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KeHE Releases 2023 Trend Report

Specialty Food Association

KeHE has released "2023 Macro Trends," which outlines the trends and innovations to look out for in the coming year. The company’s trend and innovation team leveraged data and analytics from Mintel and across the industry to determine five major grocery trends.

The company identified a larger shift toward consumers seeking a sustainable lifestyle. According to Mintel’s data, 68 percent of consumers agree that taking measures to help the environment makes them feel happy, and many are engaging in limiting less sustainable foods and composting.

“In 2023, consumers will seek transparency in products, packaging, transportation, and ingredients alongside a growing interest in sustainability,” writes KeHE, noting that this information connects them to a brand.

Going beyond sustainability, consumers are becoming more conscious of what they put in their bodies. This movement, called the conscious consumer, favors a flexitarian diet that adds food groups, members eat less sugar, add plant-based options, and consider low-carb options. In a health effort, 41 percent of consumers are drinking a low or non-alcoholic drink when presented with the choice.

Relatedly, holistic health and wellness have seen an uptick in interest, with 78 percent of consumers claiming healthful eating is important for emotional well-being. This lifestyle has been impacted by workplace stress and mental health awareness.

Social media has largely impacted the next key trend: elevating the culinary experience. Approximately 52 percent of U.S. media users follow a lifestyle influencer, which informs purchasing decisions. Among all generations, eaters are seeking a culinary community and recipe experimentation.

“Consumers are looking for cuisines that provide balance and escapism, for example offering the pleasures of traveling the world without leaving the comfort of one’s home,” writes KeHE.

In seeking out culinary experiences, consumers are personalizing their meal choices with flavor-forward and functional ingredients. This trend, which inspires food innovation with unique ingredients, shows that home chefs explore brands that deliver surprising and meaningful ingredients in some way.

Related: Torani Reveals Flavor of the Year; McCormick Releases Flavor Trend Report