Trending Now: Three Trends We’re Looking Forward to in 2023

Trend predictions from the experts for the year to come have been steadily coming into our inboxes of the past few weeks, and more are no doubt on their way. Now that we have gotten a look at the annual trends reports and forecasts from the Specialty Food Association, Whole Foods, AF&Co +Carbonate, Mintel, and Technomic, we’ve pulled together a few highlights!

“Produce Meets Pasta”

Traditionally, pasta has always been plant-based, but as the Specialty Food Association put it: “pasta’s pandemic-fueled comeback made room for more innovation with black rice, pumpkin, red lentils, lupini, and purple carrots.” In the Whole Foods 2023 trend report, they put it like this: “Whether you’re looking for a special diet substitute, a way to incorporate more produce into your diet, or simply want to try something new — these new plant-powered pasta alternatives offer something for everyone.” Many of the more esoteric innovations may not be ready for foodservice distribution, but at Barilla we’ve been at this for a bit!

Barilla’s take: Now that our legume pastas – made in red lentil or chickpea varieties – are available in bulk, operators can take advantage of this trend today and make it easy on operations at the same time. Be sure to use our tips for best flavor pairing, and don’t just offer legume pastas as a swap-in.  

Japanese Mashups and Filipino Foods Lead the Way

For Hospitality experts at AF&Co+Carbonate, Filipino is the cuisine of the year, and we’re not arguing. New Filipino hotspots have been opening in trendsetting cities like LA, Chicago, San Francisco and New York, and filipino influences have been showing up in ethnic mashups, too. They also took note of Nikkei cuisine – the mashup of Japanese and Peruvian food that dates back well over 100 years. Think Japanese-inflected ceviches, tiraditos, and causas.  

Barilla’s take: Filipino classics like adobo and pancit are already pasta-friendly comfort foods, and there’s lots of room for playful experimentation, introducing other filipino ingredients and flavors on an approachable pasta canvas. We’ve had our eye on “wafu” pasta too – Japanese flavors and ingredients built on Italian-style pastas. They’re a hit at Izakayas in Japan and in new hot spots here in the US, keeping a favorite comfort-food vibrant and fresh for a new generation.

Fermentation Bubbles Up

Tagged by both AF&Co+Carbonate and Technomic, the threads leading to fermentation making today’s trends lists are many. From Noma’s world-leading “New Nordic” cuisine’s focus on pickling and preserving, to koji’s explosion in popularity, and overall consumer interest in gut health, it all ties together. Expect fermented products to show up on all parts of the menu, from pre-biotic beverages to umami-laden sauces and condiments.

Barilla’s take: The depth of flavor chefs can achieve through fermentation and using fermented ingredients is unmatched, and can be found in just about every cuisine on the planet. Ancient Romans developed garum , a kind of fermented fish sauce, over a thousand years ago. Cured meats like salumi and nduja are a result of fermentation, too!