The Top 5 Healthy Food Trends of 2023 You Cannot Miss

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The food trend of healthier eating will continue strongly in 2023. Consumers are getting more health conscious, and healthy food seems to be on top of their minds every time they grocery shop or buy food online.

We look at the top five health food trends of 2023 that are expected to dominate the year in consumer preferences. These trends are derived from Ai Palette’s proprietary trendspotting technology, Foresight Engine.

Plant-Based Foods Will Continue to Dominate

health food trends 2023 - plant based and vegan trendsThe plant-based packaged foods such as snacks and dairy have grown quickly and drastically over the past five years. Consumers are also getting increasingly excited about consuming plant-based foods, with the market expected to grow to US$103.56 billion by 2027.

Its growth trajectory could continue into 2023. Exotic fruit-based smoothies made with dragon fruit, passion fruit or kiwi are expected to be the primary products, followed by increased use in plant-based dairy, including oat milk, almond milk, and soy milk. The benefits of health and a feeling of emotional wellness drive this trend. Concern for the environment is also driving this trend.

Ai Palette’s research shows the plant-based theme is ‘Growing’ in 10 categories and ‘Emerging’ in two types across all countries in our coverage, with four-year CAGR growth between 10% and 35% in all these categories

Reducing Wastage Will Be in Focus

health food trends 2023 - food wastageThe United States Department of Agriculture estimates that up to 40% of America’s food products are wasted. Experts recommend that recycling wasted food products can significantly reduce this wastage. Recycling food waste has been gaining traction over the years, with many large retail chains joining the “reduce waste” bandwagon, asking customers to reduce, reuse and recycle their food and package usage.

Labels such as ‘upcycled’ and ‘recycled’ have gained popularity in the last few years. Brands have even used leftovers from nut and fruit processing to make healthy food products such as granola bars and muesli.

For example, in China, one of the world’s biggest food and beverage markets, “Recycling” as a theme is a ‘Growing’ trend in three categories and an ‘Emerging’ trend in two types. 

The trend of reducing waste will expand beyond packaging. It will enter the realms of processed food, restaurant orders and delivery services as more consumers become more conscious about the environment, seek to cut down on waste and reduce their carbon footprint. Brands could latch on to this trend early and include more recycled products as a part of their portfolio while this trend is still nascent.

Consumers Want Non-alcoholic Versions of Favourite Cocktails

health food trends 2023 - nonalcoholic and zero alcohol trendsNon-alcoholic beer and wine are increasing across the world. From Sydney to San Francisco, consumers seek non-alcoholic versions of their favourite spirits to improve their gut health, increase energy and consume fewer calories.  Global alcohol brands such as Suntory and Diageo have all introduced non-alcoholic versions of popular cocktails to consumers. Smaller brands are also joining the bandwagon, with low-craft beers and zero-alcohol artisanal wines trending worldwide.

Nonalcoholic cocktails such as mojitos, martinis and sangria are also trending in various countries worldwide, with taste and health mostly being the primary drivers.

In Nigeria, consumers are particularly looking for a premium experience with zero alcohol beverages.

Ai Palette’s research shows ‘Non-alcoholic’ is a ‘Growing’ trend in six countries worldwide. For a comprehensive deep dive into the nonalcoholic beverage trend, read our trend report here.

Seed-Infused Snacks Will Be Purchased More

health food trends 2023 - chia seed trendsSunflower, pumpkin, watermelon, chia, and flax seeds are all trending globally because of their similar nutrition profile to nuts, minus the allergies they could cause. Flax and chia seeds are packed with nutrients and good plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids, meaning consumers of different dietary preferences are trying to buy them for their homes.

Consumers use seeds in baked snacks such as bread and biscuits and beverages such as smoothies. They also add it to their breakfast meals for an added nutrient punch.

In the United States, the world’s biggest food and beverage market, snacks infused with chia seeds are trending as consumers are looking to increase their intake of omega-3. This has caused ‘Omega-3’ to be an ‘Emerging’ trend in the snacks category, with chia seeds being the number one ranked product within the theme.

Sugar Consumption Will Reduce Further

health food trends 2023 - low sugar, no sugar and zero sugar trendsConsumers are looking at zero-sugar variations of their favourite snacks and drinks. Though this trend is similar to the zero alcohol trend, for sugar, the drivers also include the benefits to the skin and health benefits.

Large brands such as Coca-cola and Pepsi have had zero sugar variations in their beverages for years. Still, this trend has also moved to the snacks and bakery categories, with consumers reading labels carefully to understand how much sugar they consume daily.

Low sugar is trending across markets. In the United Kingdom, it is an ‘Emerging’ theme in three categories with positive four-year CAGR and positive YoY growth.

Conclusion

Healthy food is one of the vital breakout trends that has continued upward even after consumers returned to everyday life. These trends will continue in their growth phase well into 2023 and beyond.

If you’d like to learn more and the health food trends that will dominate 2023, speak to our experts today

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