Food Trends 2023
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The International Food Information Council (IFIC) released its annual trend forecast for 2023 and the biggest topic of concern is no surprise. The escalating cost of groceries has everyone talking. Since 2022, food costs have risen 11 percent, with inflation and supply chain issues among the causes. Forecasts predict food costs will rise another 4 percent in 2023.
As we move into the new year, convenience will continue to be important as families strive to put food on the table quickly. Pick-up grocery services became more popular during the pandemic and will continue to be utilized in the future. Besides convenience, there are other benefits to ordering groceries online. When shopping in person, it’s hard to resist the temptation of putting items in the cart that aren’t on your grocery list; therefore online shopping can result in spending less and, hopefully, choosing healthier foods. Subscription meal services are also a convenience that people are willing to pay for and companies are offering more affordable options in response to demand.
Sustainability will continue to be a criteria that people use when selecting foods to purchase. Protection of the land and environment, responsible waste management, and food that travels fewer miles from farm to table will guide many consumer decisions. Learning more about food and the connection between consumption and well-being will be a focus as people look for answers to “what can food do for my mind and my gut”. Probiotics are steadily growing in popularity, with digestive/gut health being in the top three sought-after benefits, so expect to see more probiotics added to our food.
Trendy diets are always in the news, especially this time of year and 2023 is no exception. Intermittent fasting plans and Keto diets are popular, but consumers should be aware of the health risks associated with the many variations of these diets. Vegetarian and vegan meal plans have been around for a very long time, but we are seeing several less restrictive alternatives emerging such as flexitarian, pescatarian, and pollotarian, each including consumption of specific meats in moderate amounts. We will see the Mediterranean and DASH eating plans continue to be recommended by many health care professionals as the best healthy eating patterns to reduce risk of chronic illnesses.
“The newest and most exciting nutrition trend this year will be our emphasis on precision nutrition, also known as personalized nutrition”, says Virginia C. Stage, PhD, RDN, Assistant Professor, Nutrition Education & Behavior Specialist at NC State University and NC State Extension. She explains “precision nutrition focuses more on an individual’s specific needs versus only relying on general guidelines. Medical technology has advanced such that we better understand how our genetic makeup, and even gut health, affects our individual response to specific diets. For example, some may be able to maintain a healthy weight with a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; while others may benefit from adding more lean protein sources. Our individual responses to different diets are not often the same – the personalized approach to nutrition respects these differences. Now, following a personalized diet doesn’t mean our broader recommendations to move more and make healthy dietary choices are irrelevant, but it does get us a step closer to making it easier for everyone to lead a long, happy, and healthy life.”