January is an important time to predict and consider what trends and changes we can expect to see in the culinary world throughout the year. In the food and hospitality industry, staying ahead of the curve is essential in order to appeal to customers and remain successful. Although we’ve already looked at trends in the eating out market, here, we will explore what flavours and ingredients chefs and restauranteurs should be aware of in 2023:
1. Fermented foods: Fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir are gaining popularity for their health benefits as well as their unique, tangy flavour. Expect to see more chefs incorporating fermented ingredients into their dishes.
2. Asian flavours: Expect to see more Asian flavours on menus, with chefs taking influence from Japanese and Korean culture and food1. Think fried chicken, Korean corn dogs and bulgogi. Sri Lankan cuisine is also hailed as being a big flavour for 2023, with key ingredients such as garlic, cinnamon and coconut2.
3. Global: Other global cuisines are also predicted to be big in 2023. In particular, Cuban, Pan-African and next-level fusion foods which combine flavours and formats that wouldn’t usually go together2.
4. Authentic favourites: The insurgence of new trending cuisines does not mean more mainstream cuisines will lose out. In fact, Mexican cuisine is showing no signs of decline in 2023, with consumers looking for authentic and regional dishes such as elote, tortas, birria and tacos1.
5. Ancient grains: Chefs and restaurants are increasingly turning to ancient grains, such as quinoa, farro, and amaranth, as a healthier and more sustainable alternative to traditional grains.
6. Foraged foods: With 53% of UK adults liking the idea of more foraged foods on menus, chefs can look to include things like wild garlic, blackberries and blackcurrants within their dishes3.
7. Innovation with meat alternatives: Beyond plant-based options, meat alternatives such as lab-grown meat, insect-based proteins, alternative protein source like Seitan and tempeh and also new creative ways of using vegetables like cauliflower, mushrooms and broccoli, are increasingly being adopted by chefs and restaurants in an effort to reduce their environmental impact.
8. Comfort food: The global events of recent years have seen consumers turn to classic comfort food dishes and nostalgic flavours. With 57% of UK adults finding the idea of nostalgic or retro-themed food appealing4, expect to see more dishes that evoke memories of childhood and offer a sense of warmth and familiarity – perhaps with a new modern twist or grown-up touch1.
By incorporating these flavours and ingredients into their dishes, chefs can stay ahead of the curve and offer customers something new and exciting by experimenting, innovating, and standing out in a competitive market.
1. The Food People Trends for 22/23
2. Bidfood 2023 Food and Drink Trends
3. Bidfood & CGA 2023 Trends consumer survey, sample size 2,003 (UK adults)
4. Bidfood & CGA by Nielsen IQ, 2023 Trends consumer survey, sample size 2,003 (UK adults)