Fusion and multi-ethnic foods, sustainability awareness, wellbeing and nutrition, good value dining, and spicy soups are set to be the food trends for the year ahead, according to Tasneem Alonzo, joint managing director at Lähde by EHL Ingredients, based in Stockport.
Here, she looks at the incoming trends for the year and shares her predictions on the foods, flavours and feasts we can expect to see during 2023.
With so many British households, families, and friendship groups coming from diverse countries and cultures, we’re seeing a real melting pot of fusion foods emerge, especially within food markets, street food stalls and trucks, pop ups, and informal dining outlets. Think tikka tacos, sriracha hot dogs, harissa frittatas, cheeseburger pierogies – fun fusions of multiple cuisines in one dish. We’ve seen Afro-tacos, jollof rice with burritos, tabil sprinkled on pizzas, melekesha on flatbreads, and curried scotch eggs to name a few multi-ethnic dishes but there’s real potential here and clear opportunity for food manufacturers, brands and start-ups to really get creative.
Sustainability, climate change and care for the planet are key themes in the food industry and consumers are playing their part by considering food miles, cutting down on meat consumption and seeking out planet-friendly foods. Alongside this, we’re seeing 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 we expect to see a rise in demand for locally made produce, foods from local farms, producers and businesses with few food miles. This is an issue that will be at the forefront of food choices for years to come.
Consumers are also aware of the potential health benefits of certain ingredients and are welcoming natural, functional foods and ingredients with micronutrients. We’re seeing sales of pulses and seeds surge, as consumers opt for foods to support immune systems and general wellbeing. For example, dried chickpeas and lentils can be used in a multitude of ways, for hummus and falafels, added to stews and soups, chillies and curries and even baked with spices for snacks. Taking into account the cost of living crisis, they’re affordable, versatile and filling and can form the basis of many meals. Sesame seeds and kalonji seeds are great as inclusions in breads, loaves and rolls, pie toppings, and can be added to oats, yoghurts, smoothies and juices. They’re packed full of nutrients and health benefits too.
Comfort and convenience
The trend for informal dining shows no sign of abating as sharing foods, grazing boards, hand held bites, and casual concepts drive dining experiences. Consumers are looking for quality foods in a relaxed environment or to enjoy in the home for group gatherings.
Meat, fish or vegetable-based dishes, as well as meat-free foods such as cauliflower pakoras, halloumi fries, seitan, plant-based burgers and dipped sandwiches are popular choices as they are easy to eat, great to share, suitable for dipping, and they appeal to the instagram generation looking to share tempting food photos on their feeds.
We’re also seeing the trend for Direct To Consumer, that peaked in lockdowns, continue to thrive. Consumers enjoy the convenience of having the meal components, ingredients or partially prepared foods arrive at their door ready for them to cook. 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 – so 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.
Soup is also surging, boosted nutritionally by the addition of pulses and grains to result in a hearty, filling, cost-effective meal. Exotic soups and stews from around the world, such as moqueca (Brazilian seafood soup), maeuntang (Korean fish soup), borscht, spicy ramens, aromatic pho and hearty European soups such as Tuscan bean and bouillabaisse, are bringing exciting, filling, one pot solutions to busy mealtimes.
Modern Brits’ tastes, lifestyles, and dining expectations are ever-evolving and 2023 will be hotbed for creativity and adventure. In world flavours, the cuisines we’re expecting to surge in popularity next year are Korean BBQ, Brazilian, Levantine, West African and Greek.
The challenge is to offer exotic flavours, dishes packed with nutrients, with an eye on sustainability, and climate-friendly options to suit new eating habits, preferences and concerns.
Our range of herbs, spices and ingredients allows manufacturers, brands, chefs, caterers and operators to create diverse foods, world cuisines, and exotic dishes to bring excitement and interest to dining experiences.
The blends in the Lähde range are all dry mixes, making them highly versatile for use on meat, fish, vegetable and plant-based foods, and they are available in vegan, non-allergen, and organic formats.