Food innovation intelligence company Spoonshot revealed 2023 trend predictions at the annual IFT FIRST exposition at the McCormick Place in Chicago. Kishan Vasani, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Spoonshot, discussed three trend predictions at the exposition. Using artificial intelligence and thousands of data sources from menus, recipes, blogs, and news articles, Spoonshot was able to predict consumer demand and identify emerging trends.
Seafood Alternatives: The rise of flexitarian and pescatarian diets might explain the growing need for seafood alternatives. Although global fish consumption is expected to double by 2050, 70% of marine fish populations have been fully used, overused, or are being threatened by rising ocean temperatures. Common seafood alternatives include soybeans, fava beans, peas, and green lentils. According to consumer based online discussions, ingredients of interest include banana blossom, seaweed, mushroom, and jackfruit.
Plant-Based Products: Consumers are demanding clean label claims in plant-based foods. Spoonshot noted 10% of consumer conversations regarding plant-based foods centered around clean eating. Consumers no longer want long, confusing ingredient lists. “As the plant-based space grows, food manufacturers will need to rethink the ingredients,” Vasani explained. “This development also means opportunities for ingredient suppliers to create clean label building blocks for plant-based foods to improve texture, flavor, and appearance.”
Incorporating Psychoactive Substances: Grown-up functional ingredients might be a new area of interest. “Chefs experimenting with cannabis are looking at different aspects of dosage and strain to give their customers a unique culinary experience in fine dining,” explained Vasani. One substance that’s been a topic of research is psilocybin, a hallucinogenic compound found in mushrooms. Research on psilocybin is being conducted on treating things like depression, anxiety, and mood disorders. Although it might be too soon to discuss the legality of these ingredients, several cites have already decriminalized the substance, indicating a growing implication that many of these ingredients might be the key to dealing with the stresses of today.
The sales & marketing team recently returned from the annual IFT FIRST trade show. IFT FIRST, or Food Improved by Research, Science, and Technology is the world’s leading food technology event and is the biggest business-to-business food exposition. IFT FIRST was a great opportunity to meet with food professionals, discover the latest global trends, and see the newest innovations.