When the weather warms, spring greenery starts breaking through the snowmelt, and Easter is on the horizon, many consumers change not only their wardrobe but their diet.
While plenty of people return to seasonal faves, and many brands accommodate them by rolling out popular snacks and menu items, each season brings new opportunities to innovate.
The predictions for spring 2023 include a major shift toward plant-based ingredients as consumers continue to clamor for alternatives to both meat and animal products. Who can blame them with the high price of eggs, dairy, and other common kitchen staples?
Although dairy prices are expected to drop slightly in the coming months (partly due to decreased consumer demand, it seems) and wholesale egg prices are down (a change not yet fully reflected in retail pricing), more consumers are switching to plant-based options for the health of both body and bank account.
What’s trending in food and beverages this summer?
Honey Baked Ham has long been a hallmark of the Easter season, but consumers interested in better health and more sustainable practices may be keener on plant-based alternatives this spring.
Even those who haven’t gone full-scale vegan are experimenting with plant-based options like mushrooms, which are a low-calorie source of vital nutrients like fiber, protein, antioxidants, and more.
Options like tofu, seitan, beans and lentils, green peas, ancient grains (quinoa, amaranth, etc.), oatmeal, nuts, and more are typical dietary inclusions for anyone interested in increasing plant-based protein sources.
However, underwater vegetation (seaweed, for example) is making a big splash lately, with some varieties like spirulina and chlorella containing the full range of essential amino acids. It doesn’t hurt that seaweed is considered incredibly sustainable.
New Alternative Milk Products
There’s no shortage of alternative milk products for those who are lactose intolerant or simply seeking a healthier, plant-based beverage option. A trip to the average grocery store could yield “milk” products made from soy, almond, oats, rice, coconut, hemp, cashews, and more.
That said, it seems like a new concoction is always in development. For 2023, the latest trends turn to sesame and pistachio milk.
The former has a mild sesame flavor that adds nutty appeal to recipes and is notable for blending well with hot liquids (rather than separating). The latter delivers a rich, nutty profile with a strong pistachio flavor, unlike some other nut milks that are relatively flavorless.
With healthy fats, a creamy texture, and mild flavoring, avocados are an important staple in vegetarian and vegan diets and a great addition to a wide range of recipes. Lately, they’ve been popping up in tons of desserts as a replacement for less healthy fats like butter, oil, and cream.
Options like avocado brownies, cookies, cakes, breads, puddings, mousse, fudge, ice cream, and more abound, and consumers are eating them up. Pairing avocado with a strong flavor profile like chocolate, lemon, or mint, for example, delivers a creamy dessert without an overwhelming avocado flavor.
Cadbury Eggs, jelly beans, and chocolate bunnies are vital for Easter baskets, but there’s always a batch of new items to explore when this spring holiday rolls around.
For 2023, consumers can sample Circus Animal cookies in Easter-themed shapes (bunnies, chicks, butterflies, etc.) or Hershey’s Cookies and Cream Eggs featuring playful, pastel polka dots.
Even Oreo is getting in on the game with a chocolate eggshell stuffed with Oreo creme and cookie pieces, and Cheetos is offering Sweetos Eggs, or egg-shaped puffs covered in cinnamon sugar.
Restaurants and food manufacturers looking to participate are best served by pairing nostalgia with innovation or reinventing classics to deliver both novelty appeal and a feeling of familiarity. One great example is strawberry shortcake cookies, which turn a spring standby into a finger food.
Celebrating Spring with Innovative Treats
With an eye toward plant-based, sustainable ingredients and a creative approach to refreshing, nostalgic, seasonal fare, restaurants and food manufacturers have the best chance to take spring 2023 by storm.
To learn more about our products and insights, get in touch with our team at Symrise today, Contact us here!