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2023 Food and Beverage Trends

I’ve been doing this food trend forecasting business for ten and a half years. Food & Wine has been in the game thirty years longer than that. What I’ve learned along the way: Much of this prophecy is throwing spaghetti (or the non-wheat pasta that TikTok was fascinated with for a moment) against the wall – especially now that we’re entering the final year of a global pandemic. . Plus, a lot of it vomits from press releases and broadcast to broadcast, which is probably why most of the 2023 food trend stories I saw in a cursory search cited the same laundry list: eating alone, dates (eat, not activity but you do), canned fish, gluten-free, and herbal based pasta, “mood food” (that would be your CBD and “functional” packaged products), mushrooms, nostalgia and comfort food, seaweed, non-alcoholic wines and spirits, and “traveling to eat.” It’s vague enough that some of this might be, but aside from some definitive market data on how many boxes of mackerel are floating off the shelves, mostly just reading Hōjicha leaves—all these stories tell us we’re going to slurp in 2019 that fell like hard seltzer. Let’s give it a try though, shall we?


If I can be pedantic for a second, the cultural micro-obsessions that are often referred to as trends – think butter boards, pink sauce, rainbow foods, keto kale alfredo – fall more into the realm of fads that burn brightly for a while but turn into cultural ash. This is good! Pleasure and pleasure are renewable resources that we must extract as often as we can, and the shared experience of these moments turns into nostalgia for you in the future! Maybe wait a bit before you invest a lot of cash in supplies, change your social attitude, or get a tattoo about it.





Trends, on the other hand, pull up a chair, grab a mug of something comfortable, and squat by the fire for a while. Case in point: A few years ago, deep fryers may have seemed like a novelty, but now they’ve made a permanent place on kitchen counters in more than a third of American homes. New York Times; The same goes for Instant Pots and other multicookers. Yogurt and seltzer once looked like flea players before they took big bills on grocery store shelves. Sun-dried tomatoes continue to be amazing, the chocolate lava cake smoldering decades after the initial eruption.


According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2023 What’s Hot Culinary Forecast, created in partnership with the American Culinary Federation and strategic consulting firm Technomic, chicken sandwiches will dominate the roost, especially if they have a spicy, fried or sweet heat fusion. Some of that appeal may come from sriracha variations, as the once ubiquitous Huy Fong Foods brand sauce survived a famine caused by drought conditions in northern Mexico, where its main ingredient, red jalapeño peppers, is grown. (Marketing and PR firms are adept at performing “bringing,” but even they can’t control the climate.) The report, compiled from a survey of more than 500 food industry professionals (and “generously supported” by Nestle Professional), as well as consumers’ recent deli. Delights from Southeast Asian countries will feature more in U.S. dishes such as “globally inspired salads.”




Alternative sweeteners like maple sugar and coconut sugar will supposedly cause excitement, as will oat, nut, and seed milks (but the latest edition of The NPD Group’s annual Eating Patterns in America report is by no means intimidating by the rise of dairy milk sales). Restaurant menus will continue to be regular and we won’t be seeing a wrap on wrap or flatbread in the near future. The NRA report brings together “Zero waste/Sustainability/Enhanced foods” in one line, and the authors explain that these are “important considerations for operators looking to engage with customers” and that “nutrition and sustainability continue to impact.” our food system” is ultimately “flavor that sells food.” Oh and spritzles. Fortunately, they’ll be something according to the NRA, unlike pickled pizza, fried lasagna, and fruit-flavored coffees I’ve never heard of but are apparently on the wane.


Mintel Group Ltd. has long been a key player in the oracle business, analyzing consumer behavior to help food and beverage businesses anticipate their customers’ wants and needs. Mintel’s analysts gathered data from 36 global markets, new product databases, product launches, and their proprietary data science and analytics tools to create the Global Food and Beverage Trends 2023. These include, in part, provisions that can help people withstand extreme weather conditions. and natural disasters, food and beverages that optimize mental performance, packaging with a clear and minimalist design, and perhaps most intriguingly, food inspired by space exploration. “As the world endures more chaos, space will be a source of optimism, innovation and connection,” the report says.


They are professionals. I dug. But here’s what I want to see on Earth in 2023.




Harvey Wallbanger and Other Fern Bar Cocktails

If Espresso Martini can make a comeback, then Harvey Wallbanger (a Screwdriver with Galliano, which is actually an Italian liqueur), Salty Dog (served vodka and grapefruit juice in a salty rimmed glass), Lemon Drops may be making a comeback. (a Martini with lemon juice and Cointreau), Piña Colada, and many other ’70s and ’80s singles bar that’s easy, airy, delicious, and doesn’t take 20 minutes to make when the bar is already backed up. I’m personally waiting for the Strega Sour ascension but it just might be me manifesting my #CroneEra.


Curly Food

Meat jellies, molded salads and desserts, oeufs en gelée, Jell-O shots—I giggle if they wiggle, I guarantee. It offers nostalgic meals, dinner, and a show, and I can’t tell you how comforting and brain-soothing I find slow-motion TikTok/Instagram accounts like @adventuresinjelly when I need an emotional recuperation. #jello TikTok may get into the extreme and gross, but I hope more home and restaurant chefs embrace the serenity and elegance of gelatin so I can feast on some bonus serotonin.


Compostable and Reusable

I already feel bad for relying so much on takeout and home delivery food, but this is compounded by the waste it generates in my recycling bin. Yes, I reuse and upcycle as many containers as I can, but this feels like a drop in the ocean full of garbage. I’m doing my best to cook more meals in 2023, but I’m also keeping an eye out for services like Delivery Zero, which allows customers to order food from restaurants in returnable, reusable containers and which other spots are preferred. compostable or minimal packaging.


Sustainability for Hospitality Employees

With the meme going, if it sucks, shoot the bricks too. The pandemic and the resulting personnel shortage caused those who remained in the sector to look at their workplaces with new eyes. Many were conditioned to accept grueling or even abusive conditions for minimum wage because that was actually the case and there really were no better alternatives. With a labor market suddenly in their favour, workers were able to discover more lucrative opportunities they had never found before, and owners quickly realized that the better they treat their workers, the longer they will stay. In 2023, I hope to be bored so happily by seeing the same faces over and over as I eat my CBD-infused mushroom while working at my favorite haunts, at the hosts booth, on the floor, behind the bar, and behind the kitchen door. -and- anchovy seaweed pasta and a tall glass of upcycled space-oat milk.


Flame Meals and Drinks

I really love fire.