May 22, 2024

En Route reveals 2023 food trends

En Route International, the global food service partner to airlines and airline catering operations, has published a report outlining the food-related trends anticipated during 2023. 

Published on 25 January, Top Food Trends for 2023, suggests that customers will demand greater accountability regarding the types of products being used over the year ahead. This relates to both sustainable and ethical choices. It notes that, increasingly, shoppers are reaching for “products with eco-friendly and carbon-neutral attributes.” 

Increased accountability also relates to how companies treat their suppliers.  

The report quotes Tamar Gibson, En Route’s Supply Chain and Procurement Manager for the US, as saying: “Sustainable solutions are often more easily recognised when they are labelled on tangible products, which could be demonstrated in an easily visible recyclable icon on packaging or a menu mention of a product that is locally sourced, therefore highlighting a reduced carbon footprint.” 

It also touches on the issue of affordable nutrition and how consumers of sustainable products, and those regarded as ethical, can face higher prices. This can be a barrier to their consumption to people on low income or consumers who desire value for money. At a time when many people are facing a cost-of-living crisis that is at the forefront of many people’s thinking. 

The report notes a trend for people to demand quick and nutritional dishes rather than simply quick and convenient food. En Route’s response is to broaden its range of healthy retail-on-board options and increase the choice of healthier, ambient meals for vegetarians and vegans. 

Plant-based foods are seen as healthy for individuals and the planet. Due to Gen Z and Millennials’ familiarity with plant-based milks, there is a trend towards those products being used rather than cow’s milk. As a result, we can expect to see more plant-based ice creams on menus in the future. 

Concern over the provenance of ingredients and food production methods is on the rise, highlights the report. 

So too is acceptance among consumers that things don’t have to be perfect. Making an effort and moving towards the goal is regarded as important. Transparency and honesty in communications about the shortcomings of packaging’s eco-credentials are valued, helping consumers connect with brands. 

Read the full Top Food Trends for 2023 report on the En Route website.