Last year, there were more than 1.5 billion visits to food and recipe websites, but despite much-professed “flavor and culinary trends,” the 10 most popular search words included – in descending order—cookies, chicken, chili, slow cooker, pork chops, salmon, meatloaf, banana bread, ground beef, and pasta salad.
Perhaps, this year, we’ll see a shift in a healthier direction. . .
Healthy Eating: The New Norm
In 2023, food trends will focus on health-conscious eating, sustainability, and unique food experiences. People’s palates are becoming more diverse as they explore global food cultures, so flavors from different countries will become increasingly popular. Additionally, plant-based foods have now been perfected for taste and texture in a way that appeals to meat-eaters as well. Snack food trends will also continue to evolve in 2023, with food products designed for specific times of day or activities, rather than just a sweet or savory items. For example, food bars may be crafted to provide energy during a morning workout routine or late-night studying session. As food trends continue to evolve, food lovers can look forward to an exciting and delicious 2023.
In addition to food trends, food safety will become a major focus for the food industry in 2023. With advances in food technology and food production processes, food contamination will be more quickly detected and reported than ever before. Food safety standards will also continue to rise, and food manufacturers will be held more accountable for the food products they put on the market. This will result in greater consumer trust and confidence when it comes to food purchases, allowing people to enjoy a variety of food experiences without worrying about their safety.
In the meantime, I’ve done some research, and several food trends seem apparent for the New Year. Some are driven by health, others by sheer decadence.
Here are my 10 expert projections
Eat for What Ails You:
Health issues are relatively commonplace within U.S. households. Nearly 52 million households have a member afflicted with muscle or joint pain; 51 million have a member with high cholesterol; 50 million have a member with high blood pressure, 23 million have a member with diabetes, and 17 million households have a member with osteoporosis. “Prescriptive eating” actually has the potential to go from a trend to a way of life.
That’s another way of saying consumers, challenged by high food prices, will focus on simple recipes using less expensive cuts of meats, along with more beans, grains, and produce, which may or not be local or seasonal.
Bite into a sandwich of chipotle pork chop with burnt sugar glaze and tarragon mayonnaise and your taste buds will announce that these flavors came from a global tastemaker. This is what’s emerging: A multiethnic, multisensory dining experience where flavors clash on purpose.
It’s the new hamburger.
Look for sandwiches made with bread alternatives like arepas, flattened tostones, bao, waffles, and rice cakes.
Bulgogi, kimchee, and bibimbap have taken over Wednesday food sections, which means that shelter magazines will start running simplified recipes in 2012.
The Year of the Potato:
Their time has come. Watch for French fry menus that let you choose the cut, crispness, and dipping sauce; there will be make-your-own mashers with mix-ins, and custom-cut chips with a la carte dip to order.
Use Your Noodle:
Noodles have been around since the beginning of time, but innovative and exciting restaurants are highlighting this ancient art with hand-pulled noodles.
RIP Comfort Food:
When the recession hit, Americans gravitated to roast chicken, meatloaf, and mac and cheese. Now bored by gastro-nostalgia, Americans are demanding new taste thrills and culinary inventions. Look for traditional comfort food like mac and cheese to be reworked with ingredients such as pork rillettes. (And, no, pork is not going anywhere this year.)
Beer Gardens Boom:
This trend will sweep the country, especially in restaurants and breweries with unused backyards, oversized parking lots, or available rooftops. Bottoms up!