As we bid farewell to 2022, we take a look ahead at the trends that are thought to dominate the food and beverage industry in the coming year. We’ve all read time and again that COVID transformed the way we shop, eat and gather. So, what is the industry’s trajectory this year as we view future trends with a fresh lens?
Popularity of pre-prepped meals
Recent reports from Information Resources, Inc. (IRI®) and The NPD Group (NPD®), show that more people are eating at home. One of the dominating factors as to why this is happening is inflation. Statistics show that eating out will cost you 3.4 times more than preparing and eating food you bought from a store. Ready-to-eat meals, especially those that are pre-cooked, are not only convenient for the working population but also an extremely cost-effective option over eating out.
Beyond the well-known pre-prepped meal delivery services such as Hello Fresh, Blue Apron and Green Chef, other companies are also experiencing an increase in sales such as Nestlé, The Kraft Heinz Company, and more. As another result of COVID, nonperishable canned goods saw a spike in numbers as well as frozen and pre-chilled foods. Companies like Kraft Heinz, grew in net sales from $5.8 billion to $6.0 billion in 2022.
Foods will “Go Green”
One trend on the horizon, and very popular with Gen Z, is food sustainability. In other words, this generation is leaning more towards foods that create minimal impacts on the environment. These sustainable foods are generally more nutritious, leading to the healthiest possible lifestyle. According to the EAT-Lancet Commissions report that was created by over a dozen scientists from around the world, those who lean towards a vegan or vegetarian diet help reduce environmental degradation caused by food production. The study shows this can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 12.5 Gt CO2e – the equivalent of taking 2.7 billion cars off the road. In 2023, you will see more plant-based foods, dishes that include more vegan options, and fusing global culinary styles into our weekly meal lineups.
A recent report from Whole Foods Market showed there will also be an increase in sustainability messaging on labels from manufacturers. This is due consumers who want accountability for the safety of the environment and want physical proof of animal welfare before purchasing items like chicken and eggs.
Mocktails make a splash
Reports from Yelp show that mocktails are going to be hot in 2023. After non-alcoholic drinks increased by 59% in 2022, many brands are starting to emerge onto the scene and are even being promoted by celebrity A-listers. Katy Perry started her own line of nonalcoholic aperitifs, De Soi, Blake Lively created the brand, Betty Buzz, as a nonalcoholic mixer, and even model Bella Hadid helped found an alcohol free seltzer brand.
And, if you’re wondering what the top nonalcoholic beverage was in 2022, Yelp reports it was the michelagua, which is the alternative to the beloved Mexican drink with flavor options that include mango, pineapple and spinach. Reports show that the michelagua drink saw a 62% search increase in 2022.
Budget-friendly grocery stores
Another trend that continues to rise in popularity is budgeted grocery stores. If you haven’t heard of the grocery store, Aldi, odds are you will soon. This German-owned company is sweeping and expects to become the third-largest grocer in the United States. That’s because the chain offers low prices on food and creates an aesthetically pleasing shopping experience with wide aisles and natural lighting.
The key to Aldi’s affordable goods comes from the store’s innovative business sense with offering private label lines, creating a different way of stocking shelves, which leads to less staff, and keeping their stores small with less square footage than their competitors.
Trader Joe’s (TJ’s) is another budgeted grocery store that also offers private label lines, creating a sort of niche selection that adds to the novelty of this affordable grocery experience. In an article by Forbes, Trader Joes is said to be winning as a discount grocery chain by cutting out the middle man not only when it comes to private labels, but also when it comes to marketing strategies. The layout and atmosphere of TJ’s is so popular that the customers are the store’s biggest megaphones, creating less need for advertisements.