Food trends of 2023: here’s what to expect

What fresh developments does the food industry have in store for us? We took a closer look at the food trends of 2023.

Food trends 2023: Sustainability is booming.
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Food trends as a reflection of societal developments

How and what we eat isn’t just determined by personal taste; our consumption is also influenced by external factors, whether this happens unknowingly or is a conscious decision. In particular, the progression of climate change is making us take a more sustainable approach to food. New food trends are emerging in response to societal change and represent more than just isolated innovative products – on the contrary, they’re actually shaping our consumption and eating behaviors on a lasting basis. So let’s take a look at the food trends of 2023.

The top three food trends of 2023

Every year, the food industry eagerly awaits the Food Report from the German Zukunftsinstitut (“Future Institute”), which shines a light on global food trends. For years now, health expert and leading food trend researcher Hanni Rützler has been studying changes in our eating culture. She has dedicated the last 10 years to researching developments in the food industry on behalf of the Zukunftsinstitut. She identified the following trends in her Food Report 2023.

#1 New glocal

From flour to sunflower oil, a shortage of products in recent years has been a wake-up call that globalization also has its disadvantages – not just for shoppers facing empty shelves in the grocery store. The pandemic has made it clear that neither the food industry nor consumers can rely on global sourcing for the majority of their needs. The ongoing war in Ukraine and climate change are also having an impact on the food industry. There is a growing demand for striking a better balance between global imports and locally sourced products.

The trend toward new glocal is being hailed as the answer to this desire for more harmony between regional and imported food. New glocal represents a new food hierarchy, where regional availability – rather than the lowest price – is the decisive criterion when determining whether products such as grains or ready-made food should be imported or not.

In the future, Rützler believes that the food trade will increasingly shift toward glocalization and focus more on regionality and sustainable production that is resiliently networked with global structures.

#2 Regenerative food

Those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet unfortunately don’t automatically contribute to a better energy and sustainability footprint. If vegetables, grains, and other foods are not grown sustainably, consume a lot of water, or damage the soil, even healthy products can be detrimental to the environment.

Regenerative food aims to produce food in accordance with the criteria of regenerative agriculture in order to counteract climate change in the long term. Promoting soil regeneration and biodiversity takes center stage here.

#3 Veganizing recipes

Vegan food is becoming more and more popular, but many people still struggle to switch to a completely vegan diet because they’re surrounded by an omnivorous eating culture. Particularly in German cuisine, a lot of the traditional dishes contain animal products. The food industry has already responded to this cultural aspect by offering vegan substitutes in the shape of schnitzel or fish sticks.

Veganizing traditional meals is becoming a trend on social media and on the cookbook market. “Vegourmets”, a hybrid word formed from vegetarian/vegan and gourmet, were already mentioned as a trend in the Food Report published in 2022. These food connoisseurs have a particular taste for plant-based delicacies.

According to the 2023 edition, traditional dishes prepared in a vegan way will not only be regarded as an alternative to the original, but will also become standard in our culinary repertoires. In a bid to offer vegan meals that are on a par with or even taste better than their meat or fish equivalent, countless creative ideas and products are emerging and will enrich our menu over the coming years.

Food trends of 2023: sustainability will define how we eat in the future

In light of the various crises we’re facing and their long-term implications, our regional and globalized food system needs to be realigned. Food trends such as new glocal, regenerative food, and veganizing recipes are a response to societal change and much more than just a fleeting hype. Their mission is to place an important emphasis on producing food in a more regional, conscious, and sustainable manner – something that will no doubt lastingly change the way in which we consume food.