Food and drink in 2023

What will we be eating in 2023? We say it every year, but this year really does feel like it flew by in the blink of an eye. With big headlines hitting the news agenda month after month it has truly been a turbulent year for the country, and there’s no real surprise that the food and drink industry has had to adjust to adapt and react to changing consumer needs.

December 09, 2022
Naomi Barry
2023 made from fruit and vegetables on a pink background
December 09, 2022
Naomi Barry

With the aftermath of Covid-19, political instability and the cost-of-living crisis dominating the headlines, supply shortages as a result of the war in Ukraine and more recently the outbreak of bird flu, it’s true to say that the nation looks to the year ahead with a sense of trepidation.

So, what’s instore for 2023?  It’s that time of year when we look into our crystal ball and start looking forward to the next big thing!  First we’re taking a look at The Waitrose & Partners Food and Drink Report 2022-23 ten future trends expected to hit the shelves throughout the ‘new year’, including:

1. Postbiotics.

The new biotic predicted to capture our attention as consumers become more interested in gut health, working with pre and pro biotics to support the immune system

2. Frauxmage.

Vegan cheese has improved over the years and with many more brands creating NPD we’re set to see a growth in artisan varieties in the coming year

3. Cristalino tequila

This aged tequila is matured, then filtered to remove the colour and woodier notes to create a clear, crisp, sweet spirit

4. Simplified menus

In reaction to supply chain and food waste issues, expect menus offering quality dishes with well-cooked ingredients

5.  Croissant cubes

Originating in Sweden, cubed croissants are set to take over from the cronut, in flaking buttery square form

6. Coffee-less coffee

We’re likely to see an increase in beanless cold brew and other alternatives in response to warnings that coffee plants are extremely susceptible to climate change

7. Cognitive nutrition

Brain foods like fatty fish, blueberries, broccoli, kale, spinach, pumpkin seeds, rocket and dark chocolate

8. Ancestral eating

A return to homely, organic, unprocessed and unrefined foods, in response to the cost-of-living crisis, and revisiting our own heritage

9. Deep fake meat

Brands in pursuit of taste and texture, think more ‘bones’ in vegan dishes in a controversial shift for mock meat

10. Locavore

Minimising our carbon footprint by eating products grown as locally to home as possible, coined ‘counting carbon calories’.

hand holding a red coffee mug with 2023 on the foam

While Waitrose drills down into specific product groups, Mintel’s global food and drink trends delves into the bigger picture piece predicting four key areas of consideration and growth.  Covering environmental impacts, themes and trends, with a nod to the cost-of-living, cognitive function, taking inspiration from space (think escapism) and clear, concise communication… 

In summary:

1. Weatherproofed Provisions

Food and drink formulations that help consumers endure the extremes, like heat waves, sub-zero temperatures and disastrous weather events.  Consumers are already seeking out energy saving products, with Mintel expecting more microwaveable claims and air fryer instructions from brands, as consumers look to save energy by using smaller appliances. Product innovations also need to consider easy to use formats, including products that like add water, or those that can be prepared when power is rationed

2.  Staying Sharp

A demand for products and formulations that help people to optimise their mental performance.  Examples include expanding the availability of lower caffeine ‘sustained energy without over caffeination’ products, and new sources of moderate caffeine.  Products with clinically proven nutrients including magnesium, B vitamins and zinc are set to be big news for 2023.  Fruits, vegetables and other plants with inherent nutrition links to cognitive health, plus those related to the gut-brain axis will also create opportunities to highlight how digestive health supports cognitive health

3. Cosmic Comforts

Space will become a source of optimism, innovation and connection for us Earthlings! Mintel predicts, that in the coming years, space will become more tangible than the mythical and perhaps ‘far out’ flavour and colour inspirations that have so far appealed to consumers looking for an escape from reality will be within reach!

4. Minimalist Messaging

Clear and simple communication will be essential to connect with fatigued consumers. Companies must concentrate on advertising basic benefits to make the most of budgets that are stretched by inflation and supply-chain issues, while focussing on any health benefits and natural ingredients that are integral to value.

And let’s not forget social, TikTok has proven itself the home of trend.  In 2022 alone, Brits have tried out the now infamous TikTok feta pasta, butter boards, ‘healthy’ coke, dalgona coffee, milk and Pepsi, crushed potatoes, cloud bread, pancake cereal, and vegetable choppers to name but a few.  And more recently the endless slow cooker and air fryer recipes as we look for quick, easy, cost-effective, yet super tasty options to enjoy at home.

As big fans of food, we are certainly excited to see what the year ahead brings, and of course, what will be cooking in the Ceres Kitchen!