4 exciting food and drink trends to be aware of in 2023

Category: News

If you consider yourself a bon vivant and relish the chance to visit new restaurants and bars or sample the latest delicacies, you might be keen to uncover the exciting trends emerging from the culinary world.

The American businesswoman, Bethenny Frankel, once said: “Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments”.

While Bethenny was probably hinting at a healthy ethos, rather than indulgence, the point remains valid. Finding and enjoying exciting new foods and drinks can build up a wealth of positive experiences and lifelong memories.

Read on to discover four exciting food and drink trends to be aware of in 2023.

1. Japanese and Korean seasonings will increasingly be used in home cooking

Asian culture has been playing a more prominent role in mainstream Western culture in recent years.

The K-Pop and J-Pop music genres have become increasingly popular in global charts, while Asian anime and live-action dramas have found their way onto Western television. 

A decade ago, few would have anticipated that one of the most popular television shows of 2022 would be a Korean-language drama called Squid Game.

In the culinary world, as Korean barbecue and Japanese sushi venues have become more commonplace on British highstreets, East Asian ingredients have started to filter into UK kitchens.

They might include:

  • Koji
  • Kimchi
  • Miso
  • Gochujang
  • Ponzu and Teriyaki sauces
  • Mirin
  • Furikake 

These ingredients are being used in East Asian dishes prepared at home, as well as being introduced into Western recipes to highlight new flavours, particularly umami elements.

2. Zero-ABV cocktails and spirits will become more sophisticated and commonplace

Alcohol-free drinks, also known as “Zero-ABV”, were limited to being the tipple of choice for designated drivers, pregnant women, and recovering alcoholics. In recent years, the perception of drinking culture has shifted, with increasing numbers opting for a sober or partially sober lifestyle. 

For years, the options in this category were limited to alcohol-free lagers, a range of soft drinks, or perhaps a “mocktail” consisting of a blend of juices and purees. 

The growing number of sober, or sober-curious Brits, has led to an influx of new Zero-ABV products, and this trend is expected to continue throughout 2023.

Alcohol-free spirits have filtered into the mainstream market and can be found on many supermarket shelves including alternatives to gin, whiskey, vermouth, and Campari. There have also been forays into alcohol-free wines and more niche beer varieties such as IPAs or porters. 

In certain high-end restaurants and quality cocktail bars, there has been a shift away from “mocktails” and towards “Zero-ABV cocktails”. Alcohol-free drinks with exciting ingredients and alcohol-free spirit bases are being featured on menus, rather than being a mere afterthought.

3. Functional food ingredients will become more prevalent in mainstream products

Functional foods are defined as ingredients that provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition. They might contain components with the potential to reduce the risk of certain diseases or improve your overall mental or physical health.

For years these “superfoods” have been confined to healthy living orientated retailers but are now becoming more frequently used in mainstream products.

The functional foods trend has filtered into a variety of products such as:

  • Tonics
  • Sweet foods such as chocolates, gummies, and ice cream
  • Teas and coffees
  • Smoothies and bottled juices
  • Snack foods.

One of the most powerful superfood ingredients is mushroom varietals. Used in different forms as ingredients in ice creams, coffees, and chocolates, they can be seamlessly folded into recipes without affecting flavour to a significant degree. At the same time, they claim to boost health, while improving mental clarity and overall energy.

They can also help with digestion issues and might provide emotional wellbeing benefits.

You can expect to see more functional ingredients incorporated into everyday products throughout 2023.

4. Mexican products will become more popular and widely used

2023 continues to see a rise in Mexican influences on the UK food and drink scene.

Aside from Taquerias popping up in city centres, there is expected to be a growing influx of Mexican alcoholic beverages into British drinking culture.

While tequila is expected to become an increasingly popular mixer beyond simply a shot choice and Mexican lagers will continue to see considerable sales, it is the arrival of some more niche products that look set to cause a stir.

Mezcal, tequila’s smokier cousin, is a staple of Mexican drinking culture and has been found in many refined establishments across the UK for a while now. It is expected to become more well-known in 2023, due to increased supply, greater variety, and a host of celebrity backers. 

Tepache, a Mexican fermented beverage made from pineapple peels and brown sugar, could find its way into UK bars and supermarket shelves. Suppliers have developed bottled ranges with recipes incorporating banana peels, tamarind, cloves, cinnamon, and other spices. 

Similar to other recent fermented drink trends — such as kombucha — Tepache is a gut-friendly, fizzy beverage with a touch of exotic sweetness. Aside from the original variety, there are plenty of flavoured options to choose from including watermelon, prickly pear, grapefruit, and lime.

2023 is expected to bring about a whole range of thrilling new trends. So, get excited and prepare your palate for a whole new adventure.