Top Wellness, Nutrition and Food Trends of 2023 [VIDEO]
Self-care, mental performance, personalized wellness solutions and more!
Want to know what the latest nutrition and food trends for 2023 are looking like? Read on for this comprehensive guide to some of the most interesting trends happening within the wellness nutrition, fitness, food, grocery and restaurant industry.
Click Here to go straight into the top trends of 2023!
3 Broad Themes Driving Consumer Trends in 2023
Before we dig into the full list of nutrition and food trends for 2023, let’s first look at the top 3 themes driving the health and wellness industry as a whole:
Since the pandemic there has been further interest, public conversations and employer support in the area of mental health and self-care to combat stress, increase human connection and find purpose. Self-care previously focused on taking a bath, attending an exercise or meditation class or treating yourself to the spa. Now, self-care has evolved to become more of a priority as a daily focus involving things like sleep, getting out in nature, mindful movement, home-cooked meals and financial wellness according to the Global Wellness Institute.
The 2023 Global Consumer Trends report by Mintel suggests that consumers have moved from a community mindset to a “me mindset.” During the pandemic consumers needed to put their own needs aside to focus on public health and safety. Now consumers are refocusing back on themselves and in many cases redefining themselves in a new way. They are looking for ways to make up for lost time, celebrate themselves, boost their confidence and try new things.
Pinterest predicts expressive art, music therapy and art journaling will be popular with Gen Z and Millennials as new ways to feel your feels in 2023.
2. Mental Health & Performance
Mental health issues and substance abuse has been a growing public health crisis for a very long time. Our collective well-being struggled tremendously in the pandemic and further added to this challenge. Given so many people struggle with feelings of loneliness, burnout, stress, anxiety and depression it is no surprise there is a longing for connection and things that make them feel better.
Event planners and the meetings industry saw a dramatic rise in the interest for in-person conferences, conventions and meetings. While virtual meetings are here to stay, given the amount of virtual screen fatigue and isolation we’ve all faced since the pandemic, it is no surprise people continue to want to connect in person as one way to simply feel better.
The Mintel 2023 Global Food and Drink Trends report found one of the top consumer trends is finding food and drinks to help them stay sharp to increase mental performance, cognition and focus as well as help them reduce stress and optimise brain function at work, home and play.
3. Personalized Wellness
Regardless if we are talking about one-on-one expert coaching, wearable devices, fitness trackers, diet analysis software and more, interest is rising in personalized wellness solutions and data driven information.
Digital health has exploded. There is more demand than ever before to access virtual healthcare and expert advice catered to your specific goals and concerns from the comfort of your own home or office. Our team of Registered Dietitians have seen a dramatic uptake in our one-on-one virtual nutrition counseling services and virtual workplace wellness services and speaking engagements. While demand for in-person services is certainly still there, so is an appetite for accessing virtual nutrition services from home when you are sick, at work in a timely fashion that involves no travel time and conveniently from anywhere when you are on vacation.
There is also a rise in wearable health devices to assess health such as through personalized biometrics in devices such as InsideTracker or sleep rings such as Oura Ring.
Now that we’ve covered the top 3 driving forces in the health and wellness industry, let’s dive into the specific nutrition and food trends.
Top Nutrition and Food Trends for 2023
1. Brain Foods & Nootropics
The Mind Diet
With a broad interest in mental health and performance and an aging population seeing more dementia, there is more interest than ever before in brain healthy foods and strategies to improve cognition.
The MIND Diet which stands for Mediterranean Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay is a science based eating plan that helps reduce Alzheimer’s disease, slows cognitive decline and reduces inflammation. Find out more about the MIND Diet here in our previous blog: The MIND Diet: Foods for Brain Power & Alzheimer’s.
Brain Boosting Foods & Nootropics
You’ll likely see more brain-boosting foods and ingredients profiled this year. This might include caffeine, fruits, vegetables, plant-based foods and nootropics (pills, supplements and other substances designed to improve cognition). Some of the common nootropics you’ve likely heard of include B-vitamins, flavonoids and omega-3 fats.
For a deep dive into this topic visit this clinical review here: Nootropics as Cognitive Enhancers.
2. Budget-friendly Foods
Canada’s Food Price Report 2023 predicts that families will spend an average of $1,065 more on food this year with the most substantial increases in meat, dairy and vegetables. As the cost of food continues to rise, consumers will be looking for budget friendly foods to feed their family.
Consumers are looking for strategies, foods and meal ideas that can stretch their dollar. Need some ideas? Check out this helpful blog post: Top 7 Healthy Vegetables on a Budget. Also don’t overlook a huge hidden costs for many families which is food waste – read this article here: How to Reduce Food Waste at Home.
3. Plant-based Power
Last year we wrote about plant-based trends in our 2022 food and nutrition trend article and once again in 2023 we are seeing plant-based diets as a top food and nutrition trend. For some this means transitioning to a vegetarian or vegan diet. But for many, going plant-based isn’t an all-or-nothing approach but instead a move to try more meatless Monday meals and plant-based foods in general. NielsenIQ reports that the reason people try plant-based foods is to improve health and nutrition (with animal welfare, sustainability and environmental factors as other drivers).
