As we stride into 2023, are you looking for a crystal ball, trying to predict which foods and flavors your customers will be seeking? What will ‘wow’ consumers in 2023? What factors will drive their grocery shopping or motivate dining behaviors? How will consumer demands for food and drink evolve? Let’s explore a few likely possibilities by digging into food trends for 2023.
Ease Inflation Woes with Meal Kits and Ready-Made Meals
As costs rise, many consumers are dining out less often to save money. Yet they still crave delectable, chef-crafted meals. Meal kits and ready-made meals can fill this gap in the market, and our talented food scientists and Culinologists are ready to help you innovate and develop custom flavor solutions. Design and develop restaurant-quality food options to tempt consumers’ taste buds and satisfy their hunger for restaurant-quality entrées and snacks.
2023 predicts an increase in the demand for prepared meals – whether frozen, deli, or ready-to-eat – because consumers’ schedules are still ramping up following the slowdown created by the pandemic. As they navigate their busy everyday schedules, these consumers will breathe a sigh of relief when they spot your convenient, quick, flavor-forward new products in the aisles of their favorite grocery store. As a leading manufacturer of custom sauces, dressings, and dips, our team is ready to help you develop unique and innovative offerings.
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Scrumptious Meal Kits and Ready-to-Eat Options for Lunch & Dinner
Explore global cuisines to craft mouth-watering meal kits and ready-to-eat entrées for lunch and dinnertime.
- Your consumers will adore crave-able Chicken Korma piled high on a bed of basmati rice. The well-seasoned chicken is tossed in a creamy, mild Curry Sauce crafted from tomato, cream, yogurt, coconut milk, and authentic Indian spices. Chicken Korma with rice makes a perfect meal-kit, or ready-to-heat and eat option for the frozen aisle.
- Bring some sweet-heat twist to a classic New York-Style Pepperoni Pizza – drizzle Hot Honey or up your game with what’s being poised as the next Hot Honey – Spicy Maple. Your perfect crust slathered with our Spicy Marinara Sauce and topped with pepperoni, drizzled with the sweetness of maple syrup and spicy kick from peppers like cayenne, habanero or Thai chilis will make every pie worth it.
- For those hands-on consumers, try a DIY Taco Kit. Pair the soft-shell tortillas, slaw, shredded cheese, pickled onions, protein of your choice and lime wedges with Roasted Poblano Salsa and Creamy Baja Dip. While both sauces will add a punch of flavor, the salsa provides heat with a hint of smokiness and the Baja dip offers an addictive creaminess. Yum! By presenting this entrée option in a meal kit, you give your consumers the ability to customize it and create their perfect tacos.
- In the summer of 2023, 74% of consumers will seek Korean flavors to enjoy in their outdoor cooking. (Mintel 2021) Give them what they want with delectable Korean BBQ Pork Ribs. They gain loads of flavor from a Bulgogi Marinade, which comes alive with the addition of Gochujang, a savory, sweet, and spicy sauce that adds a delightful kick. Whether your consumers enjoy their Korean BBQ Pork Ribs alongside kimchi, rice, and vegetables or wrapped up in lettuce leaves, they’ll adore that these ready-to-heat and eat tender, tasty, caramelized ribs are ready to eat after just 10 minutes on the grill!
Breakfasts Bursting with Flavors
Frozen breakfasts are booming! In fact, growth in the frozen breakfast foods category outpaced the rate of inflation last year (Mintel 2022). More consumers are preparing their breakfasts at home, even if they ultimately decide to eat them on the go. Two of the most popular options are waffles, which 35% of consumers had eaten in the past month, and breakfast sandwiches, which 33% of consumers had eaten in the past month (Kantar Profiles/Mintel 2022). New frozen breakfast items give you a chance to help your consumers start the day off on the right foot.
Waffles will excite consumers with a sweet tooth, especially when they’re topped with fresh berries and a Hot Fudge Drizzle. Or, if you want an on-the-go option, consider a handheld strudel with Huckleberry Jam– delightfully tart-sweet and so ideal for busy consumers. For those who want something savory, how about Mini Breakfast Potato Pancakes? Topped with a dollop of Creamy Jalapeno Dip, those tempting carbs are perfect with the dip’s zingy heat.
49% of breakfast diners are interested in to-go options. Millennials and Gen Z are looking for an elevated experience topped with convenience. To lead this rising day-part category and make a breakthrough in the chicken sandwich wars, leverage the sweet-heat flavor trend. Go for a Fried Chicken Waffle Sandwich – top a golden, crisp waffle with a well-marinated succulent fried chicken. Then, layer Sriracha to add some spicy flavor and drizzle Cinnamon Maple to create a magical layering of flavors. Tip: make them smaller in size so they make a perfect go-to snackable meal or top with an egg to add value.
