Humans naturally crave new experiences, especially when it comes to the food and beverages we consume. And chefs and drink mixologists continue to innovate and draw inspiration from the diverse cultures of the world, from the rising popularity of Filipino cuisine to Japanese cherry blossom-flavored beverages making its way into the U.S.
Datassential's 2023 Food Trends report offers insight on the trending foods, flavors, ingredients, and concepts that should be on every restauranteur's radar in the next year and beyond. Let's take a look at the rising stars.
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Soju is a clear and colorless distilled alcoholic beverage hailing from Korea, and the third-fastest growing spirit on menus, according to Datassential.
A hot, tea-based beverage consisting of Earl Grey tea, steamed milk, and vanilla syrup; driven by floral flavors and alternative milks in coffee and tea.
No, it's not made with your mother's Hidden Valley Ranch bottle. This tequila- and lime-based cocktail was the fastest-growing item on menus in 2022.
A special light roast featuring a nutty taste and an overall bolder, stronger flavor.
Mangonada is a frozen dessert drink made from mangos, chamoy, and chile-lime seasoning, balancing sweet and spicy. The vibrantly-colored treat rose 100 percent on menus last year.
Otherwise known as purple yam, this violet-colored tuber originates from the Philippines. It has a sweeter, more mellow taste compared to the purple sweet potato, with a slightly nutty, vanilla taste. Ube began gaining popularity in Filipino cuisine and was used in desserts, often boiled and mashed with condensed milk.
A Filipino dish dating back before the 17th century, sisig is made from parts of a pig's face and belly, plus chicken liver. Modern versions add a twist to the traditional dish and add ingredients like egg, lime, and chili peppers.
The next iteration of hot honey. Adding something like spicy, maple-glazed chicken wings to your menu is a sure-fire way to spark your customers' attention.
Mushrooms have been gaining popularity for years now, from Lion's Mane to chanterelle varieties. The activity of foraging mushrooms solo or with friends also boomed during the pandemic, and the interest in the fascinating fungi hasn't waned. The rich, low-calorie source of fiber, protein, and antioxidants make it a great ingredient to add to dishes, and gives plant-based eaters more options.
"Whether it's focusing on foods that benefit the mind—both emotionally and cognitively—or avoiding those that are detrimental to mental health, eating and drinking for mental health is a trend that I predict will continue to take center stage" in 2023, said Jessica Werley, research and insights manager at Datassential,
Pickled strawberries are trickling their way down from fine dining, and work well in desserts such as panna cotta.
"Can this maybe really be the year of the modern relish tray? Pickled, fermented, preserved, and marinated foods of all kinds are trending," said Claire Conaghan, Datassential's associate director. "Any and all types of boards are having a moment. It is time for the Midwest holiday and potluck staple, the relish tray, to have a resurgence."
Made from black sesame seeds that have been roasted and ground, black tahini is often used for its dramatic color in dishes.
The floral flavor is making its way from Japan (where it's called sakura) to the U.S.—like the cherry blossom-flavored La Croix.
Big on breakfast menus and in savory bowls.
Verjus is making a comeback. The highly acidic ancient grape juice is made by pressing unripe grapes, crab apples, or other sour fruit, sometimes with herbs or spices. In the Middle Ages in Western Europe, verjus was used as an ingredient in sauces or as a condiment.
Made from dry roasted chestnuts, this versatile flour is growing in popularity for winter-baked goods and can be used in a range of recipes—from Paleo coffee cake to homemade pasta.
A Mexican dish from the state of Jalisco, birria is a meat stew or soup traditionally made from goat meat that is marinated in vinegar, dried chiles, garlic, and herbs and spices.
A rich chile oil from Veracruz, Mexico, salsa macha is made from dried chiles, garlic, nuts, and seeds fried in oil and finely chopped. The ingredient has risen 339 percent on menus in the last four years.
A fragrant, acidic, citric fruit originating from China, expect to see yuzu on more chain menus in 2023, according to Datassential.