Q&A: Current & Future Innovations — Tracking What’s Next in Food

December 2022

The new year offers a chance for both planning ahead to 2023 and reflecting back on 2022. This past year was transformative for many brands as they leaned into the creative development of in-demand offerings to help consumers along their health journey. As a result of another year of strong innovation, we’re now looking forward to the consumer trends that will shape the industry in 2023.

Read our recent conversation with Shaby Fisher, Chaucer Foods’ Global Marketing Manager, for more about recent influential food and beverage industry trends and the product innovation she expects to see next year.

Q: In 2022, what trends made the greatest impact on the food and beverage industry?

A: As consumers continue to learn more about ingredients and nutrients, trends that help boost both the health of themselves and the environment rose in popularity, such as:

Functional Nutrition: While there was an overall interest in personal health and wellness, consumers in 2022 were focusing on what foods can do for them, and learning what functional ingredients make them feel their best.

Sustainability: In addition to discovering personal health through food, consumers paid closer attention to how the values of brands aligned with their personal values. Instead of purchasing a product based on the brand name or price, 2022 consumers were flocking to transparent brands that promoted their sustainable initiatives

Q: What are some innovative ways you saw brands taking part in those trends?
A: I’ve noticed that brands are not just evolving into one of the top trends—but proactively taking part in numerous trends by innovating a product that follows multiple consumer demands. Consumers search for which products can offer them the most value. When brands take note and innovate a product that has a unique global flavor, functional nutrition and is eco-friendly, it checks off all the boxes for consumers. Companies are also pivoting their strategy with marketing. Instead of only promoting the product itself, brands began openly discussing their values around sustainability and social justice. This pivot makes the brand and product appear more transparent, and makes consumers feel good about their purchases.

Q: Where do you think there is room for innovative improvements within the industry?
A: While the plant-based trend is nothing new, there’s room for the market to innovate into every corner of the food and beverage industry. Today’s plant-based consumers are demanding delicious, healthy alternatives to any traditionally animal-based product available. From vegan brie cheese to plant-based coconut shrimp, formulators must innovate to keep up with the growing demand.

Q: What trends do you expect to continue into 2023?
A: The interest in living a healthier lifestyle will only continue to grow in 2023 as consumers focus more on doing what makes them feel at their best and paying attention to what “healthy” means to them. Consumers want food to work for them. By focusing on adding functional benefits, such as protein or Vitamin C, they can lead healthier lives in the way that best fits their needs. While concerned about sustainability, busy consumers will continue to show a preference for brands that are transparent and honest. To help accomplish this, brands can use sustainably and ethically sources ingredients to develop their next offerings.

Q: In 2023, what new trends do you think will gain traction?
A: 2023 will be a year of going back to nature—natural color, natural flavor, and naturally sourced nutrition. Over the past few years, there has been a rising consumer interest in avoiding artificial ingredients, but we’re just now seeing brands launch innovative, clean label products. To make a product more natural, formulators can use natural ingredients, like freeze-dried fruits and vegetables, to sweeten, color and flavor products that appeal to a health-conscious consumer.

Q: What is Chaucer Foods doing to help brands innovate alongside these 2023 trends? What ingredients work best for these trends?
A: Because Chaucer closely vets our sources to ensure that all of our ingredients are transparent and sustainable, our freeze-dried and baked ingredients help brands pass along the promise of transparency. Our freeze-dried powders allow formulators to incorporate eye-catching colors, and bold flavors, without having to compromise on health. When made with Chaucer ingredients, products like vitamins, snacks and even confectioneries, can deliver in-demand nutrition, in a transparent and sustainable manner.

Want to learn more about what food and beverage trends to keep an eye out for in 2023? Check out our article on recipe inspirations for 2023 here.

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