November Food Industry – Sustainable packaging and minimalist messaging

food image by Ella Olsson

Written by Katie Volney | PR Director

There is always something new to chomp on in the world of food and beverage, so our team at broadhead has pulled the most important headlines, trends and industry events you need to know as we look to the future of food. Let’s dig in!

On the Tip of Our Tongues: 2023 Food & Beverage Trends

2022 was a big year for the industry, and 2023 is gearing up to be no different. With the final quarter of the year upon us, it seems there is a new trend forecast each week. We’re breaking a few of our favorites down for you.

Whole Foods Top 10 Food Trends for 2023

According to the Whole Foods Trend Council’s long-awaited annual report, we should be on the lookout for products with buzzy ingredients, more sustainable packaging and new spins on old favorites. Some of the trends that piqued our interest (and our tastebuds) include:

  • The rise of buzzy ingredients like yaupon (North America’s only known native caffeinated plant) and kelp *adds to Instacart basket* 
  • Reinventive spins on retro food favorites (pizza bites, anyone?) 
  • Reducing waste by using upcycled materials — such as nondairy milk pulp — for alternative flours and baking mixes

Mintel’s 2023 Global Food & Drink Trends

Mintel’s experts are also looking ahead with their latest report, in which they identify eight trends based on workshops they conducted with global food and drink analysts, consumer data from 36 global markets, product launch intel from their Global New Products Database and finally, topical insights from their analysts.

Based on the report, Mintel expects that consumers will look to brands to provide:

  • Minimalist messaging that conveys essential nutritional messaging (and assuages label fatigue) 
  • Products that answer nutritional needs without breaking the bank (hello, recession anxiety)
  • Adaptable cooking tips to help home cooks thrive despite supply chain barriers and rising food costs
  • Products that help consumers improve their mental performance — think those that contain caffeine, adaptogens, functional ingredients like nootropics and those that improve digestion, as consumers begin to understand the gut-brain axis 
  • An eye towards sustainability (ex: water stewardship, energy use) and the realities of climate change (ex: products that are built for weather extremes) 
  • Cosmic-forward messaging as the outlook on the future of space turns increasingly more hopeful (and no, we’re not talking about tech titans on Mars)

Expo East 2022: We Came, We Saw, We Tried Every. Last. Sample.

At Expo East earlier this fall, more than 1,100 brands showcased products in Philadelphia, and our team was on the ground to seize the date — I mean, DAY — (did we mention that dates are also a 2023 food trend?). In between stuffing our faces with Philly Cheesesteaks, we walked the floor to meet the brands behind the booths and attended consumer insight-packed sessions. The through-line of it all was sustainability, and how we need to work together to build a resilient food system. From upcycled packaging to regenerative agriculture, sustainability is no longer a four-letter word. Check out more of the trends at the show from New Hope Network here.

Mocktail Mania Reigns in Sober October…and Beyond

From “sober curious” to mainstream, the trend toward non-alcoholic drinks has proved its staying power beyond “Sober October” and “Dry January,” with market size estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.2% from 2022 to 2028, and growth in the categories of alcohol-free and low/reduced alcohol up 289% and 111% respectively versus 3 years ago, according to NielsenIQ. We can attribute this to a variety of factors, most notably, increased consumer focus on health and wellness influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. From alcohol-removed rosé to zero-proof spirits, there’s truly (no, not THAT Truly) something for everyone.

Sun-Maid Embraces the Shade with “Spirit of Halloweentown” Campaign

Sun-Maid knows how polarizing its raisins can be around Halloween, so they decided to poke fun at themselves (and, in doing so, increase their share of voice and relevancy during a time when heavy hitters like Reese’s and Kit Kats dominate). Their “Spirit of Halloweentown” activation included experiential stunts amplified through channels including social media – such as parade-crashing, horror trailers, and convenience store takeovers. Learn more about the campaign from our friends at Adweek.

Products We’re Loving This Month

Our food and beverage team is always on the hunt for new products to try – whether new to shelves or just new to us. Here were some of our favorites this month:

  • Culture Pop Soda – our PR Supervisor Rob Molke loves the taste and the health benefits
  • Popadelics Mushroom Chips – our PR Director Katie Volney loves the truffle flavor and the psychedelic branding
  • STALK & SPADE – the plant-based restaurant franchise just opened a new location down the street from our MSP office, and we’re making our way through the menu

BTW, if you’re hankering for new-to-shelf news, we love these monthly roundups in The Kitchn from our friend Su-Jit Lin.

Until next time!