Culinary Trends in 2023: A Fresh Palette of Regional Delights, Dietary Consciousness, and Virtual Dining Experiences
- Nov. 17, 2023
- FMCG HORECA BUSINESS
In 2021, restaurants were still suffering from the epidemic; nevertheless, this year has seen a resurgence of vigor and new tastes in the culinary world. The managing partner and founder of Hodema Consulting Services, Nagi Morkos, examines a number of significant developments that will influence the food and beverage industry going forward.
It's official: eateries, cafés, and bars have reopened and are attempting a variety of new ideas. While some are not new, some are. Despite being tried and tested, many of them have not aged at all. This is seen in the example of multiple organic restaurants that emphasize locally sourced and traceable ingredients. Social responsibility and sustainability are becoming top concerns for a large number of consumers. Gourmets are moving away from mass-produced food and franchise restaurants in favor of customized experiences that make them feel unique and allow them to support regional food producers and their neighborhood. This trend was enhanced by the pandemic, as lockdowns strengthened ties with nearby businesses.
The significance of regional culinary trends
Thus, the most popular (albeit not really new) culinary trend of the day is savoring regional cuisine, whether it be from nearby or far-off places. After years of enthusiasm for Western notions, traditional dishes have seen a rise in popularity in Middle Eastern countries. Nowadays, a lot of individuals are going back to their childhood dishes, particularly in the Gulf where European and American cuisines were longtime restaurant favorites. For instance, although Saudis were already consuming "kabsa" in upscale dining establishments, it has now gained popularity. The same is true for "machboos" in Kuwait and "khuzi" in the Emirates.
While classic cuisines like Egypt, Lebanon, and Turkey have never lost their popularity, stylish domestic innovations that honor beloved recipes have been on the rise for a few years now.
"Local" food might mean food from a particular region, but it can also mean food that is authentic and traditional. We already know how to prepare Chinese, Italian, French, and Spanish food. These days, though, the focus is narrower, with restaurant owners specializing in foods from a particular region where regional cooking methods differ from those employed in nearby areas. Restaurants serving Cantonese or Szechuan cuisine are releasing their ancient recipes, showing that what we generally associate with Chinese cuisine is not real Chinese. Likewise with regard to Japanese food customs. Finally, new meals that are locals' favorites are making an appearance on the menus of our favorite restaurants after years of sushi consumption.
Though it originated in the 16th century, the sando—a sandwich composed of sliced white bread stuffed with either savory or sweet ingredients—is currently the craze in Western restaurants. This also applies to French and Italian cuisine, which varies greatly from north to south, as well as cooking methods. It's where the regional and local food trends converge to highlight the ethnic diversity. Whether you are discussing the food customs of your own nation or something exotic and foreign, these ideas change. All of them honor cultural variety and legacy, though.
The trend of doing without is here to stay.
It's worth noting that this trend is also not new. A few years ago, the fight against gluten was the beginning of it all, and from there it spread to dairy, eggs, and nuts. A whole new industry of free-from products has emerged as a result of the awareness that food allergies and intolerances may have a daily impact on our lives and provide consumers more control over what they put on their plates. Although the movement started out in specialty organic stores, in a few of years it exploded and made its way onto supermarket shelves. The free-from movement is expanding beyond allergies, and well-known chefs are now using some of these items on their menus. Preservative-and palm oil-free products have become more popular as a result of the evolution of the traditional fat-free option. Some menus even list the number of calories in each dish.
Reducing the influence on the environment
Reducing the influence on the environment These days, choosing ingredients carefully has more benefits than just your health. Our dietary decisions have also changed as a result of increased awareness of climate change. Similar to the traceability concerns surrounding beef a few years ago, a significant portion of the consumer base is interested in learning the production and harvesting processes of their food. When choosing a restaurant or cuisine, those who care about the environment now consider sustainability and a green mindset. Some businesses have even included these values into their branding strategies, making sure that their efforts are well-publicized. Additionally, new ingredients are making an appearance. One such component is kelp, a huge brown seaweed that is frequently found in Chinese salads. Excess nutrients and carbon dioxide are absorbed by the algae. The majority of food served in restaurants until recently had ingredients originating from animals. Vegetarian alternatives are currently moving from being a trend to a traditional culinary practice, appearing in numerous establishments on a gradual but steady basis.
With a greater selection of fresh fruit juices and salads available, fruit and vegetable-based products are also making their way into the street food and snack market.
Dinner is only a click away
The virtualization of our eating habits is another tidal wave that is not being impeded by our pursuit of sustainability and eco-friendly solutions. Apps and click-and-collect services have reflected the neighborhood restaurants of the 1990s.
Millions of hungry consumers are now placing online meal orders with aggregators like UberEats, Deliveroo, Toters, Talabat, and Zomato driving the show. Cloud kitchens are one of the new enterprises that have been made possible by these platforms. The industry received a huge boost from the pandemic, and the return to a more regular existence hasn't slowed the trend down at all. Now, in an attempt to compete with these formidable giants, some eateries are trying to follow suit and release their own applications.