South Africa’s Top 6 Predicted Food Trends for 2023

It’s time for us foodies to get our crystal balls out and start predicting what food trends 2023 has in store for us. 2022 is still upon us, but we have already started to see some steady inclinations for 2023’s food trends; for example, 2 of 2022’s food trends have made their way into 2023’s predictions – the rise of spicy niceness and plant-based everything.

In 2022 we had the rise of CBD products, plant-based alternatives, fermented foods, and trending food recipes like cloud bread, charcuterie boards, pasta chips, mug cakes, corn ribs, fruit candy, omelette wraps, peanut butter cup rice cakes and more. We had a delicious 2022, and it’s time to experience what 2023 has to offer.

Some trends focus on themes around the World, whilst others may be particular products or recipes trending on social media.

After doing some research, we took a look at what other markets are predicting, here are a few trends to look out for:

With a constant rise of inflation, and food prices, we see a ‘thrill in thrift’, this includes getting the best deals on foods, managing food waste in the kitchen, money savings tips and budget-friendly cooking hacks as well as energy savers, like air fryers or using gas stove rather than turning the oven on.

Plant pasta (see more below in our top 6 S.A. food trends). Reinventing our childhood foods to make them more nutritional or healthy – people can dive into nostalgia but still feed their bodies with good nutrients.

Dates are on the rise, whether it’s using dates in food, or date syrup as a sweetener alternative. Date syrup is often used in refined sugar-free baking or vegan goods. Avocado oil is another product to stock in your kitchen, it is packed with healthy unsaturated fats, and people have actually been using it for years.

Sourcing foods ethically, with animal welfare in mind, is on the rise – including organic pasture-raised chickens and eggs. We also look out for upcycling by-products, like beer chips made from the spent grain (from beer), or using the pulp from plant-based milk to create another product.

AND, PS: if you don’t have an air fryer by now, it’s time to be cool, it is now a kitchen counter must.

Here are our top 6 predicted food trends for 2023:

  • Swicy:

Swicy, huh? Basically, a dish that combines sweet and spicy flavours in one dish. South Korean cuisine is ahead of the curve with this one – there are several spicy dishes available in South Korean cuisine where hot sauce blended with strawberry jam is applied to fried chicken.

Or you could try something closer to home, like the classic Durban beach braaied pineapple with a little bit of chilli. Lekker!

  • Spicy Honey:

Continuing with our “swicy” trend is spicy honey. Spicy honey has been combined with fresh or dried chilli peppers to create a flavour sensation. The precise flavour and spiciness will depend on the type of chilli and the quantity used.

  • Plant-Based Pasta

The first thing you should know about plant-based pasta is that you can use it in any pasta dish; no additional menu planning is required.
Also, it helps us increase our veggie intake in a delicious way – who doesn’t love pasta? Plant-based pasta is not just vegan pasta (no egg), but it includes pasta made from other plant sources like peas, corn, lentil, cauliflower, spaghetti squash or even green banana!

Food Lover’s Market has an incredible range of plant-based pasta available; browse our range here and see our wide variety of pasta recipes for some inspiration

  • ‘Butter’ Boards

This TikTok trend took the world by storm! Inspired by charcuterie boards, a butter board is a dish made of soft butter that has been spread out on a wooden cutting board and has been decorated with seasonings, ingredients, and edible garnishes like salt, pepper, chilli flakes, honey (perhaps spicy honey), lemon zest, fruit or vegetable slices, herbs, or edible flowers. Whilst the butter board was the trend, we’re seeing that the technique is rising, whether it’s a board or the spreading technique is used for gourmet crostinis or open sandwiches, like the checkerboard toast. Not only does it need to be butter, but we’ve also got cream cheese boards, peanut butter boards, vegan ‘cheese’ boards – any sort of spread made into a beautiful sharing snack board.

Be sure to try out our recipe; all the cool kids are.

  • Tinned Fish:

Don’t even make that face! Young chefs like Ayabonga Gope are taking this pantry staple to the next level. Moreover, tinned fish isn’t just tuna; it includes pates, sardines, anchovies, calamari, squid, bacalhau and variants thereof!
Tinned fish is packed with nutrients and is budget-friendly. Check out our fancy sardine crostini recipe.

  • Dates:

Dates are a traditional fruit of the Middle East that have been consumed since the 18th century. Packed with goodness and sweetness, they make perfect snacks or a great addition to any tapas board. These vegan almond butter dates are a serious winner, try the recipe.

Stay ahead of these trends and check out Food Lover’s Market for these delicious products.

Other trends that are still on the rise in 2023:

  • CBD and cannabis products
  • Indigenous ancient and African grains. Whilst quinoa took a rise in recent years, we’re seeing more ancient and African grains gaining popularity like teff, sorghum, fonio, ground nuts and millet. These can be used as one normally uses grains, or made into flours.
  • Cold brew coffee
  • The crosshatch: a classic culinary technique that’s visually stunning and filling social feeds – for aubergines, mushrooms, scallops, you name it – add some crisscross in your food prep.