Inexpensive vegetables are expected to become more popular over the next year, according to the newly revealed 2023/24 Food Trends guide released by supermarket Asda.
These ‘Everyday Heroes’, led by the surge in interest and demand for potatoes, are one of “seven megatrends” and 120 foods to watch that will shape food and drink development. Potato sales alone jumped 12% over the past 12 months ,TikTok saw an uptick of 10 billion views for the vegetable as consumers sought innovative ways to use it.
“We have spent months researching and identifying seven mega trends emerging in the UK food scene, alongside delving deeper into the relevant social and cultural drivers behind them,” says Jonathan Moore, Senior Director of Food Trends and Innovation at Asda. “Over the next [year] we’ll be working hard to bring these trends to life on Asda shelves in a way that’s both exciting and accessible for our customers”.
One of those categories that should see a boost is the “Not So Humble Veg.” Cost- and health-conscious consumers are expected to turn away from traditional proteins in favour of vegetables for meal planning. The five that could be big sales opportunities – aside from potatoes – are onions, courgettes, sweet corn, mushrooms and leeks. Cauliflower and sweet potatoes are also expected to see high demand.
“Driven by the surge in plant-based eating, diners are increasingly seeing vegetables as the main event in a meal,” Asda notes in its report. “This year, they’re particularly turning to the natural goodness of veg in the face of rising grocery prices which can make meat less affordable.”
Categories to consider
Retailers should not discount the power of global ingredients such as garlic and horseradish or customers leaning in on traditional dishes such as dauphinoise as they look to recreate meals they’ve seen in popular shows or streaming.
Those who are ordering and filling the shelves with fruits and veg should be wary of other trends, including these from Asda:
Under Pressure: “In a less stable world, where people are struggling to maintain control of their health and finances, how can retailers help make food more healthy, affordable and accessible.”
Distract and Displace: “Food is a primal way to seek comfort, safety and escape. It can be a way to explore different flavours and more than five senses, as it becomes increasingly ‘normal’ for technology to impact how we interact with our food.”
Brave New World: “As we all see the physical effects of global warming, the food industry is looking for innovative and practical solutions to tackle the problems the world is facing; from finding new food sources to diversifying from staple crops.”
Health Wise: “The pressure to be perfect seems increasingly burdensome but the fact remains that we all want to live longer, and better. More than ever, customers are seeking new, clever, easier and less expensive ways to change habits and improve longevity.”
Retailers also should be mindful of customers’ desire for quick meal solutions and toasts and sandwiches – as well as the complementary veg and spreads that go on them, namely avocados, tomatoes and onions.