Almost every significant shift in our eating habits begins as a fad, which is actually just a moment shared by a small number of diners or chefs that takes off. Some fads, like wine coolers or molecular gastronomy, slowly go out of style. Others abruptly collapse, such as the pink sauce that last year rocketed to fame on TikTok before exploding, or turmeric lattes.
There are fads that develop into trends before becoming weaved into our daily lives. Who would have guessed that Berkeley, California’s nascent interest in specialty-roasted coffee beans would eventually give rise to Starbucks?
Even though it can be challenging to distinguish between the transient and the long-lasting, many people nevertheless try. In order to look into the food crystal ball for 2023, we combed through dozens of studies and press releases, spoke with the top food forecasters, and conducted our own research. Check Out these predictions…
Flavor of the Year
Accept the brine. Cocktails featuring crab claws and oysters as garnishes have become extremely popular due to their vibrant, invigorating sea flavors. Clamato is becoming hip thanks to actor and “The Big Brunch” presenter Dan Levy. Numerous trend lists have included sea life like uni and sea veggies like kelp.
Word of the Year
The term “climatarian” is so 2022. Regenivore is the new term. Eating sustainably, which suggests a state of sustaining what is, is no longer the focus. A new generation is demanding food from producers who are actively repairing the environment through carbon-reducing farming, stricter animal welfare laws, and fair treatment of those who grow and prepare food.
To cut down on packaging waste, expect significant changes. More diners will pick food and drink that enhance both their health and the health of the earth, and more chefs will utilize what Mintel refers to as “climate hero ingredients” like teff, fava, and lupin beans. Even the alcoholic beverage business has begun using terms like “eco-alignment.”
Snack of the Year
For some time now, chicken skins have been attempting to displace chicharrones, but this could be their year. As a result of an obsession with all things fried, crispy chicken skins are used as the base for nachos at pop-ups and as an appetizer in restaurants. Chefs are searching for methods to extract more flavor from the chicken as prices rise. Asian cuisines are a source of culinary inspiration since they frequently use chicken skin.
All other cuisines prefer to socialize with Japanese food more than any other. According to AF&Co and Carbonate, two San Francisco companies who collaborate on an annual hospitality trend analysis, “chefs around the world, many of Japanese origin, are mixing Japanese ingredients or culinary skills with meals they enjoy from their surroundings.”
The Thrill of Thrift
A renewed interest in being thrifty is being sparked by inflation, worries about climate change, and increased concerns about waste and ostentatious spending. People are no longer hiding their coupons out of embarrassment, according to Ms. Lancaster. Social media is flooded with menu hacks for Starbucks and other businesses, as well as money-saving advice for the kitchen. Home cooks are anticipated to use more tiny equipment like microwaves, air fryers, and electric kettles rather than turning on the oven as a result of rising energy expenses, both financial and environmental. Private-label grocery store brands and eateries with condensed menus and better pricing are expanding quickly.
Tuber of the Year
The purple yam known as ube, which originates in the Philippines, has a mildly nutty flavor and a vanilla smell. It may be found in pies, waffles, lattes, and ube coladas, among other meals and beverages. It was an easy choice for the food-processing juggernaut ADM’s list of hues and flavors that best represent the zeitgeist of 2023. The popularity of the yam is based on consumers’ desire for foods that are vibrantly colored naturally, such as dragon fruit, lychee, and purple Peruvian corn. Floral tastes like ylang-ylang and vetiver are also on the rise.
One Giant Step for Brandkind
How we eat and drink in 2023 will be influenced by a resurgence in interest in space flight, similar to how the Apollo period promoted Tang and freeze-dried ice cream. People will be interested in anything related to space as they search for the inspiration and hope that are scarce on Earth. A limited-edition Coca-Cola drink called Starlight and climate-friendly Moonshot crackers (made with wheat grown using regenerative techniques) are now available. (There is a heated dispute online about what space tastes like.) This year, “Top Chef” contestants prepared meals for astronauts. Growing food in space experiments will increase interest in vertical gardening and plants that can thrive in challenging conditions on Earth.