news & trends

5 Food & Nutrition Trends for 2023

Aerial image of friends eating with various dishes on the dinner table

What are the trends that will be shaping the way we shop, cook and eat?  We’ve scanned the research and share these top 5 trends.

1. Foods with benefits

According to the Mintel 2023 Global Food and Drink Trends report, 57% of Canadian consumers value food and drinks which offer health benefits such as heart health, gut health, stress management or immune support. Another growing health issue is sleep. Data from McKinsey research, cited in the 2023 Trend Report by Nourish Food Marketing, shows that better sleep is in fact, a higher health priority than better nutrition, fitness, mindfulness or appearance.

Do you have a product with unique benefits? This year’s National Nutrition Month theme for March focuses on unlocking the potential of food and ingredients. Work with us! Leverage our expertise to share the nutritional and health benefits of your product in the media, social media, and at events.

 2. Technology

Move over Alexa. Adam is in the house. Showcased at this year’s CES tech event (formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show), Adam is an interactive, two-armed robot, bartender or barista, making coffee, boba tea or other drinks. Canadian Grocer magazine predicts we’re entering an automation nation driven by innovative technology and labour shortages. Smart home faucets and appliances as well as self-service or smart cart checkout systems are already in use. Automation is also used for stocking merchandise and fulfilling orders at distribution centres.

What’s next? The tech savvy Gen Alpha population (born in 2010 and onwards, the same year that the Apple ipad was invented), AI (artificial intelligence) and trending #FoodTok recipes on TikTok will all be major factors shaping the future of food and beverage, according to Datassential.

3. Budget-wise eating

The cost of groceries will continue to rise. Canada’s Food Price Report predicts that food prices will increase by an average of 5 to 7 percent this year. Vegetables will take the biggest hit, with prices expected to go up 6 to 8 percent. For a family of four, this could mean an extra cost of over $1,000 over the year. For a two-adult household, it’s an extra $500. Eating out at restaurants will also cost an extra 4 to 6 percent. On top of this, natural gas and electricity bills will hike up between 50 to 100 percent for most Canadians!

To cope with inflated prices, consumers will turn to money-saving strategies such as reducing food waste, cooking from scratch and making copycat recipes at home instead of going to restaurants. The food budget will include more economical ingredients such as frozen veggies, cheaper cuts of meat and plant-based proteins. Ready-to-eat foods requiring little or no cooking and energy-efficient air fryer recipes will continue to be popular.

 4. Trending Foods

Seaweed – The term ‘seaweed’ actually refers to many different species of marine plants and algae that grow in oceans, rivers and lakes. Green algae, kelp, nori, seaweed snacks and wakame salad are just a few examples. Containing a range of nutrients such as beta-carotene, calcium, folate and vitamin K, seaweed is especially popular among Millennials and Gen Xers.

Mushrooms – With their meaty texture and umami-flavour, mushrooms are a perfect meat extender to stretch the food budget. Mushroom coffee and even mushroom-based cocktails are examples of the food’s versatility. Some mushrooms may have adaptogenic properties.

Tinned fish / canned fish – Thanks to a few viral TikTok reels about tinned fish date nights, eating canned mussels on corn chips is a trendy thing! Chalk up convenience, cost and nutrition too. We’re not sure exactly how long this trend will last.

5. Trending Flavours

Ube – Food experts predict that Filipino will be the cuisine of the year, with special attention to ube, a beautiful purple coloured yam. Ube has a sweet, nutty, earthy flavour and is used in chips, fries and baked goods.

Yuzu – This small citrus fruit looks like a mandarin orange and has a tart taste similar to a grapefruit. It’s used in Japanese ponzu sauce, drinks and baked goods.

‘Swicy’ – Think sweet plus spicy. Swicy is a flavour combo appearing in products such as chili dark chocolate, hot honey chicken, barbecue sauces and nut mixtures. Can’t wait to try it!

Stay tuned to our blog for more food, nutrition and health trends throughout the year!

 

Written by: Sue Mah, MHSc, RD, PHEc, FDC – Award winning dietitian and Co-Founder, n4nn

The Spirit Plate – an Indigenous Food Tradition

Chef Wolfman with Sue, Lucia and others in the kitchen

Chef Wolfman (first on left) with Sue, Lucia, U.S. Consulate General Susan Crystal (third from right), and others, preparing foods using Indigenous ingredients.

Have you heard of a Spirit Plate?

We hadn’t until we met Chef David Wolfman.

Chef Wolfman is an internationally recognized expert in traditional Indigenous cuisine, member of the Xaxli’p First Nation in BC and a Culinary Arts Professor at George Brown College in Toronto. At a culinary master class hosted by Taste USA and the Ontario Produce Marketing Association, we had the wonderful opportunity to cook and learn from the Chef.  Along with dozens of other participants, we prepared dishes using traditional ingredients such as Wild Rice Jambalaya and Shawnee Cake, and Barbecued Pork Tenderloin with Strawberry Sauce served with Salad and Chokecherry Drizzle.

Before we sat down to eat together, Chef Wolfman assembled a Spirit Plate with samples from each of the cooked dishes. The plate is then left outside to honour both the ancestors and children who are no longer here with us.  🧡

This simple yet meaningful gesture allows us to remember those who have come before us and those who have left us. It’s a reminder that food is love and connection. Thank you Chef for sharing your wisdom and knowledge with us!

Chef Wolfman

In this video, Chef Wolfman describes the Spirit Plate.

Thank you Chef for sharing your wisdom and knowledge with us!

 

Written by Sue Mah, MHSc, RD, PHEc, FDC – Award-winning dietitian and Co-Founder, n4nn