Bidfood Report Reveals Food & Drink Trends Poised to Take Off in 2023

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After another difficult year involving price inflation, military conflict overseas and plenty of new legislation in the United Kingdom, Bidfood, one of Britain’s leading foodservice suppliers has released the latest food and drink trends set to shape and inspire the industry for 2023.

Despite a tough few years, the Slough, Buckinghamshire-headquartered company’s latest research has shown that consumer demand for eating out remains strong. In fact, according to CGA, a provider of on-premise insights owned by Nielsen in June of 2022, seven in ten consumers say eating and drinking out is the treat they most look forward to. To help support operators navigating the changes in consumer habits, and staying ahead of the curve, Bidfood has released its 2023 trends report along with a raft of support tools including the latest trends video installment, new recipe ideas, and new podcast episodes.

A synopsis of the trends follows:

Retro love: Fancy a trip down memory lane? The Retro Love trend is all about revamping childhood memories and conjuring a sense of nostalgia, particularly through desserts, cakes and cocktails. It provides a great opportunity to bring novelty and comfort to menus with innovative takes on nostalgic dishes.

Flavors Less Traveled: As Covid-19 travel restrictions become a thing of the past, emerging world cuisines are still leading the way, with a rise in demand for more unusual dishes.  Over one in three people surveyed say emerging cuisines have replaced the more established ones in their regular meal choices. As well as this, research has shown that the four leading cuisines Bidfood identified this year do not have a strong presence on menus, so now would seem to be a good time for operators to adopt them and take consumer’s taste buds on a new journey:

Cuban – Taking inspiration from Spain and the Caribbean, Cuban cuisine has real potential to take flight, with 46% saying they would like to try the island’s delicacies.

Sri Lankan – An explosion of flavor, Sri Lanka’s key ingredients include turmeric, garlic, cinnamon and coconut – but the spice levels can easily be adjusted to suit the consumer’s palate.

Pan-African – Cuisines from this vast continent produce a myriad of flavors. Made up of comforting stews, soups and rice-based dishes, it’s a very adaptable and accessible trend.

Unusual Fusions – More restaurants are combing flavors and formats that normally wouldn’t be paired together, especially as 40% of consumers want to try these unusual fusions.

Conscious Choices: This trend centers on the fact that consumers are becoming more mindful of where they eat and drink out and what they order. While this isn’t new for 2023, the cost of living crisis, as well as the coronavirus pandemic have been contributing factors to how people think about food and drink.

Pizza Evolution: Because of the format and versatility of pizza, it lends itself well to creative and accessible innovation. Gluten-free bases, plant-based and premium toppings make pizza sit perfectly within different sectors, times of the day and occasions.

Nature’s Gifts: This trend focuses on the role of plants within a dish and the ways chefs are incorporating the fruits, herbs and spices they have found themselves in the wild.

“We’re thrilled to see how the food and drink trends landing in 2023 are embracing sustainability, flavor experimentation and a journey through time, which in turn will allow the chefs to have fun while building their menus. Eating out has become a highly valued luxury for many, so it will be important for chefs to consider how they can evolve their dishes and adhere to the more mindful choices consumers are making now,” said Catherine Hinchcliff, head of corporate marketing and insights at Bidfood.

She added: “We worked with CGA again this year, by carrying out exclusive research and conducting food influencer interviews. We also visited and interviewed restaurant operators in different cities to deliver the useful tools and resources that our customers can implement in their 2023 menu planning no matter where they’re based in the UK.”