The Top 10 Trends for Seafood in 2023

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Seafood Trends 2023

As restaurant technologists, it’s our job to stay ahead of emerging trends in the seafood industry. With the rise of plant-based proteins, digital-first dining, sustainable sources and a few surprises, let’s take a look at the Top 10 seafood trends you need to know for 2023.

The booming seafood industry is expected to reach a value of over $225 billion this year, with experts expecting a 10% year-over-year growth trend over the next several years. Experts predict that up to 50% of the global population will be consuming seafood daily by 2025.

A significant focus on sustainability will drive seafood markets in 2023. Seafood is the most traded animal product worldwide, but most of its sources come from illegal and unregulated sources. This puts global stocks in danger as overfishing puts immense pressure on our marine ecosystem. This year, seafood consumers are expecting restaurants and suppliers to go the extra mile to ensure only ethical, fair and legally sourced seafood is served up, with major players such as McDonalds launching an ethical seafood sourcing policy.

Another major trend we’ll witness in the seafood industry is the rise of reef-friendly seafood. Certain species of fish are classified as risky to reefs due to their destructive behaviour, such as lionfish, parrotfish and groupers. Major seafood restaurants are now catering to the reef-safe option, which involve alternative, reef-friendly fish species with similar taste structures and textures.

Technological advancements have led to increased demand for convenience and affordability, with a notable rise in online delivery services, subscription boxes and even drones delivering fresh seafood. Another technology-driven trend we’re seeing in the seafood industry is a shift to contactless delivery using mobile payment solutions, voice ordering and automatic checkout kiosks, allowing contactless delivery and pick-up.

Another innovation experts predict will take the seafood industry by storm in 2023 is the incorporation of plant-based proteins. Plant-based proteins such as tofu, tempeh and textured vegetable proteins (TVP) are being used as meat substitutes and added to seafood recipes for a wider variety of dishes and flavour profiles.

A move towards healthier alternatives will also increase, with restaurants and suppliers providing nutrition-packed dishes such as grilled seafood, air-fried and reduced-oil recipes, and dishes enriched with Omega-3 fatty acids.

Global-cuisine-inspired dishes are also making waves in the seafood industry. Fusion dishes featuring Mexican, Latin American, Chinese, Japanese and even Mediterranean influences are emerging in menus as seafood-inspired recipes, often with a twist.

Bespoke dishes are set to become more frequent as customers trend more and more towards personalization. Chefs will be encouraged to create one-of-a-kind dishes featuring rare species of seafood, unique food pairings and seasonal ingredients, paired with custom-made sauces.

Some restaurants are even incorporating interactive-dining experiences into their menu, with meals featuring QR codes and sneak previews of behind-the-scenes food preparation.

Finally, as sustainability moves front and centre, seafood will become more and more local, with farmers markets and home-delivery services experienced everywhere.