10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition & Health 2023
Amy Bond, Assistant Librarian and Information Specialist,
As the end of the year approaches, it is a good time to prepare for what is to come in 2023. Health and wellness will continue to be of vital importance to consumers. Mintel has identified wellbeing as one of their seven core drivers of consumer trends (Mintel, 2022), and FMCG Gurus has included four health related trends in their top ten trends for 2023 (FMCG Gurus, 2022). However, what health and wellbeing means to consumers is continually changing and evolving. Luckily, New Nutrition Business (NNB), updates their 10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition and Health Report annually, tracking the shifts in this space (Mellentin, 2022). Below is an overview of NNB’s 10 key consumer trends which they believe will be the most important in 2023:
1. Carbs - Better, Fewer, Greener: While many consumers remain cautious about their intake of carbohydrates, they are very interested in innovations that give them permission to indulge in carbs. Areas that resonate include high protein, low sugar, and cleaner labels.
2. Digestive Wellness Diversifies: With one-in-three consumers experiencing digestive discomfort, digestive wellness will continue to be an important area, and the delivery options are becoming broader and more fragmented. There are nine routes for companies to choose from, including probiotics and fermentation, high fibre, gluten free, and lactose free.
3. Plants Made Convenient: Consumers continue to want to incorporate plants into their diet as much as possible, and are looking for brands to make this easy for them to achieve. They are looking for convenient formats, and ways to easily swap out less desirable foods with plant alternatives.
4. Animal Protein Powers On: The desire for more plants in their diet, doesn’t mean consumers are necessarily cutting out meat. There is huge potential to leverage the natural advantages of animal protein to deliver long term growth. These benefits include its nutrient density, familiarity, and taste.
5. Sweetness Reinvented: Brands are getting creative in addressing consumers sugar concerns while also delivering on their desire for sweetness. Reduced and no sugar is still a powerful message, and natural sugars are preferable, but consumers are still looking for moments of pure indulgence too, where they are happy to embrace high sugar products.
6. The Plant Protein Paradox: While there is still strong consumer interest in plant protein, there are technical and nutritional challenges in the category. There is high interest in natural products, but also opportunity for science based companies to deliver on nutritional demands. However, for products to succeed they will still need to appeal on taste.
7. Rethinking Fat: Consumers are becoming more knowledgeable on how various fats differ. High fat is not necessarily a negative, but consumers want to know if it’s a good fat source, and it it’s natural. There is also an awareness that low-fat often means high-sugar.
8. Mood and Mind: The link between food and emotional wellbeing is becoming better understood by consumers. However, brands making such claims will need to ensure that they can deliver a benefit that consumers can feel. Some foods, like chocolate, don’t even need to make a claim, as consumers instinctively know to turn to them for a mood boost.
9. Real Food and The UPF Challenge: There is a huge appetite for ‘real food’ with concern around Ultra-Processed Foods (UPF). Consumers are looking for short ingredient lists of ingredients they recognise.
10. Provenance and Authenticity: As well as wanting to know what is in their food, consumers want to know where it is from. For many this means they want products that are local to them, but even for products that can’t be sourced locally they still want details on its specific source.
Implications for Irish suppliers:
These trends provide many different potential approaches to attracting consumers to your brand. The key to success is only trying to speak to trends that you can stand behind, and that will stand up to the scrutiny of discerning consumers. Bord Bia clients who wish to access NNB’s 10 Key trends report and discover which strategies they can use to create success for their business can contact our librarians at email@example.com.
FMCG Gurus. (2022). Top Ten Trends for 2023 (Rep.). FMCG Gurus.
Mellentin, J. (2022). 10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition & Health 2023 (Rep.). New Nutrition Business.
Mintel. (2022). Global Consumer Trends 2023 (Rep.). Mintel.