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Trends to Watch in the Foodservice Industry for 2023

As we look ahead to 2023, the food service industry continues to evolve and innovate. Advances in technology, changing consumer preferences, and new regulations are shifting how food is sourced and distributed. Here are some trends that foodservice distributors should watch out for in the coming years.    

1. Local Sourcing 

 As customers become more aware of the economic impact of their food choices, they are increasingly seeking sustainable and locally-sourced options. Foodservice distributors should look for ways to source locally and responsibly while also finding ways to make these products more accessible to customers. With the rise of the “local food” movement, food service distributors increasingly look to local farmers and producers for their supply chain needs. This trend is partly driven by consumer demand for fresher and more sustainable food options. Distributors also turn to local sources for specific products, such as specialty items or seasonal produce, that can’t be found elsewhere.    

2. Digital Solutions 

Foodservice distributors turn to innovative digital solutions to streamline their operations as digital technology advances. For example, many distributors now use cloud-based software to manage inventory, track orders, and manage customer relationships. This trend is expected to continue as digital solutions become more accessible and cost-effective. 

3. Improved Packaging 

Food service distributors are also focusing on improving their packaging solutions. New materials, such as biodegradable plastics and compostable packaging, are becoming increasingly available. These materials allow distributors to offer more sustainable options while reducing the cost of packaging. Eco-friendly products offer a wide range of options. Apart from its attractive appearance, eco-friendly packaging conveys a sense of optimism for our planet’s future. 

4. Multi-Channel Distribution 

As more and more people order their meals online, food service distributors should look for ways to make their offerings available on delivery platforms. This means partnering with existing delivery companies or creating their delivery services. This trend is driven by consumer demand for convenience and the need to provide faster service.  

5. Health-Conscious Consumers 

Consumers are becoming more conscious of their health and are looking for foods that are not only delicious but also nutritious. Foodservice Distributors should look for ways to make their offerings healthier, such as offering low-sodium or low-fat options. Plant-based foods are becoming increasingly popular, and food service distributors should be looking for ways to incorporate plant-based options into their offerings. This could include adding vegan and vegetarian options and exploring alternative proteins, such as tempeh, seitan, and tofu. 

6. Rise of Meal Kits  

Meal Kit is a subscription-based service that delivers fresh ingredients directly to customers’ homes. Before serving, the pre-portioned ingredients must be combined and cooked. Time-saving solutions are marketed as a solution to busy workers and parents who want to prepare fresh meals at home. Meal kits are becoming increasingly popular as they offer convenience and variety.

Foodservice distributors should look for ways to partner with meal kit companies or create their own meal kits featuring their products. According to Statista, “The revenue of the meal kit service market (fresh and packaged food) is forecast to grow to around fifty-two billion pounds by 2030. This is an expected increase of more than three times the value of 2021.” 

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As the food service industry evolves, food service distributors should monitor these trends. By staying ahead of the curve, distributors can remain competitive in the ever-changing industry. By keeping an eye on these trends, food service distributors can ensure they offer their customers the best and most up-to-date products with the right strategies. 

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