If you are looking to move to a vegetarian diet, begin with learning how to cook beans and legumes and check out our previous blog: How to Plan a Healthy Vegetarian Diet.
Brands like Oatly, Beyond Meat, and Just Egg (yes, they indeed create eggs from plants) are all examples of innovation happening in plant-based foods. Last year we saw the rise of many plant-based chicken nuggets and plant-based cheese and seafood options.
NielsenIQ suggests bean, soy and oat protein are proven plant-based protein trends and that peanut, almond and TVP (textured vegetable protein) are growing followed by flaxseed, cashew and pea protein as developing trends.
But is everyone excited about plant-based products? According to Baum and Whiteman, some consumers are moving away from packaged plant-based foods based on price, taste and complicated ingredient labels that prove some of these items are ultra-processed foods likely not ideal for health.
4. Climate Consciousness & Upcycling
Another trend paralleling plant-based diets is a continued interest in sustainability and climate conscious options. Whole Foods in their Top Food Trends 2023 Report suggested food producers are working to improve the impact of food and beverage production and that many consumers are looking to see that brands and retailers are doing their part on carbon and climate change.
Considerations about animal welfare, environmental stewardship and sustainability is here to stay for all categories of food. This year many grocery stores and restaurants are considering ocean-friendly and sustainable seafood options as important considerations for their offerings.
Another interesting development on sustainability is research on cultured meat. Someday your beef burger might come from a lab instead of the farm. We wrote about this idea in an article on Cultured Meat. Lab grown meat made from a few animal cells is believed by some experts to be the future of more environmentally friendly meat production. It may not be a strong competitor against conventional meat food right now, but there is active research happening in this area.
Another trend attached to climate consciousness is upcycling. This involves using by-products from food production. For example, cascara is a fruit pulp that is a by-product of coffee that can be used to make a pleasant tea. Another example of upcyling is using oat, soy and almond pulp (that is a by-product of making non-dairy milks) into alternative flours, baking mixes and ready-to-eat sweets. The local Okotoks Alberta company GroundUp Eco-ventures uses coffee grounds and craft beer grains to make baking flours and mixes as well as cosmetic oils.
5. Free Spirits & Alternative Coffees
Fancy non-alcohol drinks, mocktail bars, alcohol-free beer and spirits are trending in a movement Pinterest calls, free spirits. In fact, teetotalism (alcohol abstinence fully) is on the rise with younger generations according to GWI in their report of 5 Wellness Trends You Shouldn’t Ignore.
Brands such as Opus and Clever, both Canadian companies created premium handcrafted non-alcohol cocktails using simple ingredients. When it comes to craft non-alcohol beer the line-up keeps getting better with fan favorites such as local Calgary company One For The Road Brewery.
There are also some interesting new alternatives to coffee. FigBrew is a coffee alternative you brew similar to coffee that is made from figs. Atomo uses upcycled ingredients to make a cold brew coffee without coffee beans to boast less carbon, water and sustainability for coffee lovers. Chicory coffee and mushroom coffee are also options that continue to grow in popularity.
6. Nostalgia & Culturally Inspired Foods
Wondering what types of cool foods you might see at restaurants this year? Technomic has suggested the color pink will take the stage on menus with pink-infused foods and beverages using strawberries, dragon fruit and more to add fun and color to the menu.
There will also be a focus on Central and South American foods as well as pickled foods.
Edible ecofriendly sea plants will likely show up on the menu often according to EatingWell Magazine’s Top 10 Food and Nutrition Trends. Look for seaweed, kelp chips, kelp noodles and more!
Technomic is forecasting a rise in grain products such as pastas and breads on menus since they have a high profit margin and are top comfort foods. They mentioned English muffin pizzas, focaccia French toast, fried lasagna, Jamaican coco bread, Sardinian pane carasau flatbread, Philippine suman rice cakes and South Indian appam pancakes. For gluten-free grains you’ll see millet, teff, freekeh and emmer appear in dishes and bowls.
Other interesting foods you may find in your grocery store is vegetable pasta with ingredients such as spaghetti squash, hearts of palm or green bananas according to Whole Foods.
Finally, want to know what the nut of the year is? According to Baum + Whiteman, International Food & Restaurant Consultants, it would be pistachios! They have also suggested that cabbage is the new kale.
Other wellness trends in 2023
We’ve covered many aspects of nutrition and food trends for 2023 but what about other aspects of wellness? The global wellness economy is expected to grow annually reaching nearly $7.0 trillion in 2025. Some components of this growth are indeed related to nutrition and healthy eating. An increased focus on personalized medicine, personal care and beauty as well as physical activity and wellness tourism are other growing areas. You can learn more about these at the Global Wellness Institute.
Do you have more food, nutrition and wellness trends to add? Post your thoughts in the comments below!
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About Andrea Holwegner
CEO, Registered Dietitian, Counseling Practice Director & Professional Speaker
Andrea the «Chocoholic Nutritionist» is founder and CEO of Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc. since 2000. She is an online nutrition course creator, professional speaker and regular guest in the media. Andrea is the recipient of an award by the Dietitians of Canada: The Speaking of Food & Healthy Living Award for Excellence in Consumer Education....Read more