Nine food trends for 2023 – convenience is king

There will be some notable food trends in 2023, including viral recipes, restaurant dishes and meals that will leave many people wanting more.

Some of these food trends are making a comeback and others are on the list you may not have heard of.

If your goal for this year is to visit, taste, and cook as many foods in the culinary field as possible, this list will help you choose the types of foods and ingredients to stock your pantry.

The Specialty Food Association (SFA) Trendspotter Panel created and forecast trends for the culinary world by speaking to restaurant owners, food and sustainability consultants, chefs, academics, industry association representatives and food stylists.

  1. Convenience is king: More and more consumers will be cooking at home, a necessity created by the Covid-19 pandemic, but people are getting tired of it. Melanie Bartelme says people want restaurant-quality food and will look to brands that have shortcuts in cooking those meals. These include meal kits, ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat kits like those seen at brands like UCook and FitFood4u.
  2. Eco-friendly foods: People are more considerate of the planet. That’s why they read labels and like to support companies that are environmentally friendly and focus on sustainability. This also means that the popularity of plant-based foods will continue to rise. Expect biodynamic food systems, indigenous farming methods, soil fertility and seed diversity, says Jonathan Deutsch.
  3. Alternative to seafood: Similar to the above, consumers are looking for alternatives to eating seafood. However, the movement has been more focused on meat, seafood alternatives to rethink seaweed and seaweed to preserve biodiversity.
  4. health in balance: This is a balancing act between good food and giving up pleasure. “Better for you” snacks like dehydrated vegetables or mushroom chips will become more accessible and selected as a snack of choice.
  5. Pantry Without Limits: Pantry ingredients in regions like Mexico, Spain and West Africa can be hard to find, but more and more foodies and chefs are looking to explore the kitchen. This includes ingredients, cuisines with complex flavors, chili specialties, fruits, nuts, to spices that can only be found in a specific region.
  6. Nuanced Heat: People will break new ground in the kitchen. “What started in the hot sauce category is exploding into honey, spreads, confectionery, beverages and snacks, opening up new markets especially younger consumers and inspiring food specialists to introduce spiciness and spiciness into existing product lines,” says Mikel Cirkus. Flavors are expected to be more nuanced, mixed with interesting combinations.
  7. Naturally Occurring Sweeteners: Rather than sourcing your sugar from processed foods, natural sugars like pure honey, coconut sugar, dates, and pure maple syrup are incorporated more into the recipes. Like energy balls with dates and muesli bars including desserts.
  8. Global Fruits: As the cost of living continues to rise, escapism will not only come from travel, but also from the sensual experience that comes from eating. Colorful drupes of incredible shapes and sizes convey the feeling of being in a tropical destination.
  9. Packaging for new shapes and functions: Packaging that communicates sustainability gains consumer confidence.

More food trends

Other food trends in 2023 include more African foods, the ever-popular seltzer cocktail menu, and a cleaner and broader range of plant-based products.

READ NOW: Eight restaurants you should visit in 2023

Compiled by Sandisiwe Mbhele

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