Each new year brings in trends across various industries, from clothing to food. While it’s difficult to predict food trends since people and their tastes can change so much over 12 months, we do know what’s starting to trend now and will probably continue to trend for a while. Keep reading to learn about five delicious food trends to watch for in 2023, so you can try something new in the new year.
Sweet and spicy foods have paired well together for a long time, and we expect them to continue to do so next year. You’ve probably seen restaurants and grocery stores offering products such as hot honey, which adds flavorful spices into sweet honey so that whatever you put it on has a spicy-sweet kick. We expect to see this with other flavors, too, such as adding chili to dark chocolate and cardamom to peach chutney.
These flavor combinations can work in appetizers, entrees, or desserts, so you can use this trend to your advantage no matter what part you play in the food industry. If you’re worried this trend will leave out people who don’t have a high spice tolerance, consider offering a spiciness scale from mild to extremely hot, so people can participate in the trend without torturing themselves.
Oils offer much more subtle flavors than the sweet-spicy combinations described above, but they’re still an important part of our diet. We need oils because they provide healthy fats, which our bodies need to absorb certain vitamins. However, as people continue to focus on their health and the foods that affect it, many want to choose the healthiest oils possible. If you offer an oil and vinegar salad dressing or use oils to flavor dishes on your menu, consider using the healthiest ones available to join in on this trend.
Olive oil is probably the most well-known healthy oil. People love to use olive oil for everything from salad dressing to baking. However, it works best in low to medium heat. Avocado oil is a healthy oil with a high smoke point, which makes it great for hot cooking techniques such as frying.
If you peruse social media regularly, you’ve probably seen the current “butter board” craze. This is a reversal from the traditional charcuterie boards, where bite-sized food is spread out for easy access. Instead of placing these bite-sized foods onto a board, you spread butter and toppings for bite-sized bread onto the board itself. People are loving all the creativity and flavor options available, and many are expanding beyond butter to include cream cheese, hummus, and even dulce de leche.
You can jump on this trend as well. Food and spread boards, such as charcuterie and butter, make delicious and easy appetizers for a table to share. Some restaurants offer specific boards with specific toppings, while others let people customize them. Decide whichever is best for your restaurant and clientele and start serving.
Archeologists estimate that humans have been eating curry for at least 4,000 years, although the original recipes have significantly changed as India experienced colonization by many different European countries. Despite these changes, curries remain popular in India and are one of the world’s most popular types of Indian cuisine.
This popularity continues to grow as more people realize how inclusive Indian cuisine is. Vegetarianism and veganism have been part of Indian culture for thousands of years. As more people adopt those specific diets and look for delicious foods they can eat, more are discovering how wonderful Indian food is. For people who don’t have these dietary restrictions, Indian cuisine still offers delicious dishes with a rich history.
If your food establishment doesn’t have any connections to the Indian community, then you may struggle to introduce Indian cuisine to your menu. Luckily, with some research into Indian dishes and a willingness to learn from Indian cuisine experts, you can still participate in this trend. If you’re not sure how your current clientele will respond, start with small plates, such as vegetable pakoras as an appetizer and gulab jamun for dessert.
Indian cuisine isn’t the only cultural food growing in popularity across the world. Purple yams, specifically ube from the Philippines, are becoming increasingly popular. They offer a uniquely warm, sweet flavor that remind some people of vanilla but is still entirely its own. While some people eat ube as they would any other yam, most are using it to add a distinctive flavor to baked goods and desserts.
You can experiment with ube in your restaurant as well and participate in this delicious trend. Lean into its natural sweetness and turn it into a spread for one of the food boards we mentioned above or as a topping for food your customers already love, such as soft serve or French toast. Or make it the star of the culinary show as its own dessert, such as ube cheesecake or donuts. This is a versatile food, so you can use it however you want to stay on trend and please your customers.
There are lots of delicious food trends to watch for in 2023, but these five are especially important. They cover everything from new flavor combinations to specific flavors you can start offering now to participate in those trends. No matter what part you play in the food industry, you can try one of these trends to bring in new customers and give your loyal customers a new experience.
If your restaurant needs new equipment to participate in these trends, DSL can help. Our commercial soft serve ice cream machine will help you participate in the sweet-and-spicy combo trend and the ube trend. Top traditional soft serve flavors, such as vanilla, with a spicy cinnamon sauce, or make an ube ice cream for people to enjoy. The only limit is your imagination. We provide other commercial kitchen equipment and customer service as well, so you can have the equipment and support you need to thrive in the new year.