Food trends consist of dishes and strategies that keep the hospitality industry robust. Trending recipes and techniques give customers and restaurant personnel reasons to get excited about trying something new.
Consumers have a tendency to gravitate towards viral drinks and dishes they see online. Restaurant staff members are constantly looking for ways to stand out. So if you own a food business or work as a restaurant manager, inventory forecasting and staying open to new food trends is essential.
Once you choose which food trends to participate in, demand planning for all of the necessary types of inventory will be a must. But before we can worry about this, let’s dive into what defines a trend and which food trends we anticipate will blow up throughout the year.
Food trends refer to changes in culinary works and dining habits that quickly rise in popularity. They stem from shifts in consumer tastes, preferences, and spending patterns. Some food trends can disappear as quickly as they emerge, while others can become a standard within the restaurant industry.
For instance, charcuterie boards have stuck around on the appetizer list in many restaurants. However, dessert menu items made with avocados rarely exist on menus nowadays. Learning new food trends is all about trial and error; however, any restaurant business owner should be prepared for when a trend becomes mainstream.
Food Trends 2023
Food trends come and go–but which ones will take off throughout 2023? Here is a list of 23 food trends that are gaining traction. Some may vanish by the end of the year while some will be here for decades to come.
Read on and make your own predictions!
1. Home Dinner Parties
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been finding unique ways to create a dining experience at home. From using proper glassware to purchasing foods semi-prepared, the ideas are endless. Plus, people have full control over whether they end up with a fancy or casual dining experience.
2. Climate-Conscious Foods
To help reduce a carbon footprint, restaurants and grocery stores are opting for local and seasonal foods. Bulk shipping produce and other food groups take a toll on the environment. By sourcing local ingredients, businesses can save money and the environment simultaneously.
3. Zero-Waste Foods
As some culinary enthusiasts like to say, the use of “nose to tail and leaf to root” foods will likely take over in the near future. Only using a portion of an ingredient source can produce an abundance of waste. It’s not suitable for a sustainable restaurant business or eco-friendly restaurants; plus, it’ll increase restaurant expenses over time.
As people become more health conscious, it’s a good idea to offer mocktails. Offering alcohol-free versions of popular cocktails will accommodate all of your guests, while allowing your business to feel all-inclusive. If you choose to serve drinks with a lower ABV, make sure you know how to calculate ABV to ensure accuracy.
5. Reusable Takeout Supplies
Ordering takeout can quickly increase the amount of waste per household. However, restaurants are beginning to combat this environmental issue. By supplying customers with reusable carryout containers, people can continue getting takeout without creating the same amount of waste as before. If you want to take this trend one step further, promote ways that customers can reuse their takeout containers. From meal prep tupperware to pantry storage, the ideas are endless.
6. Virtual Brands
Virtual brands are becoming more popular thanks to social media and popular culture. This idea refers to eateries that pursue all restaurant promotion efforts online. Even though customers can order for delivery or curbside pick up, almost every other aspect is completely digital. It’s efficient, innovative, and one of the newer food trends in the restaurant scene.
7. Ghost Kitchens
Think of ghost kitchen as a restaurant where there is no dine-in option, and the primary employees are the chefs. The ghost kitchen meaning also refers to the idea that all restaurant operations are behind the scenes, and the only customer-facing interactions are pickup and deliveries. If you’d like to onboard one of the most profitable food trends, consider launching a ghost restaurant–they’re equally innovative and lucrative.
8. Culture-Rich Dishes
Many food trends revolve around ethnic and cultural dishes. The culinary world is a vast landscape, and the number of ingredient variations that people are accustomed to around the world are endless. From menu types that center around specific countries to unique cooking methods, more restaurants are adopting original and delicious blends than ever before.
9. Sparkling Wine
Sparkling wine is similar to champagne in many ways. Think of it as a bubbly twist on traditional wine selections. The carbonation pairs well with food, alongside traditional flavors and aromas from grape varieties. We predict that wine lovers will gravitate towards this style and that it’ll be featured in some of the best wine pairings at luxurious restaurants.
10. Unique Coffee Brewing Methods
Coffee shop marketing ideas are on the rise. Cafes around the world will likely start adopting unconventional brewing methods, from the pour over method to using a French press. Some coffee shops are also selling coffee online and offer a coffee of the month club. Local and fairtrade coffee brands are gaining the recognition they deserve, too. Now, it’s just a matter of which method you’d like to use to brew your cup.
11. Daily Menus
Daily menus are used to eliminate food spoilage in restaurants. Every day, the sous chef creates a different menu based on the ingredients they have in stock. This way, they never have to let ingredients expire while waiting for others to be in stock once again.
