06 February 2023, 07:42 AM
  • From the industry-altering food movements to exotic ingredients, these are the trends that retailers can cash in on this year
Five trends for fine food retailers to focus on in 2023

Understanding the top trends for 2023 can only benefit your business, so strap in and read on to find out exactly what’s set to sell in the year ahead.

It’s worth noting: these five shifts are no flash-in-the-pan trends – they are redefining the food and drink sector as we know it.

1 Functional properties
It’s been proven that what we eat can affect our memory, concentration and focus, and according to the latest Mintel Food Trends report, “consumer interest in brain health benefits has been growing”. Mintel believes that in 2023, more people “will look for food and drink that influence cognitive capacity, manage stress levels and optimise brain function”. There is a wide range of functional food products that offer all the luxuries of fine food such as quality, indulgence and provenance, so indies are well-placed to cash in.

2 New spirits on the block
One big shift projected for 2023 is the decline of gin and the rise of rum and tequila. “We’re seeing a decline in gin compared to 2019, while tequila sales have doubled in size (up 116%) from 2020 to 2021”, explained John Vine, spirits buyer at Waitrose, in the supermarket’s Food and Drink Report 2023.

Moreover, according to data from the store, the UK is now officially the third-largest rum market in the world. As Brad Wicks, founder of Devon Rum Co, explained, “Just like gin before it, rum’s now enjoying a renaissance, and a real passion among consumers for artisan rums is driving this.”

3 Experimenting with meal kits
The trend for recipe and meal kits that peaked in lockdowns continue to thrive. Consumers enjoy the convenience of having the meal components, ingredients or partially prepared foods in one kit ready for them to prepare at home.

World foods suit the meal kit concept as it means the shopper doesn’t need to buy whole jars of spices as the kits contain enough for two or four portions – avoiding food waste. They create a wholesome, tasty dish often with exotic flavours, for example, miso, teriyaki, satay, ramens, Thai curries, tacos and paellas and more.

4 Conscious eating
2023 will see the rise of ‘climatarians’ – those who have changed their eating habits to help combat global warming, including eating local, seasonal foods with as little carbon footprint and environmental impact as possible.

Conscious eating is definitely a growing trend so expect to see a rise in demand for locally-made produce, foods from local farms, producers and businesses offering food and drink with few food miles. This is an issue that will be at the forefront of food choices for years to come.

5 Zero-proof lifestyles
Alcohol has “lost its cool,” according to a September 2022 article by Vice, which noted the growing number of non-alcoholic options at bars and restaurants, as well as the move from some consumers towards ditching alcohol completely. The past few years have seen a steady rise in people wanting low- or no-alcohol options, as beverage brands started producing more refined non-alcoholic alternatives.

This trend stems from more people, particularly Gen Z, choosing a zero-proof lifestyle. The Guardian reports British 16-24-year-olds are the driving generation shunning alcohol, with 26% fully teetotal.