Latest findings from the News Food Corp Network’s Trend Forecast – 2023 Special Edition, provides insight into what the News Corp Australia’s considerable audience is up to in the kitchen.
One top trend: people are looking to achieve fast and effortless food – without compromising on flavour. As the end of year holidays get closer, trends such as entertaining friends at home, health-conscious meals and a growing intention to buy large and small kitchen appliances are also all a thing.
These trends all trace back to the current rise in cost of living, with 75% of consumers experiencing greater cost of living pressures compared to last year and 70 percent of those surveyed expecting the pressure to become increase in the next year.
Groceries are the number one noticeable price increase impacting households currently, ranking ahead of fuel, bills, rent and mortgages, entertainment and eating out.
The impacts of the pandemic on people’s eating habits remain, and these are not all negative. For instance, the cooking skills, such as how to make sourdough and baked feta, that people learned to pass the time while in lockdown. These new habits are leading to changes in the Aussie kitchen. Air fryers are having a moment and there’s a rapidly rising intention to buy appliances big and small. Call it a cupboard or a butler’s kitchen, all this is leading to an increase in people having dedicated areas in their house just to store their small appliances.
“We strongly believe that food will never go back to where it was pre-Covid” says Brodee Myers-Cooke, News Corp editorial director of mass food, speaking with Mediaweek.. “People have honed their skills, and we’ve got many, many more people who would classify themselves as home cooks who didn’t before”.
“Home cooking is going to be ongoing, and I think the cost of living and Covid have collided on that one”, says Myers-Cooke. “People are not going to go back to feeling like they’ve got more time in their kitchen. There is a real sense that time has shrunken – not just around food. That’s not going to change.”
Eating at home has increased by 38 per cent, and for convenience, 2.2 million more people are now often choosing frozen or chilled ready prepared meals. Eating for health, such as vegetarian meals and buying organic or minimally processed foods have all increased since Covid, however, 73 percent like to eat healthily but don’t want to compromise on taste.
Key trends for 2023
Market watchers B&T report on the marketing, media and advertising industries within Australia and further afield. Their team picked the following top trends.
- A GOLDEN AGE OF ENTERTAINING
Socialising at home is now year-round, with more people socialising at home with friends and family. Significant occasions like Christmas and Easter, will be bigger than ever.
- Dining In – Entertaining occasions with family and friends were up 30 percent in the last quarter, with the dinner party up 34 percent.
- The BBQ is Back – A new era of casual outdoor cooking.
- Luxe Casual – Entertaining needs to be fabulous but also fuss-free, and as effortless as possible.
- The Flavour Journey – 79 percent of Australians now say they enjoy food from all over the world and 60 percent love trying new foods.
2. HEALTH BY STEALTH
Australians are now actively ‘opting in’ to health and wellness, and they are stealthier than ever, particularly in the way they approach food.
- Optimisers – 91 percent of people now say they’re opting in on improving their health and wellbeing.
- Customisers – Relevance and personalisation is critical when talking about healthy content and products.
- Fast Food Alternatives – Since the onset of Covid, fast food consumption has steadily increased. For both health and budget reasons, people are searching for home-cooked meals that simulate fast food. They want to shop fast and cook fast.
- Snackification – Almost 50 percent of consumers report that they snack throughout the day, with 60 percent preferring healthy snacks. This is now year round, not just in the traditional periods of spring and summer.
3. ELEVATED CONVENIENCE
Consumers are looking for effortless solutions that are impressive, supercharged with flavour and an enhanced experience. No pressure!
- Time Poor Cooks – Over a quarter of Australians say they don’t have time to cook. The weeknight cook is looking for clever fast-track solutions.
- Click Crazy – Online supermarket shopping has almost tripled since the start of Covid. Click and collect is up 1.1 million since last year; and 3.7 million since pre-Covid.
- Fast & Effortless – Consumers are wanting fast and effortless, with a premium edge, as quick and easy is no longer enough. Popular search terms on the company’s food websites include terms like: ‘one pan’, ‘one pot’, and ‘tray bakes’.
- In the Mix – Home baking keeps rising, well after Covid lockdowns. Retail growth of cake mixes is up 7 percent over the year.
4. THE POST-COVID KITCHEN
The Aussie kitchen is changing. So many air fryers and nowhere to put them! The increase in people buying large and small appliances is seeing a rise in dedicated areas within their home purely to store small appliances.
- Small Appliance Boom – The buzz is around using small appliances like air fryers over the traditional oven to save on energy costs
- Video – It seems there’s a ‘can’t look away effect’ like no other when appliances, recipes and video come together. It has driven several tens of millions of video views for taste.com.au.
- Integrated & Hybrid – Kitchen appliances will be integrated into ever-more modular kitchens in 2023. Families are looking for built-in kitchen appliances, hybrid appliances like cooktops that combine gas and induction, and microwaves that double a conventional and a steam oven.
- Efficiency – Eco-friendly and energy efficient appliances are already driving growth in this sector. Cost of living pressures will push that further, along with cost savings to be found by using small appliances.
- Buffets – fresh, flavour-packed, crowd-pleasing spreads, and not just mains, desserts too
- Special diets – gluten free, vegetarian and vegan will be menu must-haves
- Show stopping desserts with a difference
Spring/Summer 2022-23 – Movers and Shakers
Christmas is now far more than a big occasion, it’s a full-on, seasonal event over the spring/summer period. The movers and shakers over this season are at scale and rising.
- Christmas salads – a huge uplift of over 3,500 per cent to last year
- Fun drinks – Aperol Spritz is up 3,000 per cent, more than just Aperol is the rise of fun drinks
- Guacamole recipes – up 633 per cent year-on-year
Autumn/Winter 2023 – Movers and Shakers
Comfort, entertaining, budget and convenience are the movers and shakers over this season.
- Finger food for parties – An out of the box result that is brand new for this time of year showing entertaining is now year round
- Freezer friendly – Consumers are looking for time and money saving solutions
- Easter baking – A 254 percent uplift for Easter baking, all about entertaining, and showing that the passion for sweet baking during Covid is clearly not going away anytime soon