Here is the comprehensive overview of the most important trends that are predicted to dominate the Food and Beverages Industry in 2023. We’ve seen many of these trends in previous years and they reappear once again with a new focus or stronger demand from consumers. At the same time, new trends arise that bring both challenges and opportunities to consumers and food producers.
Sustainability is one of the trends that is here to stay. The trend itself is not new, however, as consumers become more aware and educated on the topic, they are not satisfied with mere words or promises and require real action from brands. In fact, according to a 2022 study by research & technology company Glow, one in four consumers in the UK have shifted their food purchases to more sustainable options.
It is important to also notice the spreading scope in demands for sustainable products. Consumers not only look at the end product but also pay attention to the whole supply chain including the production methods, transportation and packaging. They expect the brands to track their environmental impacts and carbon emissions.
Interestingly, while demand for sustainable products strengthens, consumers are aware that brands are not perfect and prefer honesty rather than overpromising. According to Innova market insights, more than 60% of consumers around the world, have more trust in a brand that publicly shares its challenges and feels more involved with the brand’s journey.
TREND: Natural, green, and better nutrition
During the Covid pandemic, customers focused on their wellness and immune system support by choosing healthier products. This trend will also continue this year and, similar to the sustainability trend, consumers will become over time more knowledgeable and look at product labels with greater attention to detail when searching for products with ‘clean’ labels that are free of artificial or harmful ingredients.
It is important to pay attention to a new rule proposed by the US FDA on labelling ‘healthy’ foods and beverages, which requires that consumers receive more clear and informative product descriptions on product packaging and that food labelled as healthy be more regulated in the US.
TREND: Innovation, including precision fermentation, alternative proteins, cultivated meat and others
Food innovations are booming and as many innovative products are already available, more of them are coming to our tables this year. Thanks to consumer openness and the willingness of large food companies to invest, innovation in the food and beverage industry will accelerate.
Precision fermentation is one of the terms most of us have heard repeatedly over the last year. Although it’s not a new technology, it’s currently having its renaissance as big players to small start-ups invest in it to develop new products and brands. Since precision fermentation is a reliable and sustainable production method, many companies have also decided to include ingredients produced via this technology in their products to make their supply chains more stable and eco-friendly.
Alternative protein products are one of the categories leveraging precision fermentation technology. Thanks to that several interesting alternative protein products like meat and seafood substitutes, the door has opened for new dairy and egg alternatives to come to market. As many companies constantly improve the texture, look and/or taste of alternative protein products, this market should continue to increase in demand this year.
Cultivated meat is also a technology that has been around for years now, but has not ventured very far outside of the laboratory. Even though companies producing cultivated meat products still await approval from FDA/EFSA, some of them have already invested in scale-up facilities. There are some optimistic outlooks that estimate that such approvals might be granted in 2023.
TREND: Spending in times of uncertainty
Recent times of financial market uncertainty have heavily impacted consumers' behaviours and the emergence of new trends. Unstable economies, high inflation and energy costs are the main concerns affecting consumer and producer decisions this year. According to a BCG report, consumers are changing their purchasing behaviour by reducing their spending in discretionary categories and looking for affordable options across all categories. They also limit spending on leisure activities and dining out. While food is one of the categories that is not expected to be heavily affected by decreased consumer spending, reprioritization in their shopping baskets is likely. For producers, this means they need to be effective in presenting and communicating values and benefits to consumers to convince them to choose their products and brands.
Furthermore, economic and geopolitical uncertainties will push producers to re-evaluate their supply chains to aim at more agile and reliable suppliers and sources as companies will give consideration to more innovative actions and suppliers.
TREND: FULL OF FLAVOUR
While consumers are likely to limit their spending, there will remain a spirit to feel adventurous and not be afraid to experiment with taste and flavours. Experts predict growing demand for spices and non-typical flavours from around the world. Interestingly, research from Innova Market Insights suggests that consumers are more likely to make impulse purchases of products with new/interesting flavours, leaving producers with many possibilities to look into while developing limited editions brand extensions or new products.
Last but not least, we’ve investigated what are the trends in 2023 regarding colors:
2023 is predicted to be a colorful year with bold, statement colors trending the most. Pantone announced Viva Magenta as a color of the year. Leatrice Eiseman, executive director at Pantone Color Institute, mentioned that Viva Magenta and colors from the red family bring to mind positive emotions like passion, fun, and vividness but also can be associated with nature and health as red is often a symbol of ripeness.
Others like WGSN and Coloro predict that Digital Lavender accompanied by Lucious Red, Tranquil Blue, and Verdigris will dominate this year.
People will be on a search for more playful, experimental colors that show power and self-expression.
While experimenting with colors, people will not forget about health. Colors associated with positivity, nature and well-being will be also in trend. It will not be only about the color itself, but also colors derived from natural sources will appeal the most to consumers.