5 Local Food Trends to Capitalize On in 2023

by | Dec 28, 2022 | Food Trends

What new food and beverage trends are taking over this coming year? If you are looking to capitalize on the latest consumer eating habits, local food trends are where you need to focus your attention. As more people are aware of the need for more sustainable food supply practices, consumers are looking for ways to incorporate more locally sourced foods to reduce the environmental impact of feeding the population. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Consumers are placing a greater emphasis on gut health, driving the demand for international ingredients – like kimchi – that contain a natural probiotic effect on the gut.
  • The Atkins diet books were published in the 1970s and grew in popularity in the early 2000s. However, local food trends involve more low-carb diets, like keto, paleo, and the Zone Diet.
  • The therapeutic effects of CBD and hemp are making their way into foods and beverages worldwide. This trend continues to grow in popularity as people discover its influences on health.
  • With an ever-increasing focus on nutrition, overall health, and the science of food, researchers have disproved the efficacy of weight loss diets and advocate for intuitive eating.

Local Food Trends to Pay Attention To in 2023    

Much like in previous years, food trends evolve as people become more aware of sustainable food supply practices. There is a significant focus on technology and how food producers can use it to create sustainable food supplies. However, trends lean towards practices that involve locally sourced foods, not just finding ways technology can solve our sustainability issues.  

1. A Focus on Gut Health  

Local food trends are placing a greater emphasis on gut health, driving the demand for international ingredients – like kimchi – that have a natural probiotic effect on the gut. It is one of the leading trends continually making its mark on food and consumer diets in recent years, but today, it is poised to make an even greater mark than before. “Pickled everything” is the term industry experts are giving these fermented ingredients, and it is how brands are integrating probiotics into the foods. 

According to Mindy Haar, the associate dean of undergraduate affairs at the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) School of Health Professions, consumers’ focus on gut health will continue to gain traction. However, consumers will not be looking for probiotic pills. Instead, it will be fresh foods consumers can use to balance the microbiome in their guts.

2. Going Low-Carb is Back    

Did it ever really go anywhere? The answer is no. Since the dawn of the Atkins diet in the 1970s and the Atkins boom in the early 2000s, more low-carb diets have hit the market, leaving consumers scrambling to join the latest low-carb trend. Atkins, keto, paleo, Zone, and the South Beach diet all focus on consuming little to no carbs and eating more protein and fats.

Circle graphs of the carb-to-fat-to-protein balance (in percentages) in low-carb, moderate-carb, and higher-carb diets

Image Courtesy of YogShivir

There was some controversy surrounding these diets initially. However, the low-carb lifestyle is becoming more widely accepted by healthcare professionals when used moderately but not for long-term weight management. While it leads the way in fat-loss diets, most doctors discourage patients from participating in most low-carb diets, according to Harvard Health Publishing. With that in mind, doctors do agree that low-carb diets high in plant proteins are a healthier way to lose weight.  

3. Incorporating Hemp and CBD   

The wellness industry has been advocating for the therapeutic effects of CBD and hemp over the past two decades, and providers prescribe them for children as young as two years old. Yet, in recent years, CBD and hemp have been trending in food because of their anti-inflammatory effects and dietary versatility. Brands are using hemp hearts, oils, and seeds in various recipes ranging from savory to sweet. 

4. Emphasizing All the Flavors 

There are two local food trends that consumers demand regarding flavor. To capitalize on these flavor trends, food service establishments will need to expand menu choices. Food manufacturers will need to study what flavors an area is most well known for, such as more tropical-flavored beverages in areas where tropical fruits grow. Farmers will need to focus on growing crops native to the land.

Recognizing the need for more sustainable food supply practices, people want locally sourced ingredients flavoring their foods. Today’s local flavor trends offer variety, pleasure, and plenty of selling opportunities, from innovative coffees and teas to exciting cocktails, juices, and water. Let us evaluate the two local flavor trends.

  • Subtle Flavors: This includes ingredients like shrubs, herbs, and spicy foods (like habaneros and ghost peppers). For example, cold-pressed juices, flavored water, and tonics are infused with vegetables and vegetable flavoring for a subtle taste.
  • Tastebud Teasers: Bitter and sour flavors evolve as consumers look for exciting new taste experiences. In previous years, prickly pear was one of the hottest beverage flavors. Today, fermented ingredients are growing in popularity.

5. Intuitive Eating, the Un-Diet

Finally, with an ever-increasing focus on nutrition, overall health, and the science of food, researchers have disproved the efficacy of weight loss diets and advocate for intuitive eating. Instead, the emphasis shifts from fat loss to physical and mental well-being. People are slowly acknowledging that eating intuitively and not dieting is an antidote to all fad diets and unhealthy eating habits. Thus, concentrating on sustenance, food satisfaction, and trusting your instincts while removing the stigma of certain foods.

Infographic of the principles of intuitive eating.

Image Courtesy of Healthy Living Team

Check Out the Latest Local Food Trends at the Next SIAL America Show 

It is essential to keep an eye on local food trends to determine their influence on your food production processes. Those in the food and beverage service industry must consider the impacts on their menus. Farmers must evaluate how these trends will affect consumer buying habits. 

Whatever role you play in the food and beverage industry, SIAL America coordinates events that allow you to meet others in the trade who are revolutionizing the industry. Discover how brands are solving food supply chain issues, how farmers are using regenerative agriculture to change the way we grow food, and all the ways consumers are driving more environmentally friendly local food trends.   

Attend the March show and see how brands are revolutionizing the food supply chain. Do you have an innovation to share? Sign up to become an exhibitor at the next event.