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Which Macro Trends Will Be on the Grocery List for 2023?

KeHE’s experts look at sustainability, mindfulness and more
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
Conscious consumers will likely add more plant-based foods to their diets in 2023, according to KeHe.
Conscious consumers will likely add more plant-based foods to their diets in 2023, according to KeHe.

With an eye on data, analytics, industry movement and overarching consumer trends, KeHE Distributors’ team of experts has released a list of five major grocery trends to watch for the coming year.

According to KeHE, living a sustainable lifestyle will be of the utmost importance to consumers in 2023, as they seek transparency in packaging, products, transportation and ingredients. Citing Mintel data, KeHE shares that many shoppers are already adapting their behaviors to become more sustainable, with 27% choosing to consume less meat, 25% composting and 20% choosing companies certified to pay fair wages.

“Today, shoppers are more educated when it comes to their food purchases, understanding ingredients, how a product is packaged, and even the working conditions of those who create the products,” KeHE explained in its list.

Consumers in 2023 are also expected to be more conscious and mindful of what they’re putting into their bodies, often taking a personalized approach to sometimes-restrictive diets. KeHE anticipates a shift toward a more inclusive view of paleo and keto diets, adding more plant-based items into diets, and consuming low to no sugar. Additionally, 41% of consumers are choosing low- to no-alcohol drinks to be healthier, according to Mintel.

Creating an elevated culinary experience at home will also be top of mind in the new year, with shoppers looking for extreme flavors, nostalgic foods, global cuisines and more. Holistic health and wellness will also rate highly for consumers, especially as Mintel found that 78% believe healthful eating is important for their emotional well-being. Expect shoppers to seek out products that support cognition and focus, stress and sleep, and mood.

Finally, unique ingredients and functional, flavor-forward foods will be hot in 2023. Mintel found that 33% of consumers have tried more savory, umami flavors in the past year, and 24% report trying more earthy flavors.

“Today’s natural consumer is motivated by an overlapping combination of factors such as health and nutrition benefits, environmental sustainability, convenience, and adventurous flavor experiences,” KeHE said. “As demand for food products that meet these needs grows, shoppers are looking to brands to continue to deliver innovation at an ever-increasing rate."

With more than 6,800 employee-owners, Naperville, Ill.-based KeHE Distributors serves more than 30,000 natural food stores, chain and independent grocery stores, e-commerce retailers and other specialty products retailers throughout North America.

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