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The Trends Tea on 2023

2023 is officially here, and a new year often means trying something new. Whether you’re planning a new menu, looking to enter a new market, or just love reading about upcoming trends, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to discover the top trends of 2023.

The overarching driver behind all trends in 2023 is unfortunately the cost of living crisis. Consumers will be keeping a closer eye on their bank accounts, with 40% of consumers already going out less frequently than they typically would. This economic climate will be impacting so much consumer behaviour, but there’s plenty of ways to ensure you still have a successful and flavourful year.

Beige Comforts

Beige has a bad reputation for being boring, but in times of difficulty it’s the budget-friendly beige foods that keep us going. Societal crises tend to bring out the nostalgia in us all, so childhood comforts are an essential and many of those happen to be beige. This certainly doesn’t mean beige is automatically bad or basic. Lean into the beige renaissance and jazz up these simple pleasures where you can. Humble ingredients are in, especially if you can find a way to elevate them beyond their straightforward basis.

For simple breakfasts like porridge or pancakes, add syrups into the main dish and decorate with sauces and toppings. Serving wafers on the side of lattes and hot chocolates is another tasty way to lean into this trend.

Go Global

In an increasingly connected world, it’s never been easier to discover new cuisines and flavours. 38% of Instagram users follow food influencers from all around the world, so exposure to interesting new dishes is a daily occurrence. East Asian flavours such as Korean and Japanese have seen a huge boom recently and are showing no signs of going anywhere. Being able to try an emerging cuisine at home such as Mexican, Sri Lankan or Cuban means people can still experience new things without the cost of travel to a themed restaurant or holiday abroad. Italian will also be seeing a boom this year, as it’s easy to create delicious Italian meals using simple and cheap ingredients.

Matcha, grapefruit and yuzu are great East Asian flavours to meet demand. An Italian granita slushie will appeal to the whole family, or add tequila to create a frozen margarita.

Sustainability and Environmentalism

Choosing the sustainable option wasn’t always possible during the pandemic, so the removal of Covid regulations means sustainability is back. There’s already been a surge in climate consciousness with 39% eating less meat than they did 12 months ago and 75% of Gen Z saying that sustainability is more important than brand names when shopping. With a rise in efforts towards being environmentally friendly, it’s important to show off how you meet these demands. One study found 53% of consumers were more likely to order a restaurant meal labelled OF&G Organic, while 52% would order one that’s Certified Animal Welfare Approved. Even the colour green is growing in popularity due to its association with the environment.

Adding chlorophyll or green spirulina to smoothies and pistachios or kiwis to desserts is a great start. A specialty selection of lattes made with organic sugar syrups will also go down well.

Alcohol with Intention

The low-to-no alcohol industry has seen huge innovation in recent years with alcohol-free spirits, infused sparkling water and kombucha to name a few. Alcohol moderation has been steadily growing, in part due to a growing desire to lead healthier, balanced lifestyles. Choosing non-alcoholic alternatives has more than doubled since August 2020 among both 18-34s and 35-54s. However this doesn’t mean that alcohol should be completely off the menu. Where people are choosing to drink, the main things they’re looking for are good value for money and signature drinks at each bar or restaurant. 70% of UK adults say that eating and drinking out is the treat they most look forward to, so be sure to appeal to them with a signature cocktail.

Play around with flavour combinations of caramels, spices and fruits to create your perfect signature drink. For mocktail options, use cocktail inspiration such as our Blue Lagoon Mocktail or a piña colada milkshake.

Hybrid World

Since the pandemic started, the physical world and digital space have become increasingly intertwined. Hybrid working and food delivery apps are some of the most obvious ways in which we can see the new ‘phygital’ world that’s been created. This is something to embrace, especially when building your business. We recommend using social media to expand your brand, reach new audiences and appeal to potential customers. TikTok and Instagram are great platforms to humanise your brand, introduce your lovely staff to customers and share your favourite recipes. If you need inspiration for your content, you can find @ibcsimply on all platforms!

Flavours of the Year

Our flavour predictions for the year are a mixture of familiar and foreign, sweet and savoury, bold and mild. We expect to see some retro flavours coming through, as nostalgia is often what people turn to in times of difficulty. Food is also the easiest way for people to try new items from abroad when holidays aren’t an option, so expect to see some fabulous flavours from overseas.

Blood orange – A hybrid of traditional orange and grapefruit flavours, this has a sweeter and more tart citrusy boost that’s great in cocktails.
Matcha – This Japanese green tea is earthy with a slight nuttiness, and blends well with vanilla and white chocolate in frappes, lattes and mochi.
Guava – Mild and sweet, this Mexican fruit tastes like a hybrid of strawberry and pear flavours. Combine guava with lemon or lime in cheesecakes and sundaes.
Dragon fruit – Brightly coloured with a mild sweetness, this exotic fruit makes for delicious and eye-catching summer coolers.
Peanut butter – A childhood favourite, this creamy blend of salt and sweet adds a smooth flavour to milkshakes and hot chocolates.
Pistachio – Already seen in lattes at some popular coffee chains, this tasty green nut is earthy yet sweet and blends well with chocolate and citrus.
Croissant – Buttery with both crusty and doughy textures, this French pastry is a great dessert base for other popular flavours like pistachio cream.
Alternative sweeteners – Sugar has led the way for years, but other sweeteners like honey, maple and agave will have their moment in 2023 in teas, lattes and bakery items.


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