Nature’s Gifts: Plant Based Trends in 2023
Our predictions for the latest food sustainability trends in 2023
Nature’s Gifts is all about consumers embracing the Earth’s natural resources, and gaining a new appreciation for some of its gifts. As consumers become more focused on sustainability and protecting the planet, the appeal for local and seasonal produce increases, as well as a demand for ethical and sustainable supply chains.
Our two sub trends for Nature’s Gifts are…
This trend is unsurprisingly all about the power of plants and vegetables – and ways in which they can be used and adapted to create truly delicious and exciting dishes without the use of meat or fish.
Chefs are becoming more adventurous with vegetable-based dishes and recipes, and breaking that old belief that a meal is not a proper meal without meat. And instead of creating mock versions of meat and fish products, vegetables and plants are being celebrated for what they truly are, and taking a starring role on the plate.
39% of people are eating less meat than they did 12 months ago*
Trend vegetarian, there’s a real demand for more vegetarian meals on menus…
26% of people are eating more dairy products in their diet than they did 12 months ago*
59% of people feel that vegetarian options in restaurants are limited**
57% of vegetarians feel that their menu options become less appealing when they’re made vegan**
Check out our vegetarian and plant-based recipes to help give you some inspiration…
Foraging is the act of searching and collecting food resources in the wild. And although it may sound niche, it is slowly becoming more commonplace in restaurants and the out of home market around the world. Several restaurants in the USA have actively incorporated foraged food into their offerings, and we’ve seen examples in the UK too.
UK consumers are expressing interest in foraged ingredients… In fact, 53% of UK adults told us they find the idea of seeing them on menus appealing**
Top choices when asked what foraged ingredients consumers would eat when out was blackberries, closely followed by wild garlic, and blackcurrants**
Cooking Wild Food
Many consider foraged ingredients to contain more nutrients as they are less exposed to harmful chemicals, and they are often brighter in colour and earthier in flavour, meaning they can add layers of complexity and quality to dishes.
Plus, recent awareness of the impact mass production of food can have on the environment, as well as the implications of plastic packaging and chemical fertilizers, have all driven a rise in consumer interest in foraged ingredients.
So, whether chefs search for fruit, herbs, vegetables and plants in the wild themselves, or use a professional forager to source their ingredients from, they are something we expect to see more of on menus in the UK.
Check out our ‘fresh and foraged’ pizza recipe for some inspiration…
Is vegetarianism growing in the UK?
The meat-free reduction trend is ever-growing, and whilst the vegetarian market still remains relatively low (around 6%***) and the vegan market even smaller (1%***), 2 in 5 people (39%) are eating less meat than they did a year ago****.
So, demand for more vegetarian options in the out of home market remains high – with 59% of people saying they feel veggie options in restaurants are limited, and 57% of vegetarians saying that when vegetarian options are made vegan they’re less appealing*.
Which plant based foods will be popular in 2023?
Chefs are becoming more creative with plant-based dishes and giving veg the starring role on the plate. As the meat reduction trend continues to grow, we expect to see more plant-based options appearing on menus. Many global cuisines lend themselves well to plant-based diets, and vegan desserts are becoming popular with consumers whether they follow a vegan diet or not.
Should you include foraged foods on your menu?
Although the concept may sound niche, foraged ingredients are slowly becoming more commonplace in restaurants and the out of home market around the world. Several restaurants in the USA have actively incorporated foraged food into their offerings, and we’ve seen examples in the UK too.
Over half of UK consumers (53%) find the idea of them appearing on menus appealing, and when it comes to which ingredients consumers want to see… blackberries, wild garlic and blackcurrants are the top plant-based choices***.
*Mintel Burger and Chicken Restaurants, UK 2022
** Bidfood and CGA 2023 Trends consumer survey, sample size 2,003 (UK adults)
***Bidfood & CGA by NielsenIQ 2023 Trends consumer survey, sample size 2,003 UK adults
**** Mintel, Burger and Chicken Restaurants UK 2022