LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ. — iTi Tropicals, Inc., a supplier of tropical fruit juice concentrates and purees, has unveiled its predictions for some of the biggest trends it expects to see in 2023.
At the forefront of iTi’s forecast for the upcoming year is a combination of provenance and authenticity, providing consumers with genuine flavors while acknowledging their source. iTi sees this as a prime opportunity for brands to excite consumers and differentiate themselves using messaging that focuses on where their products originate from or are inspired by. The trend is reaffirmed by similar predictions from the National Restaurant Association and the Kerry Group that expect a rise in demand for local and traditional flavors.
“You see flavors from across the globe with those strong provenance stories coming through,” said Soumya Nair, global lead of insights for Kerry.
Ingredients, functional and clean label, also are expected to be key trends in 2023. The growth in functional ingredient applications can be seen across several categories in the food and beverage industry. For instance, in meat production, antimicrobials used by Corbion can reduce up to 100% of sodium by swapping it with potassium, while companies like VIBAL Energy Tea are combining amino acids, natural caffeine and ginseng to increase relaxation and reduce stress.
iTi predicts demand for new flavor combinations in the bakery and confectionery categories will lead to an increase in the use of tropical ingredients such as guava, acai and passion fruit, all of which are linked to functional benefits.
The popularity of clean label ingredients has increased as consumers desire less processed foods and simpler ingredient lists, most notably in the plant-based segment. Unfamiliar ingredients was one of the major factors behind plant-based alternatives declining in penetration for all categories, indicating that consumers have begun to question the purported health benefits of some plant alternatives.
“The call for clean label claims in plant-based foods is becoming louder,” said Kishan Vasani, chief executive officer of Spoonshot. “Consumers are starting to be put off by long, complicated ingredient lists.”
Consumers should expect to see more fruit juices and concentrates used in place of flavor ingredients as part of the clean label trend, according to iTi.