After countless supply chain disruptions, and with a potential recession on the horizon, 2023 is set to be a transformative year for the grocery store segment.
With that in mind, here are a few key trends that my staff and our packaged food company, Eat Happy Kitchen, are building our 2023 plans around:
Supply chains will continue to be a big challenge for food manufacturers.
As we all witnessed firsthand the past two years, the supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link. In 2023, we’ll see a push toward making supply chains more transparent, and packaged product companies making investments to prevent disruptions in manufacturing and distribution.
Supply chain issues aren’t just tied to man-made disruptions. A drought in Italy made the price of organic tomatoes – the main ingredient to Eat Happy Kitchen’s small batch, organic, no-sugar-added line of kitchen sauces – double in price.
As a result, we explored using farm fresh tomatoes but, since they weren’t organic, we felt that our customers would’ve balked at buying one of our sauces that used non-organic tomatoes. It was a difficult choice, but in the end we paid the premium for the organic tomatoes.
Consumers will continue to be fickle in 2023, which is another challenge that grocery stores will have to adapt to in the new year.
Consumer choice will continue to impact ‘healthy’ foods.
Consumers continue to be self-aware about the foods they consume and the impact to both their bodies and the environment.
Natural and organic packaged foods are the primary growth driver in this space. “Functional” foods and beverages grew 8.3% in 2021 and will reach $100 billion by 2024, even with a recession looming in 2023.
Recyclable and sustainable packaging will rule.
Consumers demand for environmentally friendly packaging is only increasing. According to Shorr’s Sustainable Packaging Consumer Report, 76% of consumers say they’ve made an effort to purchase sustainable products, and 86% are more likely to purchase items with sustainable packaging.
Editor’s note: Anna Vocino is the founder and CEO of Eat Happy Kitchen, a natural food company. Her recipes and expertise regarding food in general have been featured in multiple publications, including Women’s Health and Consumer Reports.