Written by Riley Fairchild • September 14, 2023
We’re turning the corner into the last few months of 2023, and what a year has it been. Food has had a busy year this year, as it always seems to. This year showed us many enjoyable food trends — some new, some old, and some we literally never even thought of as possible yet here we are (spoiler: butter boards).
We’ve collected some of the top food trends of 2023 for you. There’s still time yet this year for you to join the world (well, mostly the internet) in taking a bite out of these yummy food trends.
Top of our list is mood food. What is mood food, you ask? Well, depends on what mood you’re in, but we’re confident that almost all moods call for comfort foods. Mood food describes our favorite homestyle foods — that is, the food that leads to feelings of nostalgia, contentment, comfort, and security.
Some examples of mood foods can include soups, macaroni and cheese baked with a cracker topping, mashed potatoes and gravy. Cheesy lasagne. Slow cooked pork. Need we go on? Mood food’s trending status this year may be the reflection of a greater need for a collective safety blanket — or it might just be the continuation of the asynchronous pattern of humanity: that we simply love warm, savory foods.
This year, more and more people are tuning into the current discourse around environmentally friendly foods. People who are paying attention to the news about current climate events want to make sure that the choices they make at restaurants or at the grocery store reflects their values.
Climate conscious foods include fruits, vegetables, and produce that are sustainably grown, caught, or raised. This may include vegetarian or vegan foods, but not solely. Many restaurants offer information about the origins of their ingredients, and people are putting their money where their mouths are by buying more and more organic (chemical free) meals and foods that show a dedication to environmentally safe practices.
Next on our list are island flavors. Citrusy flavors like pineapple, passionfruit, and soursop are trending this year, whether that’s for sweet or savory dishes. Other popular fruit flavors include dragonfruit, guava, lychee, and pomegranate. And don’t forget the coconut!
Caribbean spices are also flying off the shelves and falling into the mixing bowl this year. These spices include allspice, nutmeg, and ginger and also show up in sweet and savory dishes alike.
You’re really going to have to do an image search for this one, because you won’t quite believe the description of what a butter board is unless you see what it looks like. Butter boards became immensely popular on social media this year. They’re like a charcuterie board that’s been dipped in all things yummy.
To make a butter board, take a large surface (like a chopping board) and slather with thick butter, cream, cream cheese, hummus, or another type of dip. Next, sprinkle or dribble toppings across the top. You might pick nuts, seasonings, sauces, honey, or lemon zest — anything that’s going to be yummy when scooped up by bread or crackers at your dinner party!
Technology has indeed changed our lives and one of technology’s greatest gifts is vegan chocolate that looks, tastes, and feels just like milk chocolate. Plant-based chocolates give those who don’t partake in dairy products a way to enjoy a rich milk chocolate, which is one of the reasons why they were so popular this year.
There are now so many brands of alternative or plant-based chocolates, some mixing in hazelnuts, mint, orange, coconut and more. Even people who eat dairy enjoy alternative chocolates, so this trend is here to stay.
Minimalism was once a trend, but that was so 2016. People are now shoving minimalism aside when it comes to kitchen appliances and investing in ice cream makers. That’s right, you don’t have to leave the house to have ice cream anymore — and you can create your own flavors.
With only a few simple ingredients (cream, milk, sugar, eggs) and strong arms, you can churn your own ice cream from home. And no one is stopping you from mixing in your favorite candy bars, chocolate pieces, syrups, fruits, or desserts.
Our last trend is one that is truly everlasting and will never go out of style. In 2023, people focused on fresh foods. More people wanted to buy fresh produce rather than frozen, processed, canned, or otherwise. With renewed focus on health, especially after the last several years, everyone wants to eat less junk food and focus more on a balanced, whole diet.
And that’s a wrap (but not a plastic wrap, as that directly contradicts trends number 2 and 7). What food trends does 2024 have in store for us? We’ll have to wait to find out, but CaterCow is eager to see them show up on our full catering menu where we have hundreds of local options for you to pick from when ordering for your company.