In 2022, the most widely recognised trend was an increase in the consumption of plant-based or processed foods (synthetic meat, plant-based meat substitutes) for vegetarian, vegan or simply conscious or ethically active consumers and the growth of dark kitchens for food delivery.
For the year 2023 in Italy, on the restaurant side, consumers are ready to go back to table service restaurants, on the food shopping side, there is a greater focus on fresh food to improve nutrition or, anyway, a stronger attention to healthy food choices. Year 2023, a super green one: more conscious consumption of natural foods, shorter supply chains and sustainable kitchens.
The post-pandemic agri-food system and the restaurant field
During the year 2022, we’ve seen a slow but definite upswing in the restaurant sector, thanks to the support of open-air tables. This was also made possible by the extension of concessions with favourable conditions – such as in the city of Milan and beyond. The further development of delivery systems in the restaurants themselves and/or on the available platforms and the geographical coverage have also been increasing.
For sure a year ago, as a consequence of Covid-19, Italians were still afraid to step out of their homes to enjoy a dinner at a restaurant or even have a simple drink at the pub.
Street Food, Food Service Restaurants and local cafés
According to a Food Service Market Monitor study (conducted by Deloitte) an increase in full service restaurants, the street food phenomenon and local cafés is expected by 2023.
The food value is still perceived as necessary, and all over the world it needs to be resized because of a common and widespread problem such as inflation.
Innova Market in its latest reports shows several interesting data on the choice trends also for the younger generations, who are becoming more influential, changing the food and beverage market. Consumers seek nutritional value and are expecting a continued shared responsibility for environmental safety.
In 2023, consumers will look for brands that take into consideration, understand and meet their core values.”
Quality-price ratio is increasingly important for everybody, as consumers have better critical faculties and are more informed thanks to the online and despite the multiplicity of sources where they can get information.
The road outlined and shared by the new generations regards both personal health and the health of the planet as two points of paramount importance in their choices. This is particularly true for Z and Millennials, for whom brands become an expression of a positive lifestyle.
The desire to try new food and wine experiences is always alive, emphasised by the desire for experience rather than the need for discovery. In order not to give up, families themselves explore and test new strategies to save money. They are experimenting even at home in their kitchens by integrating plant-based foods into the family diet.
The food & beverage 2023 trends
Food exploration is a trend in many ways. There is a growing focus on new types of vegetable pastes and the use of avocado oil, which is lighter and less fatty.
Shopping for meat from organic and sustainable farm
Among farmed meats, poultry may see a revaluation in purchasing provided that it comes from farms that pay attention to the physical and nutritional wellbeing of the animals.
Fermented products and new beverages
The production and creation of fermented and cellular products and the consumption of algae will be on the rise. [source: Whole Foods research].
Another interesting development will be the diffusion of drinks and cocktails based on ingredients from the sea such as dehydrated seaweeds, oysters, clams. Still on the side of food and healthy choices, the no-alcohol trend is also on the rise. [Hospitality Trends Report 2023].