The Fresh Market Highlights 2023 Food Trends

Plant-based, Mexican and 'climatarian' eating among the topics to watch in the New Year.
Greg Sleter
Associate Publisher/Executive Editor
Greg Sleter profile picture
The Fresh Market Plant Based Ravioli
The Fresh Market's Nuovo pasta roasted sweet potato & cauliflower ravioli is an example of a growing selection of plant-based products now available to consumers.

As consumers work to finalize their holiday menus, The Fresh Market is looking toward the New Year, highlighting what it sees are five notable food trends for 2023.

New global flavors continue to be part of food discovery. As some global cuisine has become mainstream, a refined and sharper focus regionally is where The Fresh Market looks for new food revelations. Eastern Mediterranean cuisine has brought vibrant, aromatic flavors to the forefront to enhance everyday dishes. Sauces such as Matbucha are used as a condiment for morning eggs or as an ingredient in Shepherd’s Pie.

Those global flavors and dishes continually contribute to the evolution of plant-based eating with the introduction of traditional dishes that lend themselves to a plant-based diet. Indian cuisine remains a great go-to with its aromatic curries. This trend has created a demand for innovation around traditional staples such as ravioli that is both plant-based and non-dairy. Expect continued development in plant-based cheese, bacon and egg products.

Natural and functional foods continue to trend, as wellness remains on the forefront of the minds of many. The upside is that these ingredients with added benefits are distinctive and tasty. Botanicals, such as dandelion and lavender, are blooming again in popularity as flavors and ingredients. They can be found in beverages, salads and entrees.

Mexican cuisine is America’s new favorite comfort food. Over the past few decades, younger generations have grown up eating Mexican cuisine, as it has become more accessible, be it via traditional restaurants or fast food. Now, stateside gastronomes are turning to beans, rice, cilantro and hotter sauces to flavor their proteins of choice, from steak to seafood, as their go-to nostalgic food of respite. Varieties of queso, salsa and guacamole are perfect for any meal as a topping or condiment.

'Climatarian' eating is a new eating lifestyle that is emerging. The premise of this eating regimen is about eating for the health of the planet, with choices based on environmental impact. While this eating trend might be in its infancy, it will continue in relevance as younger generations in particular increase their concern for the planet. The parameters are not hard and fast, so it lends itself to a level of flexibility based on the preferences of those who partake. 

What makes it appealing is that it does not mean sacrificing delicious food. Participation can include everything from eating pasture-raised, to buying more local and organic ingredients to reduce carbon emissions from transport, to eating a plant-based diet with crops that are good for soil. For foodies, it’s an opportunity to get creative with new flavors and self-made mash-ups from leftovers in the fridge or items in the pantry to eliminate food waste. Take that leftover squash and rice and mix in a new sauce or spice to put a new spin on your dinner.