Mintel reveals food and drinks trends for 2023 and beyond

Mintel reveals food and drinks trends for 2023 and beyond

Pippa Gilroy November 23, 2022

Mintel: How space, climate change and the overwhelmed consumer will influence food and drink in 2023



Mintel has released its 2023 report on food and drink trends, which they claim will shape the industry for the next five years and beyond. The trends see space, climate change, mental performance, and the overwhelmed consumer as huge influences, highlighting the importance of industries taking steps to adapt in the future.

Space to be more in reach than ever

A revived ‘space race’ and innovations that could see humans set up camp on the moon or Mars mean that the food and drink industry will be increasingly influenced by space, with food and drink being tailored for humans visiting it, as well as utilising space findings (such as lunar minerals or even zero-gravity dining!) and implementing them in products.

Space-themed branding is already a popular trend in the food and drinks industry. It is in a particularly childlike manner, with stars, spaceships and aliens being familiar ways to brand products. However, Mintel indicates that space themes will become ‘more tangible than mythical’ as consumers want to find an escape from life on Earth. Gen-Z in particular are eager to experience this escape as 78% of the generation have worries about the future.

Starburst recently developed a space-themed campaign which allowed TikTok users to launch a question into space via SpaceSpeak technology using the ‘#beamitupstarburst’ hashtag, gaining over 60 million views. This increased wonder about space and ever-developing space technologies can be used as innovative ways for marketers to establish a brand.

How should the marketing industry adapt?

Brands should begin to foster the importance that space has in the lives of Gen Z, particularly from a spiritual angle due to the rise of beliefs in Astrology, and reflect this in their food and drinks marketing.

As well as this, space tourism will see an increase in engagement, particularly with an interest in commercial space flights and the implementation of zero-gravity dining experiences. The space experience can also be imitated on planet Earth. Restaurant ‘Alchemist’ recently collaborated with the MIT Space Exploration Initiative, which saw the dining room transformed into a planetary dome, accompanied by a space-themed menu which included compacted soda bread that would avoid crumb flyaways in zero gravity.

A sharper mind

Consumers are now seeking ways in which food can boost their brain power while balancing stress levels in their jobs, leisure time, and hobbies. The 2021 report of Mintel’s Global Food and Drink Trends already predicted that consumers are growing interested in brain health benefits and this trend is set to continue in coming years. Brands are beginning to promote brain-boosting ingredients such as caffeine as well as plant-based options. However, consumers are expressing concerns about caffeine and the impacts it can have on health, preferring their energy boosts in small amounts to prolong activities. Consumers are also seeking clinically proven nutrients such as magnesium, vitamin B, and zinc.

How should the marketing industry adapt?

Marketers should spend the majority of their focus drawing attention to the health benefits of the ingredients in their products as interest in them increases. Fruit and vegetables in particular will be promoted as sources of increased energy and mood boosts. However, there is a need for extensive research into formulations that claim to contain unexplored elements before being marketed to avoid misleading the customer.



Minimalism is major

Simplification is key with consumers, with basic packaging and a concentration on a limited amount of benefits being the selling point. Consumers would rather brands save chunks of information for their websites, social media and marketing. Products with clean designs and a spotlight on health benefits will appeal to shoppers that have a hard time choosing. As costs are also rising, consumers want products that will cater to their needs while saving them time and money. However, this is not always the case, with consumers in Brazil and Italy who state that value is in a product’s health benefits rather than a lower price.

How should the marketing industry adapt?

Stories about the brand and its products should be shifted online and used in marketing materials. This information can be added to labelling on shelves and at the online checkout. Trust is also a huge influence on a customer’s purchase, which brands can gain by the use of scientific research and citations. Mintel highlights how the rebuilding of the economy in the future will give households the ability to spend on products that value more than just low prices, such as environmental claims that can be useful in branding. They also claim that in 2030, the increased role of virtual solutions to inform food and drink purchases will inspire the average consumer through the use of an algorithm that will be carefully tailored to their needs. Smart technology such as smart refrigerators will give brands the option to share information and consumers will be more likely to rely on the metaverse for shopping experiences. 24% of UK consumers said that they would be interested in shopping in the metaverse, and it is expected that this number will rise as consumers become more tech-reliant.

Weatherproofed provisions in the face of climate change

As our Earth endures the devastating impacts of climate change and the weather becomes more treacherous, food and drink will also need to adapt to sustain these changes. 49% of UK-based consumers are interested in climate change and may vouch for options that will aid their bodies throughout the ever-changing temperatures. They will seek foods that deliver quick and easy nutrition in cases of weather-related disasters such as flash floods. Mintel highlights that the current energy struggles will influence consumers to seek options that prioritise energy saving through microwavable and air-friable meals. 52% of UK-based consumers say that energy-saving is an issue that they feel passionately about. It is suggested that innovations to address these issues are made in the next 2-5 years as temperatures could be warmer than in 2016, which was the warmest on record.

How should the marketing industry adapt?

As there is a great focus on producing food and drinks that aid humans in the dramatic environmental changes, it is important to be conscious about protecting it. In terms of the digital landscape, marketers of the food and drink category should consider sustainable marketing materials by ditching wasteful billboards and print ads and instead prioritising a digital focus.


Pippa Gilroy is a Digital Marketing MSc student, content creator and social media enthusiast with a passion for writing about the latest industry trends.

Instagram: @pippagilroy / TikTok: @gilroypippa / Twitter: @pippagilroy


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