for health and sheer indulgence. Functional foods won’t suffer as a result: with interest in immunity, gut health, memory and so many other health components, manufacturers are introducing functional ingredients into products anywhere they can.
  • Pantry Without Borders ― A fresh crop of globally inspired condiments, sauces, oils, and seasonings will champion approachable everyday adventure. Increasingly clean-label and inherently convenient, these versatile meal starters and finishing touches invite consumers to experience regional comfort foods as new kitchen staples.
  • Nuanced Heat ― For 2023, the desire for boldness and intensity in flavor experiences will increase as people continue to kickstart their lives or pursue new paths. The flavors are more nuanced, far from the days of hot or not, with food companies using specific chiles to add flavor and heat across a wide spectrum of products, from cheese to chocolate to chips.
  • Naturally Occurring Sweeteners ― Real food ingredients that fulfill sweet cravings are pushing back against the health halo of natural sugar alternatives that undergo significant processing. Expect more dates in every shape and form, pure maple syrup, coconut sugar, fruit juices, and honey.
  • International Fruits ― Amid the tightening pressures of a global recession and a slowing economy, consumers want to elicit feelings of escapism without travel or exorbitant cost. “Enter international fruits—alternative citrus, melons, and stone fruits wildly colorful and in extraordinary shapes and flavors—to invoke a sense of faraway destinations, new flavors, textures, colors, and possibilities,” says Cirkus.
  • Packaging For New Forms And Functions ― Trendspotters at the Summer Fancy Food Show in June highlighted innovative packaging meant to provide increased portability and decreased mess.
    STILL TRENDING ― • Foods from Africa.  • Cocktail culture. • Cleaner, broader plant-based.