As foodservice providers and suppliers alike are set to experience record peaks in their demand and anticipated activity in 2023, the need to understand the factors driving customer preferences is more important than ever before. With research and analytics playing an increasingly important role in the foodservice landscape, one must be mindful of what the future holds in terms of food trends and flavour profiles. In this article, we explore the increasing complexities and competition within the sector, and evaluate the factors that will guide decisions on the types of cuisine and flavours that will accompany them in the years to come.
The world of foodservice is becoming ever more complex and crowded, with new products constantly hitting the market as caterers, restaurants, and consumers seek out the latest and greatest food choices. This complexity is driving the need to differentiate, and this is likely to be reflected in the food flavours offered in 2023. In fact, flavour is set to become a key factor in driving customer loyalty and overall revenue growth, with differentiating factors such as unique, unexpected, and innovative flavour profiles becoming even more important than before.
As a result, foodservice providers must take into consideration a range of factors when assessing the pros and cons of the trending food flavour profiles they choose to feature. These include:
Healthy vs. Unhealthy
The rising trend in healthy eating has led to a surge in healthily flavoured food options available on the market. Growing demand for healthy options has led to the emergence of flavour combinations that weren’t traditionally used, such as plant-based proteins, grains, and vegetables. On the flip side, more indulgent and unhealthy flavours are still huge winners amongst many consumers, particularly those who are looking for an escape from their everyday diet.
What works in one part of the country may not necessarily appeal to customers in another. When offering regionally focused flavours, caterers must consider the demographics of the customers in their area as well as what other foodservice providers are offering in the region. This is important in order to ensure that their products stand out in an increasingly crowded foodservice environment.
Level of Spice
The amount of spice used in a dish can have a huge impact on its overall appeal. In particularly, foodservice providers must understand the evolving preferences of their customers and provide dishes that either incorporate the right amount of heat or spice for the consumer. At the same time, caterers should also consider cultural differences when creating global flavours.
In recent years, there has been a gradual shift towards more sustainable food choices, with health-conscious consumers looking for dishes that not only taste great but are also good for the environment. As such, restaurants and caterers should strive to incorporate sustainable ingredients and lesser-known flavours in their dishes, particularly as more and more consumers become conscious of their food choices and the impact they have on the environment.
Ethnic cuisines offer a great opportunity for foodservice establishments to differentiate themselves from their competitors and provide unique experiences for their customers. As such, a growing number of caterers are embracing flavours from around the world, including ingredients and flavour profiles from places such as China, India, Mexico, Thailand, and beyond.
The foodservice landscape of 2023 is likely to be a complex one with numerous flavour profiles, both of which offer both potential opportunities and risks to providers. Through the implementation of competitive market intelligence, data-driven insights, and comprehensive research, foodservice providers can better understand the pro’s and cons of the food flavour trends of 2023 and how to best position their business for success.