FoodMix Marketing Communications, a Chicago-based food marketing firm for 30 years, used proprietary research to uncover how food and food channels are changing, innovating, improving — and even in some instances, going back to the basics in 2023.
Predictions show that consumers are being driven as much by their heart, soul and values as they are by their tastebuds, according to a news release.
“As a food-and-beverage–centric agency, we have our finger on the pulse of upcoming trends, and 2023 promises to be one of the most fascinating years yet for the entire industry,” FoodMix CEO Dan O’Connell said.
Some of these trends are continuations of ongoing trends, in a new way. And most of these eight predictions apply to the fresh produce industry. This is how:
Sustainability becomes more specific.
Look for consumers to be more engaged in the how and why a company is offering a sustainable product. With the success of emerging practices like regenerative agriculture, people will want to know the extent of how their purchases will impact the earth and future generations.
The point is to become more purposeful.
A company’s vision, mission and values are now more meaningful than ever to audiences, and, the younger the generation, the more important they are. Appealing to consumers’ hearts and souls will continue to be a successful strategy, as a connection to the WHY will always help build brand love.
This isn’t your grandfather’s early bird special.
Early bird specials and loyalty programs are primed to heat up in 2023, as younger generations seem less interested in staying out as late as their older counterparts did at the same age. Plus, with a recession looming, the discounts associated with these earlier deals will lure in more crowds than before.
Happy days are not quite here again — and that’s a reason to eat out.
Despite inflation and recession – or perhaps because of them – expect consumers to return to restaurant dining rooms in 2023 out of the primal need for connection and community. They may skip an appetizer or dessert to economize, but they will still gather around for a meal.
Mushrooms come out of the dark.
Thanks to their meaty texture and umami-rich flavor, mushrooms will solidify their place in the culinary space in 2023. While there are plenty of processed vegan offerings on the market, this naturally plant-based superfood is winning the competition. It’s loved not only for being a whole food, but for its versatility for various cooking styles and preparations.
Social media will further drive food trends.
In an ironic twist, foot traffic is coming back at brick-and-mortar stores, thanks to social media. Consumers will continue to rely on digital influences to lead them to the best in recipes, restaurants and other food-related trends. For example, 53% of millennial TikTok users visited a restaurant after seeing it on the app, according to a FoodMix study.
Mocktails get more creative and healthier with the addition of fresh produce.
When it comes to the latest trend in beverages, the mocktail, creativity will reign supreme, and fresh produce will play a bigger role as bright and vibrant flavors offer up the healthy zip that consumers crave in their nonalcoholic concoctions.
Metaverse, not so fast.
Pioneers of the metaverse are reducing their spending due to economic difficulty, and it looks as if branded NFTs have lost their luster, because as 2023 will prove, generating actual revenue from investments still matters. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are non-interchangeable units of data that can be used to represent ownership of unique items, according to CMSWire. NFTs enable people or brands to tokenize digital files such as art, videos, audio and collectibles, as well as non-digital properties such as real estate.
“From drinking less and craving the back-to-basics comforts, to eating earlier and shopping purposefully, consumers will be determined to make this upcoming year one they will have fond memories of,” O’Connell said.