Flavour Trends 2023
Flavour Trends 2023
The food and beverage industry is always evolving, and 2023 is no different. Against a backdrop of rising inflation and a cost of living crisis, what can we expect from the industry this year?
We’re seeing a shift towards bold and exotic flavours, as well as health-conscious options that are low in sugar and fat. Plant-based foods are becoming more popular, with healthier alternatives to traditional animal products featuring heavily. In particular, there is an increasing trend towards traditional recipes with a modern twist. More specifically, there is an upsurge in the use of non-traditional ingredients such as spices, herbs, fruit and vegetables to create bold and unique flavour profiles.
The use of aromatic spices in particular is gaining traction, with the likes of ginger, turmeric and cardamom being used to add an extra layer of complexity to dishes. This is likely driven by the demand for more sophisticated flavours as consumers become increasingly discerning about what they eat.
With more consumers seeking out unique, bold flavours with every passing year, companies are looking for new ways to innovate and spice up their offerings. From classic flavour combinations to inventive uses of technology, here are some of the food and beverage trends we expect to be big in 2023:
1. Specialty Mushrooms
No longer reserved for restaurant menus, there is rising interest with many consumers wanting to experiment with speciality mushrooms in their home cooking. Consumers are looking for more sustainable and natural ingredients in their food and drink, and demand for speciality mushrooms is on the rise.
The unique flavour of mushrooms can greatly enhance a dish, for example, trumpet mushrooms have a slightly smoky flavour that can make them a great addition to many dishes. Oyster mushrooms are also becoming popular due to their mild flavour and versatility.
We expect to see mushroom-infused foods and beverages becoming increasingly popular over the next year; from creamy soups and stews to coffees and teas that feature fungi. Speciality mushrooms could even become a new type of snack food as companies look for ways to cater to the growing plant-based movement.
These mushrooms are also packed with functional health benefits, which makes them an ideal ingredient for health-conscious consumers who want to add flavour without compromising on nutrition. We also anticipate that companies will be experimenting with new ways to use these ingredients; from drying them for tea blends to incorporating them into pastries for a hint of earthiness.
2. Nostalgic Flavours
As food and beverage trends evolve in times of certainty, many people look for comfort in the flavours and dishes of their childhood. The trend of nostalgic foods has been gaining traction over the past few years and we expect it to continue into 2023. Consumers are looking for flavour combinations that offer a sense of familiarity, comfort, and nostalgia – think classic ice cream flavours like Neapolitan or chocolate chip.
We’ll be seeing more comfort foods featuring classic flavours like strawberry, chocolate and vanilla as well as unique twists on traditional nostalgic foods and drinks such as ‘90s-inspired milkshakes.
Nostalgic flavours will also make their way into beverage categories, with many companies already offering drinks such as nostalgic soda, juice blends, and even alcoholic versions of popular soft drinks.
3. Street Food Flavours
Street food trends have been around for a few years, but it’s only getting bigger and bolder as time goes on. Many street food dishes are inspired by global cuisines and have a unique, flavourful twist. We’ll be seeing more fusion dishes that marry traditional flavours with modern techniques to create unforgettable experiences.
Mexican street corn
Mexican street corn is a great example of a dish that has been adapted for mainstream appeal and we expect to see more of these types of dishes in the near future.
Another example is chaat masala; a staple spice blend in North India that can be used to flavour savoury foods and snacks. We expect to see more of this spicy, tangy blend being used in food and beverage items throughout the next year.
4. Complex Heat Spicy Foods
We expect to see growing interest in creative flavour combinations that feature complex hot sauces and spices, such as harissa, gochujang and sriracha.
These flavours can provide an interesting contrast when paired with milder ingredients such as yoghurt or cheese; they can be used to add a unique twist to classic dishes such as tacos or pizzas. Heat-infused snacks are also becoming increasingly popular; think sour cream mixed with fiery habanero peppers, chilli-pepper-spiced popcorn, or spicy honey.
We also anticipate that companies will begin experimenting with unusual ingredients that contain heat, such as ghost peppers or Sichuan peppercorns. These ingredients bring a unique flavour and spicy heat to dishes, as well as create an interesting texture that can make them stand out from the crowd.
In short, we expect to see complex hot sauces and spices becoming increasingly popular in 2023, with many companies looking for new ways to create bold flavours that will tantalise taste buds.
5. Flavour-Focused Sweeteners
The consumer interest in healthier and more natural sweeteners is growing, as people become increasingly health-conscious. This trend has seen a rise in the popularity of low-calorie sweeteners such as stevia, monk fruit and allulose, which can be used to add sweetness without adding calories or sugar.
We also anticipate that companies will be experimenting with new flavour-focused sweeteners as they look to provide an interesting twist on classic desserts; think honeycomb-flavoured syrups or almond-infused sugars. These ingredients can help to create unique flavour profiles and can be used to add a touch of sweetness to savoury dishes
We think that flavour-focused sweeteners are here to stay and expect to see them become increasingly popular over the next year; from beverages, desserts and sauces to snacks and smoothies. Companies will also be looking for new ways to utilise these ingredients in creative ways, making them an ideal option for health-conscious consumers who want to enjoy food without compromising on taste.
5. Alcohol-Free Alternatives
Drink trends are constantly evolving and in 2023, we are likely to see a rise in the popularity of low and no-alcohol alternatives. As health concerns continue to grow and more companies focus on mindful drinking initiatives, many consumers will look for new ways to enjoy drinks without compromising on taste. Drinks with perceived health benefits such as kombucha or cocktails made with sparkling water and fresh fruit will be popular choices.
Drink trends will also continue to move away from sugary drinks and towards those with more complex flavour profiles. We expect to see a renewed interest in classic non-alcoholic cocktails such as Shirley Temples or Virgin Mojitos. We also expect to see drink manufacturers experimenting with new ways to create alcohol-free alternatives that still offer an interesting botanical flavour profile, such as infusing drinks with herbs and spices such as ginger or cardamom.
In past years, non-alcoholic options have been seen as a secondary choice for those who do not drink alcohol. However, in 2023 we expect to see these alternatives become more mainstream and popular with all types of consumers; from health-conscious individuals to designated drivers and those looking for an interesting way to enjoy drinks without compromising on taste.
Food and beverage trends are constantly evolving, and 2023 promises to be an exciting year for the industry. We expect to see a range of new products launch, with companies experimenting with complex hot sauces and spices, flavour-focused sweeteners and low-alcohol alternatives. Consumers will also continue to look for healthier options that offer bold flavours without compromising on taste.
If you're looking for guidance or support with launching new food and beverage products in 2023, our team of experts can help. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you make the most of the year ahead.