12. Table for One
Food trends also apply to dining styles. We predict that over time, a table for one will be more common inside restaurants. As solo traveling becomes more trendy, this concept will actually be necessary in order to save space and serve more customers. Plus, it encourages consumers to dine solo, which is something that many would like to normalize.
13. Dairy-Free Milk
There are many types of milk that do not contain dairy. From oat milk to nut milks, there is a dairy-free alternative for everyone. However, we expect dairy farming professionals to face more concerns as the new age of dairy-free milk evolves. Plant-based companies are starting to expand on which food products they source their milk. Regardless, we see dairy-free milk as being one of the food trends that’s here to stay.
14. Plant-Based Foods
Consumers are becoming more aware of the health risks and ethical concerns surrounding the consumption of meat products. These ideas have resulted in many people opting for various plant-based options. The number of vegans in the United States has increased by 600% in the last three years. Now, there are not just menus, but entire restaurants that cater to meat and/or dairy-free dishes.
15. Superfood Powders In Recipes
Gut health is an area of study that consumers are paying close attention to. A healthy gut is necessary for overall health, primarily when fighting inflammatory response. Many food trends include superfoods, especially in the form of powders. They mix well in food recipes and blend well in drinks. So, they’re easy to make and great for your health–a win-win!
16. Low-Carb Menu Items
With low-sugar and ketogenic diets on the rise, it’s safe to assume that low-carb menu items will appear more often. The number of “keto-friendly” products on the shelves has increased tremendously just in the last couple of years. However, it can be hard to find similar options in restaurants–at least for now.
17. Allergy-Friendly Restaurants
It’s unfortunate that food allergies are becoming more popular in the United States. However, allergy-friendly kitchens and menus are certainly one of the safest food trends we can see in the industry. Plus, catering to specific allergies is a foolproof way to implement product differentiation within a food business.
18. Immunity Boosters In Drinks
If a global health crisis can teach the general population one thing, it’s that our immune systems should be well taken care of. Many drinks now include immune-boosting properties, such as vitamins B6, C, and E. Foods that are rich in these vitamins include avocados, mangos, oranges, lemons, and berries. Many food trends also include things like “immunity shots,” which typically refer a potent dosage of these kinds of ingredients and vitamins.
19. Themed Restaurants
Making a restaurant stand out amongst local competition can be quite the challenge. One way to accomplish this is by implementing a theme. For example, many sports bar marketing ideas revolve around a specific team or a particular sport. In doing so, they often attract a loyal customer base.
20. Adding More Spice
To change up the flavor profiles of traditional dishes, various types of chefs are getting creative with spices. It’s pretty common for food trends to revolve around new flavors, so this one makes perfect sense. But is it here to stay? Only time and customer reviews will tell!
21. Viral Social Media Dishes In Restaurants
New recipes are constantly appearing on social media platforms like Tik Tok and Instagram. Sometimes, these recipes go viral and everyone wants to try them. So, many experts take advantage of the sudden demand for cerain items. With this in mind, it’s not uncommon to see popular food trends from the internet appear in grocery stores and restaurants.
22. More Vegetables
Chefs are starting to use vegetables as the base of many dishes, rather than as a side. It’s a way for restaurants to offer much healthier options, too. As consumers continue to be more health-conscious and aware of ingredients, we predict that the use of more vegetables will be one of the newer food trends that won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
23. All-Day Delivery
The convenience of ordering food from the comfort of your own home is loved by everyone. Restaurants are making it just a little bit better by offering 24 7 food delivery. It’s not super popular just yet, either. So, it’s one of the food trends that can easily set you apart from the competition.
Frequently Asked Questions About Food Trends
Food trends tend to emerge from all different angles. Some are inspired by viral social media accounts while others come from the world’s most talented chefs. If you’d like to learn more about food trends as a whole, we’ve got you covered!
What Food Trends Will Be Popular In 2023?
Some of the food trends that we predict will gain popularity throughout 2023 are:
- Local and sustainable ingredients
- Daily menus in restaurants
- Plant-based food items
- Superfoods in recipes
What Foods Are Becoming More Popular?
Foods that are becoming increasingly popular include:
- Meat-free alternatives
- Dairy-free milks and cheeses
- Gluten-free options
- Prepared dinners
What Is the Most Requested Food In the World?
Pizza is the most requested and well-liked food in the world. Various countries across the globe have adaptations of the famous dish. Plus, it’s standard for pizza restaurants to offer delivery which helps maintain its popularity.
Which Food Business Is Most Profitable?
Food trucks are the most profitable type of food business. Not only do they require very few employees, but the limited number of menu items keeps inventory costs at a minimum.
What Food Sells the Most?
Hamburgers are the top-selling food product in the United States. Other food items that fly off the shelves are ice cream, chicken tenders, pizza, and soft drinks.