Plant-based Food Trends 2023

Plant-based Food Trends 2023

As we move into 2023, plant-based food trends continue to rise in popularity. With the shift towards plant-based eating comes an exciting array of nutritious and delicious options that make it easier than ever before to enjoy a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing flavour. In the UK, 630,000 people took part in Veganary 2022, a month-long pledge to follow a vegan diet. This is indicative of the increasing interest in plant-based diets and the growing awareness of their health benefits.

The rise in plant-based eating has seen an increase in the number and range of products available, as well as new innovative recipes to help make them delicious. Emerging and existing brands alike are introducing a range of plant-based alternatives to traditional animal products. From high-end restaurants to supermarkets, there is an ever-growing selection of plant-based foods to suit all consumer preferences.

In this blog post, we will explore some of the top 2023 plant-based food trends that are influencing the food industry.

Faux Fish: Plant-Based Seafood

Alternative seafood options continue to gain popularity as consumer demand grows for substitutes for traditional fish and shellfish. In 2023, we expect to see even more plant-based seafood products on store shelves with improved texture and taste that make them just as enjoyable as their animal counterparts.

Faux fish sales are expected to increase as people look for more sustainable and ethical seafood options. Plant-based fish products are already available in supermarkets, restaurants, and online stores around the world. These plant-based seafood products offer a great way to get the protein and omega-3 fatty acids you need without consuming fish or shellfish.

Kelp and Seaweed: The Breakthrough Sustainable Food

Kelp and seaweed have been consumed for centuries as a part of traditional Asian diets. In 2023, these sea vegetables are making a comeback in the form of plant-based snacks, meals, and supplements. Offering a myriad of health benefits, such as antioxidants, iodine and minerals that help regulate thyroid function, kelp and seaweed are quickly becoming a staple in many kitchens.

Farmed kelp and seaweed are also gaining popularity due to their sustainability efforts. Seaweed farming is a low-impact way of harvesting from the ocean that does not harm aquatic wildlife or disrupt local ecosystems. Kelp doesn't need freshwater or added nutrients to grow, making it an environmentally friendly and sustainable option for the future. As more people become aware of the environmental benefits of eating kelp and seaweed, we expect this trend to continue into 2023. In fact, the global seaweed market is predicted to reach US$12.85 Billion by 2027.

Fermented Foods: Reinvigorating Gut Health

The health benefits of fermented foods have been known for centuries, with the practice of fermentation being used to preserve and add flavour to plant-based dishes. In 2023, we expect an increased focus on gut health and the role that fermented foods can play in promoting it. Fermented food products such as kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh and kombucha are packed with healthy bacteria that can help improve digestion, boost immunity and aid in nutrient absorption.

With growing research into the far-reaching benefits of fermented foods, we expect to see more plant-based fermented food products on the market in 2023. Fermented foods provide an easy way to add valuable probiotics to your diet. As the trend for gut health continues to grow, we expect more innovative recipes and products to hit the market as food manufacturers capitalise on the increasing demand. Regional and global buyers alike will be looking to capitalise on this trend, with the global fermented food and beverage market predicted to reach US$ 989.2 Bn by 2032.

Exotic Mushrooms: The Next Superfood?

Exotic mushrooms have been gaining popularity as the next superfood. As the desire for functional foods grows, so too does the demand for shiitake, oyster, and lion’s mane mushrooms. These mushrooms offer numerous health benefits such as anti-inflammatory properties and they are an excellent source of protein and minerals.

In 2023, we expect to see a rise in functional foods made with exotic mushrooms, covering various categories including snacks, supplements, and even coffee. These unique fungi are packed with nutrients and have a variety of flavour profiles that make them suitable for any dish. In 2023, we expect to see even more exotic mushrooms on dinner tables as brands begin to explore new ways to add delicious umami flavours to their meals.

Plant-Based Milk: New Alternatives

Dairy milk alternatives are becoming increasingly popular in 2023 as people explore new ways to enjoy milk without consuming animal products. From almond, coconut and oat milk to more exotic options like hemp, macadamia and even potato milk, the selection of dairy-free milk is growing every day.

These milks offer a great way to get calcium, magnesium and other essential vitamins without the saturated fat of cow’s milk. Plant-based milks are not only delicious, but they also offer a variety of health benefits such as improved digestion and cholesterol management.

As animal welfare concerns become more prominent, we expect to see an increase in the consumption of plant-based milk in 2023. There is also a growing market for leftover nut pulp from the production of plant-based milk. The upcycled pulp can be used for a variety of other foods and products, making non-dairy milk a sustainable and environmentally friendly choice. For example, almond pulp can be used to make vegan cheese or energy bars.

As trends predictions go, this one is sure to be a winner.

Animal Meat Alternatives: A Rising Trend

Plant based meat alternatives are on the rise in 2023 as consumers continue to seek out healthier and more sustainable options. Alternative meats, such as those made from soy, beans, wheat or mycoprotein (the ingredient used in Quorn products) offer a tasty and nutritious alternative to traditional animal proteins.

Not only are alternative meats generally lower in calories and cholesterol, but they also contain no saturated fat or hormones. Alternative meats also typically have a smaller environmental footprint than traditional animal proteins, making them an attractive option for eco-conscious consumers. The industry is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years, with the global market for meat substitutes projected to reach $7,106.7 million by 2025.

Food Waste Reduction: Making the Most of Leftovers

Food waste is becoming an increasingly pressing issue in 2023 for the food industry and consumers alike. As global demand for food grows and resources become scarce, many countries are taking steps to reduce the number of food products that go to waste on store shelves and in kitchens. In 2023, we expect to see an increased focus on optimising food production and consumption to reduce wastage.

As climate consciousness grows, many are turning to eco-friendly packaging solutions. In 2023, we predict that sustainable materials such as bioplastic and compostable paper will be used for food packaging to reduce carbon emissions from traditional plastic packaging. This could involve introducing innovative technologies and processes such as intelligent packaged foods that can extend the shelf life of food products or even subscription-based meal plans that ensure you only buy what you need and minimise wastage.

Plant-Based Pasta Alternatives

Another of our favourite food trends, in 2023, we expect to see inventive pasta products on the market. Plant-based pasta has become increasingly popular over the last few years as consumers look for healthy and sustainable options. From chickpea pasta to spaghetti squash, there are an array of delicious ingredients to increase our veggie and fruit intake.

The Future of Food in 2023

As we look forward to 2023, it’s clear that the food landscape is ever-evolving. Consumers are becoming more conscious about their dietary choices and looking for healthier, sustainable and ethical plant based products. The emergence of new trends such as seaweed farming, fermentation, exotic mushrooms and plant-based milks will help to meet growing global demand while offering delicious flavours and health benefits.

We look forward to seeing how these trends continue to shape our future diets in 2023 and beyond! If you're looking for guidance and technical support, our team can help. Get in touch today!