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Cost and comfort: 2023 F&B trends

The cost of living, inflation, energy prices and climate change/sustainability concerns are set to shape the food and drink trends in 2023, according to research conducted by Campden BRI in partnership with The Food People.

Costs related to food, including the energy in its preparation, are expected to play a role in consumer behavior, the research finds. In this context, comfort is an important attribute consumers seek, which can be found, for example, in items such as out-of-home sandwiches and patisserie rather than from restaurants, Campden BRI highlights. This translates into opportunities for proposing new taste experiences in these categories, the research observes.

It is also anticipated that consumers may start to value frozen and ambient products more. TFP also anticipates a rise in the flexitarian trend. Convenience does not lose its value with consumers next year either.

Cost and comfort will not be the only drivers for consumers. Well-being and environmental concerns will continue to play a role in their choices in 2023, reflected in the preferred products and their packaging. “Minimally processed and ‘clean label’ perceptions are likely to drive purchasing, as are offers of an additional claim or perceived benefit – with growing consumer interest in gut health and other targeted nutrition,” Campden’s researchers say. 

In addition, planning for various challenges remains key, following recent years’ events. Food safety is a main priority in this regard. The research anticipates cost and availability challenges to continue to affect supply chains.

In addition, ‘Ghost kitchens’, or ‘dark kitchens’ operating without a storefront may enjoy a rise in popularity. Multi-user ghost kitchens might constitute an attractive business opportunity in the current environment, the study anticipates – as long as product safety is ensured.

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