10 Food Trends Coming in 2023, Whether You Like It or Not

10 Food Trends Coming in 2023, Whether You Like It or Not

Our predictions for the foods and fads that will be everywhere in the new year.

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Photo: Ilia Nesolenyi (Shutterstock)

It’s that time of year when we cast our gaze forward into the future of food and try our best to predict which TikToks, trends, and tastes will dominate the conversation in 2023. We come to these conclusions based on reports from trusted industry sources, endless social media scrolling, and our own observations of the products taking over grocery store shelves and restaurant menus alike. Here are the top 10 food trends we’ll be keeping an eye on in 2023.

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Cinnamon sugar

Cinnamon sugar

Snickerdoodle Oreo Cookies Review

Sometimes we need to be reminded that the most common flavor combinations are classics for a reason. And so seems to be the case for cinnamon sugar, which is poised for a wide-scale resurgence in 2023. Last year, we saw Cinnamon Toast Crunch release Cinnadust seasoning, and in September of this year, Oreo introduced its limited-edition snickerdoodle flavor. November saw the release of Smoothie King’s Snickerdoodle holiday flavor, and Krispy Kreme’s fall doughnuts came studded with snickerdoodle cookie pieces. We’re predicting more experimentation from even larger brands in 2023.

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Increasingly luxurious plant-based steaks

Increasingly luxurious plant-based steaks

Image for article titled 10 Food Trends Coming in 2023, Whether You Like It or Not
Photo: Josh Wussow

We’ve tried enough plant-based meats to know that these imitations are not going anywhere anytime soon. But now that brands have mastered mimicry of “formed” meats like burgers and nuggets, the challenge is emulating whole cuts of meat, such as the filet mignon. Some brands, like Juicy Marbles, started ramping up this year with faux-meat filets made to replicate the look, taste, texture, and marbling of an honest-to-god hunk of steak. The next step, as it was for products like the Beyond Burger, will be getting these products (currently for at-home use) onto restaurant menus. A fancy night out at a steakhouse could soon come with a suitable vegan option.

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Mushrooms in everything

Mushrooms in everything

This vegan steak is a game changer!

Many of the vegan steaks of the near future might be made from mushrooms—in the past year, Chipotle invested $50 million into Meati, a company that uses mushroom root to create fake meat. That’s not the only interesting place mushrooms have been popping up lately. You can increasingly find them in root-beer-flavored elixirs, jerky, beer, and chips. And according to Taste, the functional mushroom market is projected to make $69.3 billion by the end of 2024. That means many more mushroom products will hit shelves in the meantime.

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Alternative milk pulp

Alternative milk pulp

Whole Foods declared “pulp with a purpose” a trend for 2023, and out of all the grocery brand’s predictions for the coming year, this is the one we’re the most on board with. After oat, nut, or soy milk has been strained and turned into what we buy in the carton, there’s a gooey mess left behind known as the pulp. While some production processes simply dispose of the pulp, some people (and companies) have been experimenting with ways of using the pulp to replace wet ingredients in baking, and much of that experimentation has been done on TikTok, a fairly accurate indicator of “the next big thing.”

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Gut health

Gut health

Unfortunately for us all, #guthealth has nearly 3 billion views on TikTok. In the world of diet and wellness culture, “gut health” will be the next big phrase slapped onto packages everywhere to feed into a fad that seemingly only exists to give us diarrhea. It’s a trend that we’re not necessarily happy about, so consider this a warning against the onslaught of probiotic sodas and miracle gut tonics about to hit the market.

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Tinned fish

Tinned fish

According to a press release sent to The Takeout, tinned fish has been dubbed the “hot girl food” of Gen Z, whatever that means. While the wording may be questionable, we agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment that tinned fish rules and its ascension to mainstream grocery staple is long overdue. Once again, we have TikTok to thank—in the last three months tinned fish rankings and tips for “getting into tinned fish” have dominated the social media platform.

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Upscale pet food

Upscale pet food

Would You Treat Your Dog to a $75 Meal?

What can we say? People love their pets, and our societal obsession with high-quality, “wellness”-focused products has fully crossed over to pet food. This year we witnessed the debut of the restaurant Dogue in San Francisco, which offers a $75 tasting menu just for dogs. Expect to see even more growth of products like Whole Foods brand Whole Paws Grass-Fed Lamb and Garbanzo Grain-Free Dog Food, Zesty Paws Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil Skin & Coat Supplement, and raw and freeze-dried pet foods across multiple brands.

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Italian fast food

Italian fast food

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Photo: Dennis Lee

This year, Wendy’s and Burger King both decided to go Italian with new sandwiches, the Italian Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich/Cheeseburger and the Italian Royal Crispy Chicken Sandwich, respectively. Between the success of those items and news that Fazoli’s, the original Italian fast food, seemingly thrived throughout the pandemic, it’s a safe bet that other chains will soon slather marinara sauce on some of their own signature items in 2023.

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Experimental work weeks

Experimental work weeks

Chick-fil-A in Florida introduces 3-day workweek resulting in 100% employee retention

As all industries work to redefine what work looks like after the effects of the pandemic, restaurants have had a particularly difficult challenge in retaining workers. In an effort to try everything, one Chick-fil-A location in Miami successfully implemented a three-day work week, proving (at least for now) that the model could work for both employees and managers . The success at this one location will surely spread to others in the chain, and that snowball effect may have other brands rethinking their workday structure over the next year.

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Unionization

Unionization

Why Starbucks Workers Fought to Unionize

Between the fights of fast food workers at Starbucks and Chipotle and grocery workers at Trader Joe’s, a union wave has been sweeping the food industry, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Over the last year, Starbucks Workers United in particular has shown other fast food and grocery workers the roadmap for successful unionization, strikes, and (attempted) negotiations. Next year is prime for even more shops to join the fight for fair labor practices.

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