Sensationally Satisfying Snacks
You can’t talk about food trends for 2023 without talking about snacks. This year, your consumers will be snacking any time of day as the line between meals has blurred. Tap into these micro-foodie moments to give your consumers what they’re looking for – fun foods that are quick and easy to prepare. Whether they’re hankering for delightful flavors, indulgent ingredients, or a rewarding crispy-crunchy texture, we’ve got you covered.
- Pair Chicken Pesto Pizza bites with an herby, vibrant, delectable Pesto to balance out the creamy cheese and savory chicken.
- Toss crispy Popcorn Chicken in a Butter-Buffalo Sauce for an irresistible, buttery, spicy kick.
- Serve Sauteed Brussel Sprouts with creamy Parmesan Garlic to take them from just nutritious veggies to tasty snacks.
- Jazz up classic fries and ketchup by offering Sweet Potato Fries and a Sweet Sriracha or evolved Sriracha with lemongrass, extra garlic, black pepper. A classic with a spicy twist – yum!
- Try Fried Olives dipped in a velvety, nutty Black Tahini – two bold Mediterranean flavors that go together swimmingly.
- Whether accompanied by Crispy Potato Chips or Fresh Veggies, no one will be able to resist a Honey Dill Dip or drizzle spicy Guajillo chili sauce.
Sweet Treats to Savor
Who could forget about dessert? When it comes to ready-made sweet treats, one of the most notable recent flavor developments is the rise of cheesecake flavors in chilled desserts. (Mintel 2022) Tap into this demand by offering a Mini Cheesecake Brûlée drizzled with Salted Bourbon Butterscotch Caramel Sauce. The indulgent bourbon and hint of salt will add depth to this creamy dessert. For fruit fans, try Mangonada, a Mexican dessert that combines mango sorbet and chamoy topped with chili powder. It’s up 100% on menus in the last year alone! (Datassential). Classic desserts lovers will adore a timeless Tiramisu, especially when it includes creamy mascarpone, coffee-flavored sponge, cocoa, and a drizzle of Espresso Chocolate Sauce. The sauce will amplify the coffee and chocolate flavors that fans of tiramisu already love.
Deliver Value in More Ways Than One
When you think of value, your mind might immediately go to the price point of a product. But you can also reassure consumers of your products’ worth by highlighting features like uniqueness, quality ingredients, and versatility. (Kantar Profiles, Mintel 2022) At our state-of-the-art culinary innovation center, our talented team can help you explore creative “value-adds” that will complete – instead of just complement – your scrumptious food products. Take a gander at these ideas:
- Orange or Yuzu Miso dressing pairs perfectly with frozen grilled shrimp in a medium-sized pouch.
- Carolina BBQ Sauce in a dip cup adds flavor to Chicken Wings.
- Nut-Free Salsa Macha, which has been up 339% on menus in the past four years (Datassential – FoodBytes 2023 Trends), is a must-have dip for Pork Street-Style Tacos.
- Birthday Cake Icing makes a creamy topping to go with a powdered cake mix packaging.
- Coated cheesecake bites with Chocolate Sauce for an indulgent chilled frozen option.
- Harissa-Ranch, Yogurt-Cucumber or Creamy Garlic Drizzles transform a vegetable or a falafel platter from average to addictive.
Keep Comforting, Indulgent Foods within Reach
Today’s consumers understand that indulging in favorite foods and drinks can benefit both the mind and the stomach. Comforting, delicious foods can be well-earned and guilt-free – and they can even help people through not-so-good days. So, rethink your Idea of Indulgences! Whether you focus on beloved and nostalgic favorites, fun limited-edition items, or new sensory experiences, food provides an affordable way for consumers to treat themselves.
With this new perspective on indulgent foods, it’s no surprise that the comfort food trend is expected to continue into 2023 . . .
- Give major upgrades to the most classic comfort food – Mac ‘n’ Cheese. We’re thinking of Lobster Mac and Cheese with a Creamy Mornay Sauce or Mac and Cheese loaded with 4-Cheese Sauce (cheddar, mozzarella, havarti and brie) topped with Basil Pesto.
- For something a little more daring, try a spicy Thai Chicken Soup. Creamy and bursting with flavor, your customers will love how the rice noodles, lemongrass, makrut lime leaves, galangal, chiles, and green curry paste enrich the coconut milk-flavored broth. It’s undeniably delicious.
- Finally, introduce your consumers to an exciting new dish: Sisig, a Filipino favorite that combines juicy minced pork, onions, and chilis with a variety of tangy, savory, and spicy flavors. Drizzle a light and creamy custom-flavored Mayo on top to balance out that bold spice, and serve with some sharp flavors like vinegar or fresh calamansi to balance the fattiness of the meat.
While no one knows for sure what consumers will love in the coming months, these food trends for 2023 are a great place to start. Our culinary experts are specialists in all kinds of sauces, dressings, dips, drizzles, and marinades — perfect for ready-to-eat frozen entrées, creative value adds, and everyday indulgences. Plus, we love to challenge ourselves to develop foods bursting with positive vibes, passion, and personality. Let our team take you from an innovative idea to a finished product.