Food trends to look out for in 2023

All of a sudden it’s the end of May, and we’re almost halfway through the year. And there is no better time than the present to step outside your culinary comfort zone and try one of the many food and drink trends making the rounds right now. Of course, not all trends stand the test of time, but there are quite a few that are in it for the long haul.

  1. Low- and No-ABV Drinks Reign Supreme

The sober-curious movement started making waves in 2021, and 2022 brought the rise of non-alcoholic or functional beverages to the forefront of retail and bars alike.

One of the most exciting beverages this year would be zero-proof spirits. They present all the flavor with none of the alcohol, making them a perfect replacement for beverage lovers opting for less of a buzz.

They’re available in various flavors that mimic their alcohol-based counterparts. And they blend easily with your favorite bar elements to become friendlier versions of familiar cocktails.

  1. Retro Foods That Remind You of Childhood

According to Whole Foods’ 2023 Foods Trend Report, nostalgia and retro food items are making a major comeback. From mac and cheese to pizza bites to classic old-school cereals, you’ll see your childhood favorites back at the grocery store.

As evidenced by the comeback of Y2K fashion trends and revivals of 90s movie and TV classics, people are more nostalgic for their childhood faves than ever. The fast food industry has listened and brought back some old staples with the return of the McRib and Mexican Pizza; the cocktail scene has seen a resurgence in the nostalgic Dirty Shirley; and health & wellness companies are rebranding new-old favorites to fit 2023’s health-conscious consumers.

  1. Curry

Curry is obviously not new, but there have been a growing number of curry-related products in local grocery stores. Take a look the next time you go to one; this warming, complex type of cuisine crosses many cultures and preparations.

There is no one curry the way there is no single ice cream variety–the flavors and options are practically endless. Overall, it’s a great comfort food for cooling weather and falling temperatures.

  1. Mood Food

A fancy way of saying “ordinary food that is cannabis infused”, mood food has been growing in popularity on social media for some time. The Vice Munchies series includes an impressive amount of reporting on 420-friendly recipes, and YouTube channels such as The Cannabis Cooking Channel all point toward a sustained interest in marijuana-infused entrees, deserts, and even cocktails.

Since some 19 states have legalized or decriminalized cannabis at this time, we can possibly see more states join this group and a possible national trend developing in this area.

  1. Rotational Grains

Think grains that have been around for centuries – quinoa, amaranth, and barley. They’re high in protein, contain essential vitamins and minerals, and we’re seeing them more in health-conscious kitchens and are quite popular in trendy subscription meal kits such as HelloFresh or EveryPlate.

Not only are these grains healthier, but they also have a direct positive impact on soil health across the country because they usually don’t require fertilizers, pesticides, or irrigation, and they are resistant in warmer climates.

  1. Mushrooms

Sustainable ingredients have been a concurrent trend in the restaurant business and as cultivators and chefs look for new resources to source locally, the humble mushroom often winds up getting a look.

Shiitakes, portabellas, and crimini are old favorites; but this year make sure to take a look for continued growth in specialty mushrooms; Oyster mushrooms alone are reported by one source to have grown well over 100% in use as appetizers alone.

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