What’s big in foodservice for 2023?

Step inside Bidfood’s time portal as the foodservice wholesaler looks at the trends expected to make a splash in the next 12 months

1. Conscious choices

This trend centres on the fact that consumers are becoming more mindful of where they eat and drink out and what they order. While this isn’t something that’s new for 2023, the cost of living crisis and the pandemic have both been contributing factors to how consumers think about food and drink.

Conscious choices come in various forms, from making sustainable meal or ingredient choices to more mindful drinking – with 13% of under-35s typically drinking non-alcoholic alternatives when out.

Cost issues are much higher on consumers’ agendas too as well as calories, with more than half of people saying they’d change their meal choice if the calorie content was too high.

2. Retro love

Fancy a trip down memory lane? The retro love trend is all about revamping childhood memories and conjuring a sense of nostalgia, particularly through desserts, cakes and cocktails. It’s a great opportunity to bring novelty and comfort to menus, with trends suggesting consumers welcome the chance to journey back in time with some innovative takes on nostalgic dishes.

This extends beyond food and drink too, with 53% of people saying they find the idea of nostalgic-themed venues appealing as well.

3. Pizza evolution

OK, so saying pizzas are going to be popular isn’t a big revelation – after all, it’s been the UK’s most-ordered takeaway dish in 2022. But because of the format and versatility of the humble pizza, it lends itself well to creativity and innovation.

Gluten-free bases, along with plant-based and premium toppings, make pizzas sit perfectly within different sectors, times of the day and occasions.

American styles are now becoming more popular with consumers, with two in five people now eager to try Detroit pizza, a rectangular pizza with a crispy and chewy thick crust.

4. Nature’s gifts

This trend focuses on the role of plants within a dish and the ways chefs are incorporating the fruits, herbs and spices they have found themselves in the wild. Using veg as the hero ingredient in a meal isn’t simply a vegetarian or vegan thing anymore as 39% of people are eating less meat than they were a year ago, yet 59% of consumers believe meat-free options in restaurants are limited.

Foraged ingredients are becoming increasingly popular, with 53% of UK adults finding the idea of foraged ingredients – in particular blackberries, wild garlic and blackcurrants – an appealing addition to a menu.

5. In the spirit

Both tequila and rum have grown in value share of the out-of-home market since 2021 and there’s no sign of that slowing in the next 12 months, so tapping into that trend is clearly the best place to start with any drinks menu.

A CGA study also identified that 37% of consumers always or almost always opt for a signature serve when wanting a cocktail, so focusing on quality rather than quantity also had a clear benefit.


The international cuisines set to take the UK by storm in 2023:

Taking inspiration from Spain and the Caribbean, Cuban cuisine has real potential to take flight, with 46% saying they would like to try the island’s delicacies.

Cuisines from this vast continent produce a myriad of flavours. Made up of comforting stews, soups and rice-based dishes, it’s an adaptable and accessible trend that shouldn’t be forgotten.

More restaurants are combining flavours and formats that normally wouldn’t be paired together, especially as 40% of people want to try these unusual fusions. Being experimental and discovering a whole world of perfectly paired cuisines, flavour profiles and formats will set outlets apart from the competition.

An explosion of flavour, Sri Lanka’s key ingredients include turmeric, garlic, cinnamon and coconut, but the spice levels can easily be adjusted to favour the consumer’s palate.

Bidfood Foodservice trends