With 2022 in our rearview mirror, it’s time to shift our gaze ahead to the new opportunities 2023 has to offer. But while the fresh start of a new year is often exciting, sometimes the opportunities to innovate seem endless and overwhelming.
Using the top 2023 trends as your innovation guide is a way to overcome the overwhelm. Plus, keeping current trends in the food and beverage industry top of mind can help you create products that satisfy shifting consumer wants and needs.
If you haven’t had time to look through the 2023 trends predictions – never fear! Van Drunen Farms (VDF) studied the trends reports and compiled a top 10 food and beverage trends list that can guide you for the rest of the year.
Here’s our list of the this year’s top 10 food and beverage trends.
1. INCREASING EMPHASIS ON VALUE
With an unpredictable economy and inflation concerns, consumers will be thinking carefully about their purchase decisions this year. While consumers will likely search for ways to cut spending, they are showing signs that they aren’t willing to compromise on everything. Finding the delicate balance of delivering affordable value will be key to satisfying this trend in 2023. Products with multiple benefits could be the answer.
2. OPTIMIZING HEALTH IS ON OUR MINDS
After years of coping with the impact of a global pandemic on their physical and mental health, people are taking a more proactive approach to optimizing their wellness. According to FMCG Gurus, 64% of consumers surveyed said they’d describe their approach to health as proactive. You can tap into this trend with products that emphasize holistic, long-term benefits.
3. TRANSPARENCY AND TRUST MATTER
In an uncertain world, communication, trust, and transparency build loyalty. Consumers are looking for authentic, clear information about the food and beverages they buy to feel in control of their nutrition. Mintel recommends highlighting natural ingredients and top health benefits to help cut through the clutter and confusion for consumers.
4. GOING WITH THE GUT MICROBIOME
Consumers are discovering that a happy, healthy gut impacts their overall health and happiness. That means they are on the hunt for food and beverages that positively impact the gut microbiome. For example, Mintel reports that 49% of consumers who are eating more fruits and vegetables are doing so to obtain more dietary fiber,1 which can help promote a healthy gut.
5. UPCYCLING REMAINS A PRIORITY
Last year, we shared that upcycling would resonate with consumers in 2022. We are excited to report that the trend will continue in 2023! Consumers continue to value sustainably-developed products and see minimizing food loss as a way to positively impact our planet. If you are searching for ways to satisfy this trend, look for ingredients certified by the Upcycled Food Association (UFA). The UFA debuted its standards in 2021 and focuses on growing the upcycled food economy.
6. PLANT-BASED SUBSTITUTIONS WILL SUCCEED
The interest in plant-based products continues to grow, keeping this trend in the top 10 again in 2023. However, consumer motivation to pursue a more plant-based diet can subtly shift from year to year. In 2023, consumers are looking for plant-based substitutes with great flavor and texture that can help satisfy their dietary and environmental needs.
7. COGNITION MEETS MOOD
As more people address their mental health as part of their overall health, they’re turning to cognitive health products that help not only memory but also mood. Improving concentration, focus, and energy levels will be important to consumers this year as they search for cognitive health products that help them care for their mental and emotional wellness. In fact, Nutrition Business Journal predicts that cognitive health will be the fastest growing health category2 and that this growing interest will be driven by younger consumers3.
8. HEALTHY FATS CREATE NEW OPPORTUNITIES
The shift to a well-balanced diet continues as the fat-free era fades. Consumers are looking to purchase more balanced foods, creating opportunities to swap out empty calories with fiber, protein, and healthy fats.3 This trend also opens the door for balancing healthy fats with fun textures and bright flavors.4
9. FREEZE-DRIED PET FOOD GAINS POPULARITY
Pet health is a priority for consumers and will drive an expectation for the same health and quality benefits from pet food as people’s food. That means pet parents are searching for convenient pet food options with simple, quality ingredients that address concerns like gut and immune health. More product developers are turning to freeze-dried and air-dried pet food to satisfy these trends.
10. ESCAPISM VIA CUISINE
Though pandemic-related travel restrictions have largely lifted, other factors often prevent consumers from taking that next trip around the globe. Instead, they’ll turn to cuisine for a global, flavorful experience. That creates an opportunity for products with regional ingredients that offer flavor experimentation and permissible indulgence for consumers.
How VDF can help
Trend guides are great, but how do you put them into practice? What’s the next step to creating products that resonate with consumers? Let’s start with ingredients that deliver value through multiple benefits – that’s where we can help.
To learn more about how we can partner with you to develop solutions that satisfy top food and beverage trends, connect with one of our sales reps! Together, we can tap into the trends consumers care about.
1Mintel. “Making Fiber the Next Must Have Nutrient.” July, 2022
2Nutrition Business Journal. “Condition Specific Report 2022.”
3Nutrition Business Journal. “Trends and Innovations Report.” August, 2022.
4McCormick & Company, Inc. “Flavor Forecast 23rd Edition.”